KOCHI: Though a direct flight beyond West Asia and Far East destinations from Kochi still remains a distant dream for passengers from Kerala, the merger of long haul budget airline Scoot with medium haul budget airline Tigerair has brought cheers to those looking for destinations beyond Singapore.
Now, passengers can enjoy a seamless travel experience on a single airline from Kochi to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Hong Kong and others at budget rates as the enhanced airlines company post merger currently offers a combined network of 65 destinations in 18 countries, with a fleet of 37 planes.
Besides, the five new destinations, including Honolulu in USA and Harbin in Northeast China, will be added to Scoot’s network by June 2018. It will ensure seamless travel to USA as well from Kerala by next year. Though Scoot and Tigerair, which operate short-to-medium haul routes, were brought under the umbrella of holding company Budget Aviation Holdings (BAH) in May 2016, the two airlines continued to operate separately till Monday this week.
“At present, there are only four flights per week by the enhanced airline company to Singapore from Kochi. Soon we will be able to start daily services from Kochi to various destinations,” said Bharat Mahadevan, country head of Scoot. Kerala has a good potential and there has been growing traffic to Far East destinations and destinations beyond Far East from Kerala of late, he said. “One of the main advantages of the merger is we will be able to operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A320 interchangeably depending on peak and off-peak demand. We will definitely consider operating the 787 Dreamliner to Kochi in future when the demand picks up,” said Scoot officers. The airline company has flown at an average load factor of around 80 to 85 pc last year from Kochi.
Cochin International Airport managing director V J Kurien told Express CIAL is ready to give one-year landing and parking fee exemption to airlines that operate direct non-stop flight to Europe and the US from here. The airport is ready to provide reduced ground handling charges and offer hotel arrangements in the city for the airline companies. “Recently when Air India CMD visited the airport, we had communicated our decision to him and are waiting for a favourable reply,” he said. As per the data of IATA Direct Data Solution from June 2015 to May 2016, an average of 401 and 274 passengers are travelling per day from CIAL to Europe and United States, respectively.
Last flight to Tiruchirappalli
Kochi: Nine months after Scoot and Tigerair announced their intention to pursue a single brand and operating licence under the enhanced Scoot brand, the airline industry bade farewell to Tigerair Singapore as its last flight departed Singapore for Tiruchirappalli at 23.05 on July 24. From Thursday, all Tigerair flights from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Tiruchirappalli, Kochi and Lucknow will be operated under the Scoot brand. Scoot flights will operate under the TR flight designator code. To celebrate the merger, special one-way promotional fares from Kochi will start from as low as D4,999 to Singapore, D9,199 to Bali, D9,799 to Hong Kong, D11,799 to Melbourne/Sydney, among others. Additional 10 pc discounts are available through promotional codes for booking from July 27 to Aug 6 2017, said Bharath Mahadevan at a press meet.
- Scoot now operates a fleet of 14 state-of-the-art, widebody Boeing 787 Dreamliner and 23 young and modern Airbus A320 family aircraft.
- The company will be able to operate the Boeing 787 and Airbus 320 interchangeably depending on peak and off peak demand.
- With the merger, seamless travel experience on a single airline from Kochi to Australia is possible.
- Five new destinations, including Honolulu in USA and Harbin in Northeast China, will be added to the network of Scoot by June 2018.
- Right now, the company has promotional one-way fares to Sydney and Melbourne starting at D11,799.
- CIAL is ready to give one-year landing and parking fee exemption, apart from reduced ground handling charges and hotel tie-ups, to airlines that operate direct non-stop flight to Europe and the US from Kochi.