Tue, Dec 05, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Scoot’s plan dovetails with New Southbound Policy

Staff writer, with CNA

Singapore-based budget airline Scoot, which has operated in Taiwan for five years, is optimistic about prospects in the local market, because its development strategy suits the government’s New Southbound Policy, a company executive said.

“Taiwan is like a mini hub for us,” Scoot chief commercial officer Vinod Kannan told reporters last week. “So the southbound policy is exactly in line with what we are doing.”

The policy, launched in the middle of last year to reduce Taiwan’s dependence on China, seeks to increase the nation’s cooperation with Southeast Asian and South Asian countries, as well as New Zealand and Australia.

The low-cost carrier is also eyeing further expansion of its network in Southeast Asia, especially after a merger in July with Tigerair Singapore that gave Scoot more than 10 new destinations in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, Kannan said.

As more business and travel exchanges emerge in the region, the extended network will enable Scoot to offer more economical fares, Kannan said.

Scoot offers nonstop service to Northeast Asia between Taipei and Seoul, Tokyo and Sapporo, and between Kaohsiung and Osaka, in addition to service to Southeast Asia between Taipei and Kaohsiung and Singapore.

TRANSIT TIME

Kannan said that getting Taiwanese passengers to use Scoot for other Southeast Asian destinations could be a challenge, because of the extra time needed to transit through Singapore.

However, the network is ideal for travelers who might make multiple stops and mix business with tourism in their itineraries, he said.

According to Scoot, it carried more than half a million Taiwanese passengers from September last year to September this year, a year-on-year increase of nearly 20 percent.

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