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Scoot's new Embraer planes provide wider reach and flexibility

Ashley Lo
Ashley Lo • 3 min read
Scoot's new Embraer planes provide wider reach and flexibility
Scoot's first Embraer plane given the traditional 'water salute'. Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore
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Both Singapore Airlines C6L -

and Scoot saw record passenger load factors for the year ended March. With 12.7 million passengers carried, up 52.5% over the previous year, the low-cost unit Scoot achieved a higher load factor of 91.2% than the parent airline’s 87.1%. However, with the drop in revenue per available seat km from the higher base of the last financial year, Scoot’s operating profit for the same FY2024 dropped by a fifth to $118.1 million. 

If Scoot’s CEO Leslie Thng can have his way, he will launch more flights and fly to more destinations to further capture the strong growth of this regional market. The growth is even more notable given how Scoot has already put 5% more capacity in place than the pre-pandemic days. “We will continue to ramp up our capacity to meet the increasing air travel demand,” says Thng.

On May 16, SIA announced that Thng, with effect from July 1, will be promoted to an executive vice president within the SIA group.

Scoot has introduced a new aircraft model to its fleet: the E190-E2 from Brazilian manufacturer Embraer — a marked departure from the practical duopoly held by Boeing and Airbus with SIA as a group thus far. The first two E190-E2s have been delivered, and all nine aircraft will be handed over by the end of 2025.

The E190-E2, with its interior two-by-two single-class configuration and larger cabin windows compared to Airbus’s A320, currently holds the title for the industry’s quietest and most fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft. Maintenance of the aircraft will be managed by the Embraer Collaborative Inventory Planning (ECIP), which Scoot has awarded a contract.

Thng explains that the E190-E2 is not an entirely new aircraft, having been in the market for a few years. This has given the Scoot team sufficient operating statistics to parse through and conclude that the E190-E2 can suitably deliver on both operational resilience and reliability. 

See also: SIA chalks up another record year, but further gains will be tougher

With just 112 seats, the E190-E2 carries fewer passengers than the Boeing 787s, Airbus A320s and A321s that Scoot now operates. This means the Embraer is not meant as a replacement but as a complement to make the airline’s network more efficient, given the varying demands and traffic patterns.

Scoot began flying the E190-E2 on May 7 to Krabi, and it will also be deployed to serve existing destinations such as Hat Yai, Miri, and Kuantan. Two new destinations are planned: Koh Samui and Sibu. “Operating the aircraft on thinner routes to non-metro destinations in the Asia-Pacific allows the group to unlock significant growth opportunities in the region,” says SIA in its full-year earnings report on May 15.

China remains Scoot’s largest market, served by a quarter of its capacity. Specifically, Scoot now operates 88 weekly flights to 17 Chinese cities. “Given the scale of Scoot’s China operations, the 30-day visa-free arrangement between Singapore and China is a positive and welcome development, which we have already seen an increase in bookings shortly after the announcement in January. We will remain nimble to respond to demand changes,” says Thng. 

 

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