Scoot, the Singapore-based low-cost carrier, wants to launch long-haul flights from India.
The airline started flying between Singapore and India this year, with its initial routes to Amritsar and Chennai followed more recently by the launch of flights to Jaipur.
And the Economic Times reported Scoot’s country head for India, Bharath Mahadevan, as saying that the airline wants to take advantage of fifth freedom rights to launch new services linking India with Europe, North America and the Middle East.
“There is a market for long-haul LCCs to come into India or be based here,” said Mahadevan was quoted saying. “If allowed, our fare could be INR5,000 and INR10,000 (US$73 and US$147) on Delhi-London and Delhi-New York respectively, one-way.”
These flights will not be launched soon however; Singaporean carriers have already used all of their flying rights in India. But Mahadevan outlined his vision for a significant expansion of Scoot’s Indian operations, should these rights be expanded.
“If the bilateral [flying rights] are increased, we can… fly to places like Zurich, Paris, Manchester, Amsterdam, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. There is a huge pent-up demand for international travel from India and it needs to be tapped at the right price point. The demand is very strong in tier-two cities,” he added.
Scoot’s Indian operations will be expanded significantly next year when it merges with Tigerair, the Singaporean LCC that currently flies direct to five Indian cities: Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow and Tiruchirapalli.