Singapore Airlines-owned no-frills carrier Scoot is likely to begin its long haul flights on the India-Europe route within a year. The low-cost carrier has a 'privilege' that allows it to operate direct flights between India and Europe.
The 'fifth freedom' rights permit a carrier to operate direct flights between two foreign countries. "Since we have fifth freedom, we can operate direct flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata to destinations like Copenhagen, Vienna, Cairo and Manchester," Bharath Mahadevan, head of Scoot in India, told TOI.
Scoot currently operates international flights to Singapore from Tier-2 Indian cities like Jaipur, Amritsar, Lucknow. A one-way no-frills trip to Singapore costs around Rs 6,000. The airline said it will offer a one-way trip on Mumbai-Copenhagen route for Rs 12,000, the price would include 20 kg check-in bag and a meal.
"A return trip to Europe would cost around Rs 26,000," Mahadevan told TOI. At present, the cheapest fares of direct flights on the India-Europe route start at around Rs 45,000.
Currently, Scoot offers cheapest fares in its seat only (without check-in baggage) booking option called 'Fly'. The other options include 'FlyBag' in which you can take a 20Kg check-in baggage. 'FlyBagEat' option gives you a meal as well as drinks. Scoot also has a premium seating option called 'ScootBiz'.
Scoot began its direct flights between Lucknow and Singapore thrice a week from August 2, 2017. The airline also runs flights to Southeast Asian countries from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi and Tiruchirappalli. Scoot had recently announced its merger with other low-cost carrier Tiger Air.
Some of the international airlines like Norwegian Air, International Airlines Groups, among others, are also eyeing India for being a lucrative market. "We can see long-haul, low-cost operations gaining ground from next fiscal with Indian LCCs driving growth," said Kapil Kaul of CAPA, suggesting the possibility of creating a new market segment for the same.
Indian carrier SpiceJet, which operates international flights to neighbouring destinations like Dubai, Dubai, Muscat, Kabul etc. had said the return fares to places like London, Paris and Amsterdam in all-economy aircraft could be as low as Rs 25,000.
India's largest airline IndiGo had expressed interest in operating long haul flights on international routes in Europe. InterGlobe Aviation, which operates the low-cost carrier, had submitted an official EOI (Expression of Interest) for buying Air India's international operations.