Scoot Is Leasing A Singapore Airlines 777 – But Is It Good Or Bad News For Passengers?

You may or may not know about the worldwide problems with Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines fitted to some Boeing 787 Dreamliners. As I dug through the OMAAT archives earlier today, I realised the topic hasn’t been covered much so far on this site, so I’ll be diving into various consequences of the problem as they are continuing to develop, and worsen.

Scoot is essentially Singapore Airlines’ low-cost arm, and operates a long-haul fleet of 17 Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft, with various destinations around Australia, Asia and even Berlin, primarily from its hub at Singapore Changi Airport. It operates a low cost model similar to Norwegian, by:

  • flying 787 Dreamliners
  • offering very cheap fares to premium destinations
  • having a premium class cabin called ‘Scoot Biz,’ with premium-economy like seats
  • offering a buy-on-board service, where meals can also be pre-ordered

Here is Andrew’s detailed review of ‘Scoot Biz’ from Tokyo To Taipei.

Wet-leasing

So far they have not been significantly impacted by the Rolls Royce engine issues.

However that luck appears to have run out as they are now wet-leasing an older Singapore Airlines 777-200 to cover one route for the rest of June, namely flights TR2 and TR3 which operate from Singapore to Sydney, and return, 5 times per week with the following schedule:

TR2 (operating as SQ8121) Singapore to Sydney, 01:30/02:00 – 11:00/11:40 (Depending on day of the week) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

TR3 (operating as SQ8122) Sydney to Singapore, 12:00/12:40 – 18:30/19:10 (Depending on the day of the week) on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Scoot will be using a 16 year old Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200 with registration number 9V-SVJ for the flights.

This aircraft has 26 business class seats in a fully-flat 1-2-1 layout, and 245 standard seats in a 3-3-3 layout. The flight will be different to a normal Scoot flight, as:

  • it will be crewed by Singapore Airlines crews, rather than Scoot crews (as Scoot crews would not be certified on this aircraft type)
  • all passengers will receive a meal, regardless of whether they pre-bought it or not
  • each passenger will receive one non-alcoholic drink, but no alcohol will be available during the flight

As Scoot does not provide IFE, the Singapore Airlines IFE will be switched off.

So, if you’re booked on this flight, is this good or bad news? Well it depends on what type of ticket you have booked.

The winners

If you have booked a Scoot Biz flight on the Singapore to Sydney flights, this might be the luckiest day of your flying life. You will be going from a 2-3-2 recliner that looks like this:

to a 1-2-1 fully-flat bed that looks like this:

Given the flights leave Singapore so late at night, all I would be wanting to do is sleep anyway (and not watch the switched off IFE), so this seat would be perfect.

Also, if you have bought the cheapest possible economy ticket you will be going from a Scoot seat which is 19 inches wide with 31 inches of pitch, to a Singapore Airlines seat with the same width but an extra inch of pitch. You’ll also be receiving a free meal and non-alcoholic drink. Given sale fares on Scoot from Singapore to Sydney especially can be as low as SGD150, this would be a great deal.

The losers

Scoot offers an extra legroom mini-cabin called ‘Scoot-in-Silence’, which offers between 34 and 36 inches of pitch for an additional fee when booking.

Scoot economy mini-cabin

Now because Singapore Airlines does not have a premium economy, or extra-legroom cabin on their 777-200s, those passengers will, I imagine, just be re-seated in standard economy seats.

If you’ve pre-paid for a meal, you may also be annoyed that everyone is receiving a complimentary meal whether they have paid for one or not.

Also, as these flights are alcohol-free, if you were planning to have a few drinks on board, you will not be able to.

Booking these flights

Before you go racing to book a cheap flat-bed to Sydney or Singapore, unfortunately it looks like these wet-leased flights are no longer for sale. These flights are usually operated by a Scoot 787-9 with a whopping 375 seats. The far more spacious Singapore Airlines 777 only has 271 seats, so I imagine the 777 flights are already completely full, with some Scoot passengers being offered refunds or being moved to other Scoot flights operated by 787s.

If you can somehow work out a way to book a Scoot Biz seat this month on TR2 or TR3, I would go for it!

No TR2 available to book this month, only TR12 which is not impacted.

Bottom line

If you do have a booking on one of these flights, do check the status of your flight, particularly your seat map, as you might be in for a very nice surprise.

I would much rather be on a flight wet-leased from Singapore Airlines than from Hi-Fly!

Have you ever flown a wet-leased flight?

Comments

  1. Amazing post as always James! Still can’t believe the rate at which you turn out such informative posts! Looking forward to reading more

  2. James time to start your own blog and leave OMAAT…as a pax from EU I dont mind about Lucky’s posts about cards so always grateful to read something valuable. Thank you.

  3. @ Nico – really appreciate your encouragement and kind words, but I’m very happy being part of the OMAAT family, and don’t have any desire to start my own blog.

    If there are any topics you would like me to cover please let me know!

  4. Scoot? Literally nobody has heard of them. I think their 5 pax will manage, James.

    Keep up the otherwise good work, though. You’re as amazing a contribution to this blog as you are handsome af. That’s quite a bit, actually!

  5. Is there actually a significant cost of keeping the IFE. Seems almost petty to turn it off if it’s already there…

  6. James, could you please write a post on getting started with miles & points if one is in Australia?

  7. I’m very much interested how can the Scoot economy seat be 19 inches wide if we’re talking about a Dreamliner with 3-3-3 cabin?
    I know that SeatGuru shows these numbers, but it seems just unrealistic.

  8. I’m surprised Scoot isn’t borrowing one of SIAs new 787-10s, which have 337 seats, 5 of which have just been delivered with one on the way. That would have matched the Scoot aircraft capacity much better.

  9. @James

    We keep reading about “casual airlines” from American point of view.

    I would like to hear your thoughts on (short-haul) Central European airlines (LOT Polish, Austrian, Norwegian, Belavia, etc.). You don’t seem afraid of travelling in European Y and that’s what’s most missing here for European readers.

    I don’t mean the reviews, but general thoughts.

    P.S. Kudos for this article!

  10. Was just on Scoot last week for the first time Tokyo to Taipei and back. Brilliant airline. Was in economy and leg room is great. Only issue is on the top of the arm rest they put a couple buttons. One for light and the other to call the flight attendant. Well you put your arm down on arm rest and hit the buttons. The whole flight was bing bing bing bing light on light off bing bing light on light off bing bing all over the cabin. Grrr so stupid.

  11. Interesting. I’m on TR3 in January 2019 by which point I’m sure all will be resolve but who knows I guess!

  12. Very informative and interesting article. It definitely beats the US centric totally irrelevant for the rest of the world credit card posts on this blog.

  13. @Ivan
    I’ve never trusted SeatGuru’s seat measurements, especially after I found out that they said NH 77W economy seats in 2-4-3 configuration are 16.5″ wide. That number IMO is very unrealistic; It should be at least 18″
    Also, there’s no way that there’s a 1.5″ difference for a350 premium economy seats in 2-4-2 between DL (18.5″) and CX (20″).

  14. Sorry but Scoot biz and the quiet section will soon be relics of the past, Scoot has been taken over by the awful Tiger Airways and the new aircraft will be outfitted accordingly.

  15. Ignore William Y as he is a dumbass who probably flies between Iowa City and Detroit every month. Any actual world traveler will be curious to know more about the low cost arm of SQ, especially with the confusion/evolution related to the Scoot and Tiger merger as well as the new plans for SilkAir. Please write more about the SQ group.

  16. Keep up the good work. I like reading your blogs as much as Lucky’s. And I love that you cover the lower end of the travel market considering I’m not as good in collecting points.

  17. I have looked a few times at Scoot, particularly the route to Berlin. Unfortunately Scoot is ridiculously expensive from Kuala Lumpur and you can not book business if one of the flights is short haul (ex tiger airways), unless you split in 2 tickets. I have literally never seen rates that are cheaper than Emirates or Qatar and when you compare the Y products on those 3 and factor in 2x6h vs. 1x1h+1x11h in a super small seat with no service for more money? I have no idea where Scoot gets their customers…

    @Harry Hv they haven’t been taken over. Tiger Airways was the low-cost short haul airline of Singapore Airlines and Scoot was long haul, they just merged them into one brand to make it simpler.

  18. @BenBen Scoot is a Singapore low-cost airline so if you are looking at flying out of KL, you can almost certainly expect to pay more especially factoring the KL-SGP leg, which is expensive. I’m not sure a fair comparison with Emirates and/or Qatar can be made here.

    FYI, Scoot’s real sweet spot is in the 4-8 hour routes (Australia, China, Japan, Korea) that the single-aisle LCC’s can’t reach. Sub-4 hour routes on the single-aisle ex-Tiger Airlines planes are comparable both in price and misery with other LCCs.

  19. I actually just flew Scoot for the very first time this past Sunday, and here is my experience:

    Flew TR897 from ICN to TPE one way after I used my CX free stopover J ticket via Alaska redemption from HKG to ICN. Choose this flight mainly for its great departure time (10:35pm), so I can have the entire day in Seoul.

    Bought this ticket for a middle of the road scoot price of ~$145 USD the lowest they go for is ~$102 if you book early). Like most low cost carriers, you have to pay extra for your checked luggage, so I chose “Fly+Bag”, which adds about ~$18 to the base ticket. I did not choose fly+bag+eat for another ~$14 extra (which gives you a hot entree that you can pre-select and a drink) because 1) I would have already ate dinner, 2) That’s way too much $$$ for airplane food, and 3) The picture of the teriyaki chicken Andrew posted didn’t look appetizing~ :o). Next was seat selection and the “privilege” to pay for “any seat” you select. Regular seats at 31in pitch was ~$5, the price was the same for either aisle, window, or middle. This is drastically cheaper than Spirit and Frontier. Next tier up was the “super seats” that offered 34in pitch for about $13. These were mainly the “scoot silence” seats that’s mostly in the front section of coach, where no one under age of 12 is allowed to sit. Lastly were the “stretch seats” for ~$26, these are the bulkhead and exit row seats with a reduced seat width due to tray table in the armrest. My plan was not to choose a seat at booking, and see if Travis’ strategy on Frontier also works on Scoot (more on that later). The price also included an annoying “processing fee” of ~$8 that you do not see until after you entered your credit card number. I felt that was sketchy as some people would probably not have noticed it before they click on purchase, not to mention the fact that people aren’t buying through a third party booking site.

    On a side note, there was a ~$175 “Scoot Biz” price available for awhile, which includes a wider reclining leather seat, 30 KG of luggage, dedicated check-in line, early boarding, food, two drinks, free in-seat power (economy have to pay), and the ability to stream entertainment for free if you brought your own device. That’s actually a great deal, but unfortunately it was no longer available and increased about $150 when I was ready to book with my confirmed date.

    I was hesitant to fly an unknown LCC at first because leg room and seat width are very important to me. But after seeing the seat map on seat guru, I was surprised to find the seats are 18in in width and the basic seats have a 31in pitch, which is bearable for a 2.5-3 hour flight. The full service carriers (KE, OZ, BR, CI, CX, TG) all have expensive OW prices. There were several other LCCs operating the route (Jin, Eastar, Jeju, T’Way), but their seats are either abysmally configured or departing very early in the morning. With all the circumstances, Scoot it was for me.

    I bought my ticket two days before the flight, and a search on experflyer about 48 hours prior to departure showed the entire coach has sold out. At about 36 hours prior to departure, the whole flight showed zero including business class, and the scoot website confirmed it with no seats available for sale. I would periodically check the seat map availability after I purchased my ticket, and it appears that most passengers decided not to pay for for advanced seat assignment, as most seats show unassigned. This is the case even after the flight sold out. Not wanting to get stuck in a middle seat, I was planning on showing up a bit early at the airport to see if I can get a better seat. With seat selection price that low, I normally would just prepay to lock it down. But since it’s my first time flying the airline, I wanted to get a better understanding of how their system worked for future reference.

    About six hours before my departure, I logged online again and saw that the airline had automatically assigned me a middle seat (keep in mind I was trying the frontier trick and never checked in). It was then I figured they would probably charge me a fee to change my seat at the airport anyways, so I decided to change my seat and pay for a scoot super seat in the scoot silence section. Paying for a bulkhead seat would put my total price over the low business fare I saw earlier, so I couldn’t let that happen on the principle alone. I also have a larger than average ass, and don’t really like the restricted seat widths on bulkhead seats. Paid ~$13, and was relieved that they didn’t charge another CC processing fee for the separate charge. It also seemed like you can pay for all the extra fees (additional luggage, food, seats) after booking for the same price, unlike spirit and Frontier where the prices go up for the ancillary fees if you don’t pay for them during the initial reservation process.

    I was one of the last passengers to board, and was surprised to find that both scoot biz and scoot silence were only about 1/3 full, even though the flight was billed as “sold out”. My $13 seat selection investment turned out to be a poor man’s lie flat in an empty row to myself, winner~

    The seat cushion was very lacking in support as with most LCCs. I would be OK with flying scoot in the future for a flight no longer than three hours in a super seat if the price is right.

  20. I like OMAAT cuz Lucky isn’t too strongly focused on the US (…like TPG is)! James just makes this better, cuz… another perspective!

  21. Hey,

    I’m taking TR2 on July 8, any idea if the 777 will be operating that route? I checked my reservation with Scoot and it stills says 787.

  22. Scoot initiated and started with B772 got from SQ. After they got B788, some of these B772 went to NokScoot. B772 is no stranger to Scoot. They operated B772 for years.

  23. Dear James, your posts are always impressive and very informative. I am wondered if this leasing will affect nokscoot. Nok scoot has leased aircraft from scoot before for Japan route.

  24. @Ed – I believe they are only leasing until July 2 but of course delays in fixing their 787 may mean the lease is extended. Check your seat map regularly!

  25. Adrian Wee – You can fly between KUL and SIN for less then 20 bucks, how is that expensive? And how is it unfair to Scoot to compare them to Emirates or Qatar? If anything it would be unfair to Emirates and Qatar as they offer a much nicer product…

  26. Unless Scoot re-engineered the 787 by adding another 30cm to the width of the fuselage (they did not) , the seat width is 17.5”.

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