BY JAMES WILKINSON
Singapore Airlines’ new low cost, long-haul airline Scoot has chosen Sydney as its inaugural destination from Singapore in a major boost to inbound tourism.
The airline, which will operate Boeing 777-200 aircraft to Sydney, is set to launch flights in mid-2012 in what is expected to be an injection of almost AUD$150 million into the New South Wales economy on an annual basis.
“This is a great win for Sydney and travellers in the Asia-Pacific region, opening up Australia’s largest city to more international routes and lower-cost carriers,” said New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell at yesterday’s (Dec 1) announcement.
“Scoot’s decision to fly its first service between Sydney and Singapore from mid-2012 will inject a further AU$146 million annually to the NSW economy.
“This is a significant step towards our goal of doubling overnight tourism expenditure by 2020, placing Sydney front and centre of the boom in budget travel in emerging markets like Singapore, China and India.
“It’s also confirmation that Sydney remains Australia’s only true global city – a position the NSW Government is determined to maintain,” he said.
Scoot CEO, Campbell Wilson, said the airline would initially operate four former Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-200 aircraft and the decision to launch flights was a logical one.
“Scoot is absolutely delighted that Sydney, one of the world’s great cities, will be our inaugural destination,” he said. “And as the first true no-frills airline operating nonstop daily between Sydney and Asia, we can’t wait to bring a whole new style of travel, even better airfares and our unique attitude – our Scootitude – to shake things up.
“Sydney, here we come,” he said.
The New South Wales Minister for Tourism, George Souris, has welcomed to move from Scoot to select Sydney over Victorian and Queensland destinations.
“Singapore is one of Australia’s fastest growing tourism markets so we are delighted with Scoot’s decision to choose Sydney as its first port of call,” Souris said.
“Scoot’s arrival gives tourists from the growing markets of China and India more choice on how to get here and enjoy the many attractions and major events we have on offer in Sydney and NSW.”
Tourism Australia Managing Director, Andrew McEvoy, said the arrival of Scoot was a significant step in the right direction in helping achieve Australian tourism’s 2020 growth goals.
“With Singapore now representing Australia’s sixth largest international tourism market, the decision by Scoot to choose Australia as its first port of call is a tremendous result,” he said.
“Tourism Australia, with our state tourism and airport partners, has taken a ‘team Australia’ approach to ensure Scoot has made Australia its start-up priority.”
Tourism marketing will also increase as part of the new flights, according to Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase.
She said there would be a two-year marketing partnership to promote the new service.
“Destination NSW in conjunction with Sydney Airport, Tourism Australia and Scoot will be investing in a two-year marketing and promotion plan for the airline’s new Sydney route,” Chipchase said.
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with our partners to develop a number of innovative marketing campaigns to promote Sydney and NSW to increase visitation from some of our key international markets and help achieve our 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure.”