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Scoot has to be aggressive with tactical fares to drive volume in India, says marketing head

Scoot's acting VP marketing: 'Scoot has to be aggressive with tactical fares to drive volume in India'

Last year Singaporean budget airline Scoot extended its services into India after it identified the country as an opportunity for growth.

To find out about Scoot's marketing strategy in India, a market in which the competition is intense,The Drum spoke with Jacqueline Loh, Scoot’s acting vice president of marketing, product and ancillaries.

Loh said that the heightened competition meant Scoot had to be aggressive with its strategy.

“India is indeed very competitive. There are numerous distribution factors that make it challenging for a newcomer like Scoot, and with tighter budgets than other homegrown players, we have to be aggressive with tactical fares to drive volume. Our brand campaigns are very targeted and we hope to stand out not just with our message but also with the segment we target – young nuclear families. This is a departure from the traditional way in which Indian families travel," she explained.

“At the same time, we run campaigns marketing India to the rest of our network as well. For example, we have an upcoming one that features Jaipur as a family holiday destination for young Australian families. We also work with various influencers in Southeast Asia to market India as an adventure destination.”

Recently, Scoot merged with Tiger Air and the resulting entity is now called Scoot. Scoot now has a new tagline, Escape the Ordinary, which is an update from the previous Get Outta Here!

As to what follows post the rebranding process, she said: “We still want our consumers to know Scoot as the cheeky, youthful and fun airline we have set out to be since our debut. Although we offer budget fares, traveling with us doesn’t have to be a boring or uncomfortable experience.

We recently launched our 'Permitted on Board' campaign across 35 markets, and it challenges that low-cost, low-expectations mindset that many carry about budget travel. For a start, our surprise parties onboard Scoot’s A230 flights have been very well-received! These are for routes and markets which were previously serviced by Tigerair before our merger and might not be familiar with our unique and fun-loving Scootitude, so we are going all out to charm them! So far, we have held inflight parties with glow-in-the dark, neon lights and acapella performances that had our passengers belting their hearts out.”

To introduce the new Scoot brand, it is bringing consumers interactive multi-city roadshows powered by virtual reality (VR) technology in the coming months.

Loh said: "Not only will we be introducing the Scoot brand, we’ll be bringing the Dreamliner product to them. Through immersive virtual reality technology, participants will be able to “walk” through the interior of a 787 Dreamliner cabin, where they will be able to witness its spacious and comfortable cabins, bigger overhead storage and larger windows. This ties in with subverting the idea that budget travel is always an uncomfortable experience, because Scoot’s Dreamliner and broad suite of product and service offerings redefines that."

A lot of travel companies are joining forces with government entities to achieve the required support to strengthen their reach and impact. Uber partnered with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to launch Unified Payments Interface integration to unlock the potential of fintech innovations in India, while Airbnb agreed ties with Maharashtra government. Scoot airlines too has taken over operations in Kochi since its integration with Tigerair for tourism promotion.

Loh commented: “As always, we are open to exploring potential partnerships and new destinations in Kochi that will complement our fantastic value product and service offerings, provided traffic continues to be robust, to enhance the travel experience for our guests.”

Scoot also recently worked with Tourism and Events Queensland to drive visitor arrivals from Chennai into Gold Coast through radio stations in multiple cities including Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.

Like many others, Scoot too has ventured into digital payments. Scoot partnered with Worldpay as its exclusive payments provider to expand more rapidly into new global markets with a wide range of popular payment methods.

Collaboration is on the agenda closer to home too and Loh added: “Within the Singapore Airlines Group, Scoot is partnering with SilkAir and Singapore Airlines to align our flight connection service so that guests arriving on these carriers need not go through the hassle of passing through immigration or retrieving their luggage to check-in for their connecting flight on another carrier within the Group. The KrisFlyer frequent flyer programme is also another way we are tightening collaboration with SilkAir and Singapore Airlines, where Scoot passengers can earn KrisFlyer miles when traveling by purchasing the PlusPerks bundle, and Scoot vouchers can be redeemed with KrisFlyer miles.”

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