true long-haul routes, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
VP-marketing Randy Tinseth said. Te main advantage long-haul LCCs have over full-service competitors is that the LCCs put more seats on their widebodies, lowering the per-seat cost. But they often cannot
rely on some of the operating advantages that benefit
the short-haul LCCs. A key part of the LCC business model is attaining higher aircraft utilization and
more flights per day than legacy airlines. But achieving this “gets really hard when you get into long-haul.
You really can’t get the same utilization advantage
that you can if you’re flying a short-haul or regional
[LCC] service,” Tinseth said.
Tere is also a narrowing of the differences in services offered by LCCs and full-service carriers. Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of
Asia Pacific Airlines, points to the example of how
legacy carriers have expanded their ancillary offerings
and unbundled fares, while LCCs are introducing
premium seating, connecting services and long-range
flights. “Te distinction is getting blurred,” Herdman
said. “With the emergence of long-haul low-cost, the
blurring will continue.”
Scoot, a subsidiary of the Singapore Airlines (SIA)
Group, is pushing the range boundaries the furthest.
Te carrier operates 18 Boeing 787-8s and -9s, mainly
on medium-haul routes to destinations in Asia, Australia and India. However, it also has a sub-fleet of four
-8s configured for longer-haul flying. Tese have 329
seats compared to the 335 seats in its other -8s, and
375 in its -9s.
Te airline’s first route outside Asia was from Singapore to Athens, launched in June 2017. It added another long-range route, to Honolulu, Hawaii, via Osaka,
Japan, in December 2017, and a third to Berlin in June
2018. But the challenges of such routes are highlighted
by Scoot’s decision to cancel the Honolulu route from
June 2019 after a relatively short run.
One important lesson that has emerged for Asia-Pacific airlines is that a long-haul LCC operation must
be paired with a short-haul narrowbody LCC to provide feed. Tis is reflected in the SIA Group’s move to
merge Scoot with its other LCC subsidiary Tigerair,
which operates Airbus A320-family aircraft. Te pair
was combined under the Scoot brand in 2017. One of
“You need a premium cabin, you need feed and you need cargo.”
Daniel Roeska, Bernstein Research