Singapore Airline's low-cost offshoot Scoot will make the Boeing 787 Dreamliner the backbone of its fleet, with 20 of the next-gen jets on order for delivery starting 2014.
Scoot will adopt the stretched 787-9 version, which with Scoot's two class layout of ScootBiz business class and economy will see the seat tally blast past the 300 mark.
The 20 aircraft, originally ordered by parent Singapore Airlines, list at US$243m each, represent a staggering US$4.86bn investment by the startup at official prices (although no airline ever pays the full sticker price).
"Since commencing operations in June 2012, Scoot has quickly established itself as a low-cost airline with a difference,” said Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson.
“Today's announcement that we'll be acquiring 20 Boeing 787’s to power our growth is exciting news and great for our guests – not least because the aircraft's fuel efficiency will help keep ticket prices low.”
Scoot's 787s will feature different seating compared to the airline's current fleet, as Boeing insists on an 'off the plan' approach for the Dreamliner's economy section in which seats are chosen from a roster of Boeing-approved suppliers and models.
While airlines are free to select 'premium' seats from the same roster or install their own third-party supplied seat, cost-conscious airlines such as Scoot will lean towards the cheaper and faster option to have seats from the catalogue installed by Boeing as the 787s make their way down the assembly line.
In related news, Singapore Airlines has ordered five additional Airbus A380 superjumbos plus 20 more A350s.
Scoot joins Jetstar as one of the low-cost carriers stumping up for the Boeing 787, based on its reduced running costs via lower fuel consumption and longer time between major maintenance milestones.