Chapati Party with aircraft registration 9V-TNA, Scoot’s first of 39 Airbus A320neos on firm order, took to the skies on its first commercial flight on 29 October 2018 at 4 pm as flight TR610 from Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 and landed in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi. The scheduled flight was about 90% filled.
Before taking off, a cake cutting ceremony by Mr Lee Lik Hsin, Scoot CEO & Mr Aymeric Dupront, Airbus Head of Airlines Marketing South East Asia to celebrate this occasion was held at the gate hold area where passengers of the flight were treated to cake. Flying on the flight were also Marcus Chan (Facebook), @bluebravest and @y.v.aviation (Instagram), winners of Scoot’s social media competition.
I flew on this short 2 hours 25-minute flight in seat 3C so that I could compare the passenger experience in the A320neo with the low-cost carrier’s older A320ceo aircraft. So how do you identify an A320neo? Look out for the signature wingtip sharklets with Super Scootee, Scoot’s distinctive mascot, which provides up to 4% fuel burn reduction and improved take-off performance.
There is an additional row of six seats in the A320neo compared with the other A320 aircraft models in the fleet. An additional row could be added because the two lavatories at the back were moved into the tail area instead of directly behind the last row of seats and a reduced galley that occupies around one-third of the aft-facing space.
This option is Airbus’s Space-Flex Cabin enabler, LOPA optimisation for airline customers who wish to save space for other purposes. The Smart-Lav inspired lavatory design comes with eight-trolleys capacity, added capability for a person with reduced mobility to free up more space. Stretch seats on the front row and emergency exits offer up to 38.4” seat pitch while the regular seats offer 28.5” seat pitch.
Scoot also picked a different type of leather seat from Recaro which are slimmer with a storage space at eye level instead of knee-level offering more knee space. Scootalagoue (Scoot’s in-flight shopping catalogue), Scoot Cafe (Inflight Menu), Scoot in-flight magazine, Safety card and a barf bag take up all the storage space leaving no space for any tablet or smartphone. And if you open the table tray, your phone may just slip out so be warned.
As a comparison, seats on Scoot’s fleet of A320ceos, seat pockets are located at knee level. I flew back on TR611 in the older aircraft in seat 3D. I couldn’t feel much difference in the seat comfort between the A320neo and A320ceo aircraft.
Scoot’s first two A320neos will serve regional routes to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei and Tiruchirappalli. Scoot expects all 39 A320neos to be delivered by 2025. The airline currently operates a mixed fleet of 44 aircraft that are 4 years and 10 months old on average. The fleet comprises 18 wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 2 narrow-body Airbus A320 family of aircraft that were inherited from Tigerair.