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Scoot, the low-cost long-haul carrier owned by Singapore Airlines, said on Friday it cannot increase the number of seats and destinations in India, since Indian carriers were yet to fulfil their quota of services as agreed upon in the bilateral agreement between the two countries.
The Singapore Airlines group, which includes Silk Air and Scoot, has exhausted its permissible quota, barring some not-so-viable tier-2 destinations in the country. Air India and the private Indian airlines, on the other hand, have utilised only 50 per cent of their entitlement, according to Bharath Mahadevan, country head, India at Scoot.
"There is nothing in our hands as the bilateral air services are a subject matter of the government-to-government agreement. Indian carriers currently operate only 50 per cent of their quota and until this reaches 80 per cent, it is not possible (for any quota revision)," added Mahadevan.
Scoot started operating as Singapore Airline's single low-cost carrier brand in India from July 25, 2017. At the initial stage, it added all five destinations that were hitherto operated by Tiger Air, besides launching operations for three other destinations last year. Singapore's national carrier had decided to keep Scoot as a single low-cost brand across the region, following the merger of Tiger Air and Scoot.
Mahadevan said India was on the threshold of an explosion in travel demand that has a lot of growth potential, given that there are 50 weekly flights being operated between the two countries by the Singapore Airlines Group. Given an opportunity, the company would like to add Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata to its list of destinations, he said.
For the Singapore Airline group, India is the second-largest market after China and accounts for around 10 per cent of Scoot's revenues. Scoot currently operates its low-cost services to 55 destinations in 18 countries across the South East and North Asian region, besides Australia. Its Indian destinations include Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi, Tiruchirapalli, Jaipur and Lucknow.