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Singapore Airlines' LCC arm Scoot to fly to Honolulu via Osaka

New routes being added to enhance network, as group pushes ahead with internal integration

SINGAPORE -- Singapore Airlines' low-cost arm Scoot announced on Tuesday that it will fly a new route, to Honolulu via Osaka. The route will give a new low-cost option for Japanese travelers to popular holiday destinations Hawaii and Singapore. It also marks the first foray for Scoot to the U.S. market, and the first time for Scoot to fly to Japan non-stop.

The announcement came as Scoot completed the integration with its sister LCC, Tigerair. SIA decided to merge two LCC subsidiaries last year so that they can operate more efficiently as a group, and compete more effectively with other LCCs as well as powerful competitors from China and Middle East.

Scoot is aiming to commence the Singapore-Osaka-Honolulu service, which flies four times a week, by the end of the year. The target is to meet the seasonal peak for both the Japanese and the Singaporean market, if necessary regulatory approvals are granted. The direct flight to Japan became possible as the carrier built up its fleet of fuel-efficient Boeing 787 aircraft.

As the Japan-bound trip remains popular among Singapore holiday makers, SilkAir, another subsidiary of SIA, also plans to add Hiroshima to its destinations starting in October.

Scoot announced the Honolulu route as a part of the expansion plan, which includes new destinations such as Harbin, China, and Kuantan, Malaysia. Two other short-haul destinations are to be transferred from SilkAir, as the group seeks ways to optimize aircraft utilization.

Integration and optimization among the group airlines are the core of SIA's strategy to survive the tough competition. SIA reported a net loss of 138.3 million Singapore dollars ($101 million) for the quarter ended March, the first quarterly loss since the same period in 2012. The full-service market is especially tough, and the group's main full service carrier booked its first quarterly operating loss since the January-March quarter in 2014.

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