Monday, November 12, 2012

Scoot cancels flights between Singapore and Shenyang/Qingdao

Singapore-based low-cost long-haul airline Scoot has cancelled 20 flights from Singapore to Shenyang and Qingdao. According to Scoot's Facebook page, the cancellations are due to longer than envisaged time to obtain regulatory approval for Scoot flights to Shenyang and Qingdao:

As some of you might already know, we have had to cancel our flights from Singapore to Qingdao or Shenyang between 27 November 2012 and 8 January 2013. Those affected would have already received an email from us.

We know this has caused inconvenience to many but, unfortunately, regulatory approval for our flights to Shenyang and Qingdao has taken longer than envisaged. Although we expect the regulatory approval to be in hand very soon, we cannot be 100% sure exactly when this will be so we've elected to postpone the start of flights so that people already booked might have enough time to make alternative travel or holiday plans. It is regrettable, but we believe it's the best course of action in the circumstances.[1]
Scoot has announced flights to Shenyang in Liaoning province and Qingdao in Shandong province on August 30th 2012 and started to sell tickets between Singapore and these 2 Chinese cities on the same day.[2] According to Scoot's announcement "starting selling tickets before the related approval was obtained is a standard practice for airlines:
It is very common to see destinations launched and fares sold on a “subject to regulatory approval” basis, which was displayed on the booking engine and on itineraries for Shenyang and Qingdao. Nearly always this is of no consequence, but occasionally this results in problems; last week, for example, a major Gulf airline also had to indefinitely postpone flights to Addis Ababa(*) two days before they were to start because regulatory approval remained outstanding. [1]

Although Scoot have not mentioned how many passengers were affected, each Boeing 777-200 Scoot uses can seat up to 402 people and if 80% full, 20 flights make around 6400 people. Scoot contacts all affected passengers and offers them a full cash refund, plus a travel voucher as a gesture of apology.

[1] -  Important updates regarding Scoot flights between Singapore and Shenyang/Qingdao (27 Nov 2012 - 8 Jan 2013)
[2] - Eat, Drink and Be Merry – Scoot to Shenyang & Qingdao!

(*) - Etihad Airways postponed the launch of flights to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, after the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority rejected the airline’s application for the required operating permit.

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