Monday, June 18, 2012
Scootin' to Sydney: Scoot's Inaugural Flight
Yes, folks, Singapore's newest low cost carrier Scoot has officially started flying!
Its inaugural flight made it from Singapore to Sydney two weeks ago, and I was really honoured to be invited to take part in and witness this bit of history, along with a host of broadcast, print and online media.
My fellow passengers included Michelle Chong (above) and Chua En-lai of The Noose, both of whom entertained us on the flight later on. We also saw radio personalities from YES 93.3, and Class 95FM. I also made nice friends with people from the SPH and Mediacorp stables.
There were lots of crew and staff dressed brightly in yellow at the check-in row welcoming the full load of 400 passengers. Here are some ladies (and one gentleman) in their official crew uniform. After check-in, we were ushered into the boarding gate area immediately.
CEO of Scoot, Campbell Wilson and Guest-of-Honour, Choi Shing Kwok, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, both gave some short speeches. Mr Choi says almost a quarter of Changi Airport passengers now travel on low cost carriers. Mr Wilson (or "Call me Campbell") says Scoot will be flying to seven destinations by end October.
Ribbon-cutting ceremony - a must for most official launches...
Followed by something more snazzy...a dance routine by the actual staff and crew! They did one at the check-in row, but treated us to an encore at the departure gate.
Scoot is all about chill, casual yet vibrant energy. Some of their crew are former Singapore Airlines staff, so they're all well-trained, but now they can let down their hair a little too.
OK, onto the flight itself!
This is what the retro-fitted Boeing 777-200 looks like. Decent seat space and legroom.
Some of you may have heard of the delay we had taking off, due to technical issues. But it was good that they were extra particular about safety. The CEO was on board too, but he was very calm. After we took off, he went around to every single passenger, toasting a drink to them and apologising for the delay with a cheerful smile. Nice.
The rest of the flight went fairly smoothly.
Here are the four bloggers who were on the trip - Dawn, Brad, myself, and Alvin. Interestingly, all of us would jump out of a plane a couple days later at 14,000 feet. But not this plane! More on skydiving in another post - it is awesome!
On such a long flight (seven hours Singapore to Sydney), you might be craving some entertainment even though the best thing is to sleep through the night flight. They have tablets (iPads) loaded with movies, TV shows and games available for rent at S$22. These are really nifty because they save the plane a lot of weight from all those built-in video systems. More eco-friendly too, I reckon!
Also optional are the meals - you can pre-book online too, and there might be more options listed than on the inflight menu. Scoot also has a shopping catalogue, a movies/TV guide, and an inflight magazine.
Oh we finally reach Australia at dawn...but still a bit more to go before Sydney!
(photo by James Morgan)
Finally we touch down at the Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport! Safe and sound!
(photo by James Morgan)
CEO Campbell Wilson waving from the cockpit. Flight TZ2 has successfully arrived!
It was a beautiful morning, and we started our day immediately with a full itinerary by Destination NSW - come back and see the three amazing days they arranged for us!
So that was the milestone first flight. Would I fly Scoot again? Absolutely. With some flights as low as S$98 (or about S$158 with taxes all in), it's really good value. I'm already planning to bring my girls to Sydney to see their cousins! And I'm extra excited that Scoot will also be flying to Taipei and Tokyo!