Low cost carrier from Singapore Scoot acknowledges its recent shortcomings, particularly when it comes to delays and the way it handles them. Scoot CEO Lee Lik Hsin promisses in a recent interview with Channel News Asia to improve the situation and highlight the airline’s future development.
Low-cost carrier Scoot is aware of its shortcomings and is working to improve its customer service and recovery standards in light of recent flight delays and disruptions that have affected passengers, said its CEO Lee Lik Hsin.
“Admittedly, our OTP was not good from end-2018 to beginning of 2019. In December and January, we had occasions or months where OTP was in the 70s (in percentage terms) to low 80s. But we have bounced back up to mid-to-high 80s. In terms of delivering our promise to the customer of punctuality, we have improved since then,” declared Scoot CEO to Channel News Asia.
Measures taken to improve OTP since the start of the year has been a reduced use for its Boeing 787. The airline’s fleet of Boeing 787s now spend 13 hours in the air daily instead of 14 previously. The measure helped to maintain a spare aircraft which can be put into service in case of major disruption.
Better communication and care measures for stranded passengers
The airline also introduced better communication channels to stranded passengers, a major point of dissatisfaction.
“Customers were feeling uncomfortable because they did not know what was going on. Sometimes the news is not always good news. But they at least want to know what is going on. It is only fair for us to be as transparent with our customers as possible,” told Scott CEO to CNA. Scoot consequently is now actively communicating through social media channels with the launching earlier th9is year of a “delay information system” which provide real-time information such as new expected departure timing.
The airline is also providing standard comfort requirements in case of long delays. According to Lee Lik Hsin, Scoot is now assuring to provide its passengers with food, drinks and eventually accommodation.
The airline has been adjusted its schedule but is ready to grow again in 2020 as new aircraft are being delivered with expansion being again in the cards.
Europe remains a priority in long-haul business
Scoot will expand its route network in the coming months to include more points in China and Indonesia, although many of the routes will actually be take-over from SIA or Silk Air. Scoot already integrated the Singapore-Wuhan route from Silk Air and will soon add Changsha, Fuzhou and Kunming to its network. However, the airline is also closing in July and August routes to Quanzhou as well as to Kalibo (Philippines), Lucknow (India) and in October to the Maldives. For Indonesia, Scoot is also due to take over most SilkAir’s routes to Indonesia cities such as Balikpapan, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Semarang and Yogyakarta in 2020.
On the long-haul front, the airline recorded mixed results so far. To CNA, Lee Lik Hsin described the long-haul business has a “fairly niche” one. The carrier already pulled out from Honolulu but is relatively satisfied with its two routes to both Athens and Berlin. Athens is performing particularly well with a fifth frequency to be launched in the winter. Europe is likely to be the focus of any long-haul expansion. “It’s hard for us to imagine being able to venture to another long-haul continent somewhere else. My colleagues are very curious about the same. I have sort of said it is 99 per cent Europe for future expansion,” he added to the TV network.
Scoot was the only SIA Group unit that recorded an operating loss in the last financial year, which came in at S$15 million, as compared to its operating profit of S$78 million the year before.