Scoot recommences services to Guangzhou, Ipoh, Penang and Kuching
Even as Singapore Airlines and Silkair retains a skeletal schedule in June, Scoot has decidedly expanded the number of destinations it will serve in June, serving as a signal for the early recovery of air travel volumes.
After operating to only Hong Kong and Perth in the months of April and May, Scoot adds another four cities into the fold of destinations for June: Guangzhou in China, as well as Ipoh, Penang and Kuching in neighbouring Malaysia.
Apart from the Boeing 787-9s that Scoot has been using for its Hong Kong and Perth flights, Scoot will also be bringing back some A320s for the Malaysian sectors.
Scoot’s full schedule for June is as follow:
|Sector||Flight no.||Days of ops||Dep||Arr||Flight time||Aircraft|
|Singapore – Guangzhou||TR100||Sun||0515||0915||4h||B787-9|
|Guangzhou – Singapore||TR101||Sun||1040||1440||4h||B787-9|
|Singapore – Hong Kong||TR980||Tue, Fri, Sun||1415||1820||4h 5m||B787-9|
|Hong Kong – Singapore||TR981||Tue, Fri, Sun||1920||2315||3h 55m||B787-9|
|Singapore – Ipoh||TR480||Fri, Sun||1120||1230||1h 10m||A320|
|Ipoh – Singapore||TR481||Fri, Sun||1310||1430||1h 20m||A320|
|Singapore – Kuching||TR430||Fri||1805||1935||1h 30m||A320|
|Kuching – Singapore||TR431||Fri||2015||2140||1h 35m||A320|
|Singapore – Penang||TR424||Sun||1435||1555||1h 20m||A320|
|Penang – Singapore||TR425||Sun||1635||1810||1h 35m||A320|
|Singapore – Perth||TR8||Tue||1200||1710||5h 10m||B787-9|
|Perth – Singapore||TR9||Tue||1810||2345||5h 35m||B787-9|
Needless to say, all other flights Scoot has previously scheduled will be cancelled. It remains to be seen if Scoot will continue to increase the number of destinations in the coming months, which is likely if the situation in Asia stabilises, and so it seems.
For those still holding Scoot tickets
For those who has previously booked Scoot flights on or before 15 Mar for travel up to 31 July, but for some reason has not canceled them, Scoot’s cancellation policy has been simplified and you have two options:
- A 100% refund via the original method of payment, or
- A 120% refund in Scoot vouchers, valid for 12 months.
For a 100% refund to your original payment method, Scoot is advising of a wait of up to 14 weeks for processing.
Instructions on how to manage your booking and more details on the cancellation policy can be found here.
Should I take this as a sign to start planning to travel again?
Short answer: no. The Singapore government announced on Friday 29 May that they are now in discussions with some countries on establishing ‘fast lane’ or ‘travel bubble’ arrangements, but I wouldn’t rejoice and go out to book my tickets just as yet.
The criteria for these ‘essential travel’ will certainly be very tight, as the arrangement is mainly to facilitate business travel, and I may assume for urgent personal matters (such as funerals). The process for such travel will likely be an overtly onerous one, including testing at both departure and arrival points, requirement for movement reports and perhaps even quarantine requirements.
The government has also categorically stated that mass travel will not be allowed for the time being, even as essential travel is being planned and facilitated.
Scoot operating cargo-only services
While most of us should not and will not be travelling yet, if you are just checking out Scoot’s schedule on their website you may notice that they seem to be flying way more than what is above. That’s because throughout the last few months, Scoot has been operating cargo-only flights using the passenger planes, including additional Thursday services to Perth; B787-9 services to Hangzhou, Guangzhou and other cities in China; A320 services to Kunming and a few others.
In the good old days, one little known fact is that passenger aircraft also carry revenue-earning cargo in the belly hold, and as much as 75% of all the load under the passenger floor are such cargo. Since passenger traffic has almost come to a halt earlier this year, the drastic reduction in passenger flights meant that less cargo can be shipped around the world in the belly of these passenger planes. As a result, air cargo capacity has been severely limited, so many airlines are now either resuming services just to ferry cargo in their belly – and in some instances, on passenger seats – while some airlines even go to the extent of converting their passenger planes into temporary freighters by removing the seats.
This is definitely an encouraging sign on the early recovery of air travel, along with Changi Airport’s most recent announcement of allowing transit traffic to resume.
While leisure travel may still be impossible in the next few weeks, there may be some hope that avid travellers could step on a plane as early as before the end of 2020, although this is highly dependent on how the world will look like then, and the hoops that travellers may have to jump through just to get into that economy class seat.