Singapore based start up Scoot Airlines has announced plans for a daily flight to Sydney once the long haul budget carrier is off the ground in mid-2012.
New South Wales officials said the service would bring 400 passengers a day to Sydney and inject $146 million annually into the state economy.
“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,” New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell said in a statement. “It’s also confirmation that Sydney remains Australia’s only true global city.”
The Scoot deal was the first landed under a partnership between Sydney Airport and Destination NSW to promote the city to new airlines and compete for routes as the state seeks to bolster its tourism industry.
But not all view the Scoot deal as an economic boon. Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, former Qantas chief economist Tony Webber estimated the airline will carry 62,000 Australian tourists overseas, where they will spend roughly $200 million they otherwise might have spent domestically. Under those maths, Webber argues, the new route will actually cost the state $50 million a year.
A subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, Scoot will launch in mid-2012 with a fleet of four Boeing 777-200s. The airline plans to focus on long haul routes in Australasia and China with plans to expand into India, Europe and North America.