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Formed and started operations in 2014. Medium to long-haul low cost carrier, scheduled & charter, regional & international, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
Don Mueang International Airport
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October 2014: NokScoot (NSC) is a new Thailand based, medium to long-haul low cost carrier (LCC), as a joint venture (JV) of Thailand's Nok Air (NKA) and Singapore based Scoot (SCT), operating medium to long-haul international services with wide body airplanes.
Nok Air (NKA) announced it would boost its holding in long-haul joint venture (JV) NokScoot (NSC) (formed with Singapore (LCC) Scoot (SCT)) with an injection of $7.3 million as of late October.
(NKA) said this would increase its holding to 47.5% of the new Thai long-haul company operating out of Don Mueang International Airport. However, the original launch of NokScoot (NSC) planned to see Scoot (SCT) hold 49% (the statutory limit for foreign ownership) and Nok Air (NKA) 51%; this points to a dilution of the original division with a 3rd company, Pueannammitr carrying a crucial voting balance of shares. The initial capital outlay was 3 billion baht.
(IATA) Code: XW. (IATA) Code: NCT.
Company slogan: "Fly Awesome!"
Main Base: Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), Bangkok, Thailand.
November 2014: NokScoot (NSC), Thailand's newest low cost carrier (LCC), was proud to officially unveil its airplane livery together with its cabin crew uniform design. Its -777-200ER airplane arrived at its home base, Don Mueang International Airport, on November 23, 2014.
The livery features the iconic beak of Nok Air (NKA), while the lively yellow swoosh, similar to Scoot (SCT)'s, is painted across the white fuselage. The NokScoot (NSC) logo stands proudly on the tail fin.
"The design not only represents our spirit of adventure and exploration, but it also reflects who we are. Our fun, cheerfulness and friendliness will be present both in the air and on the ground at all airports," said Piya Yodmani, NokScoot (NSC)'s (CEO).
Together, NokScoot (NSC) introduced the design of its cabin crew (CA) uniform. Bright yellow and neat black colors are incorporated in the design to portray the airline's cheerfulness and professionalism. "The uniform will always be an evocative symbol of the enjoyable travel and friendly service that our passengers will experience when flying with NokScoot (NSC). We value simplicity and efficiency. As a result, the design looks quite minimalist, yet still smart. The design also allows our cabin crew (CA) to perform their duties comfortably," said Piya.
January 2015: 777-212ER (30866, HS-XBC), Singapore Airlines (SIA) leased, ex-(9V-SRH).
February 2015: NokScoot ((IATA) Code: XW, based at Bangkok Don Mueang) (NSC) has revised the planned launch of scheduled operations to early May of this year, regulatory approvals notwithstanding. Having secured both its Air Transport Service License and its Air Operators Certificates (AOC)s from the Thai government last year, the start-up has been in the process of securing the requisite operating permits and slots for its intended international routes.
Minority shareholder, the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group, said in its earnings announcement for the 3rd quarter of its 2015 Financial Year that while NokScoot (NSC) had originally intended to serve Tokyo Narita in Japan initially, it would now adopt a more flexible approach and would consider serving Japan alongside South Korea and China in its opening phase.
On its launch, the long haul budget carrier will operate a trio of high-density 777-200ERs, formerly with Scoot ((IATA) Code: TZ, based at Singapore Changi) (SCT), featuring 415 seats in a 2-class configuration. According to (CAPA), NokScoot (NSC) has confirmed that it does not plan to operate any additional 777s beyond the initial 3 and is instead looking to secure 2017 delivery slots for new generation aircraft (most likely 787-9s, although it also plans to look at A330s).
March 2015: Bangkok-based, NokScoot (NSC) has chosen airRM software, developed by Revenue Management Systems (RMS), to provide revenue management, inventory control and reporting tools. This system will allow NokScoot (NSC) to oversee its flight inventory, manage pricing and analyze performance.
(NSC) is a joint venture (JV) between Singapore-based Scoot (SCT) and Thai-based Nok Air (NKA). The airRM software is used by >50 airlines.
April 2015: Japan's Civil Aviation Agency has agreed to temporarily lift a ban preventing Thailand-registered airlines from operating charter flights to Japan from April 11 to May 31, Thai Transport Minister, Air Chief Marshall Prajin Junthong said.
Citing safety concerns highlighted by an international audit, the agency late in March imposed a ban on Thai airlines from operating new charter and scheduled services to Japan.
Nearly 120,000 travelers seeking to go to Japan on flights operated by national carrier, Thai Airways International (TII), as well as long-haul, low-cost carriers (LCC)s like Thai AirAsiaX (THX) and NokScoot (NSC), had been expecte to be affected by the ban.
Under the provisional lifting of the ban, airlines are not permitted to change the type of airplanes they have indicated they will operate, Prajin said. Scheduled flights to Japan will continue to operate as normal, he said.
Thailand's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) aims to complete on April 10 the re-evaluation of 6 airlines' licences and will send the finding to Japan's Civil Aviation Agency, Voradech Hanprasert, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Thai Transport Ministry, said.
The 6 included Thai Airways (TII), Thai AirAsiaX (THX), NokScoot (NSC), Jet Asia Airways (JSZ), Asia Atlantic Airlines (AAQ) and Asian Air (?).
NokScoot (NSC), a joint venture (JV) between Nok Air (NKA) and (SCT), a Singapore Airlines (SIA) subsidiary, is expected to be most affected, given it needs to delay launch of new scheduled flights to Japan, Voradech said.
The safety concern was raised in late March during an audit of the (DCA) by the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which gave (DCA) a 90-day grace period to comply with international standards.
Voradech said the (DCA) has to improve its operations to meet a deadline in June, while Thai authorities will speed up the restructuring of the (DCA) and the amendment of regulations by October.
Over the next two months, the (DCA) will also re-evaluate all 41 licences it granted to airlines, starting with 28 carriers flying international routes, to ensure that its operations are in line with (ICAO) standards, Prajin, the Thai Transport Minister, said.
Thailand has struggled for almost a decade to comply with (ICAO) standards, the Minister has said.
May 2015: News Item A-1: The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) will inspect the Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) records and procedures of Thai airlines after an (ICAO) report revealed lapses in compliance standards.
The Thai carriers subject to inspection include NokScoot (NSC), Orient Thai Airlines (OTH), City Airways and R Airlines.
Following the report, which categorized Thai-administered aviation procedures as “of significant concern,” both South Korea and Japan issued bans on new charter and scheduled flight services out of Thailand.
“Civil aviation authorities of China [have said they will] focus on suspected or new airlines,” said Piya Yodmani, (CEO) at startup low-cost carrier (LCC) NokScoot (NSC). “We are ready for the authorities’ examination.”
Yodmani added that NokScoot (NSC), a joint venture (JV) between Thai regional, Nok Air (NKA) and Singapore-based Scoot (SCT) (LCC)s, was hoping for permission to open Don Mueang - Nanjing scheduled services in the coming weeks.” We aren’t worried about any issues as we are certain NokScoot (NSC) will pass the checks,” Yodmani added.
However, it is possible that the majority of Thai charter operations will face a blanket China ban. The (CAAC) is said to be already looking at prioritizing scheduled carriers before charter flights “due to airspace congestion.”
The Thai government has responded to the (ICAO) report with the introduction of 2 new safety oversight bodies (National Civil Aviation Institute (NCAI) and Air Transport Department (ATD)).
Thai Secretary of the Transport Ministry, Pongchai Kahemthavihak said (ICAO)’s concerns with respect to hazardous cargo and air operator’s certificates (AOCs) have already been addressed, adding that a deadline has been set for the remaining aspects to be addressed.
NokScoot (NSC) had something of a ‘soft’ launch on May 20th, when (NSC) operated its 1st scheduled flight between Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) and Singapore (SIN). (NSC)’s daily service on the 1,442 km route will be flown by its 777-200s and faces direct competition from Thai AirAsia (THA) (42x-weekly flights) and Scoot (SCT) (daily flights). In addition, the airline faces indirect competition from +5 more carriers (Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT), Jetstar Asia (JSA), Singapore Airlines (SIA), Thai Airways (TII) and Tigerair Singapore (TGR)), who between them operate around 20 daily flights between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Singapore.
September 2015: NokScoot ((IATA) Code: XW, based at Bangkok Don Mueang) (NSC) is planning to cooperate with Singaporean parent, Scoot ((IATA) Code: TZ, based at Singapore Changi) (SCT) on planned flights to Hawaii.
Patee Sarasin, the (CEO) of the budget carrier's Thai parent, Nok Air ((IATA) Code: DD, based at Bangkok Don Mueang) (NKA), said in an interview that while NokScoot (NSC) could deploy its fleet of 777-200ERs on flights to Honolulu, it would prefer to use Scoot (SCT)'s more economical fleet of 787s. (NSC) will also hold talks with Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) as the Thais believe (HWI) could provide valuable Los Angeles International feed traffic through its Honolulu hub.
NokScoot (NSC) currently operates a trio of 777s on flights from its Bangkok Don Mueang hub to Nanjing in China and soon, Taipei Taoyuan, with Scoot (SCT) operating services to Osaka Kansai and Singapore Changi. Its expansion plans have been severely curtailed following the International Civil Aviation Authority's (ICAO) decision to formally instate a Serious Safety Concern (SSC) against Thailand earlier this year.
October 2015: NokScoot (NSC) started its 3rd route on October 25. Following the launch of services to Singapore in May and Nanjing in June, (NSC) has now begun 4x-weekly flights from Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Taipei Taoyuan (TPE). The 2,485 km route is already served by Tigerair Taiwan (TTW) and V Air (VAX) with daily flights, while China Airlines (CHI) (21x-weekly flights) and (EVA) Air (18x-weekly flights) provide direct flights between Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Taipei. (NSC) will operate the new route with 777-200s. Additional new routes to Qingdao and Tianjin are scheduled to start during the winter season.
November 2015: NokScoot (NSC) begins 4x-weekly Bangkok (DMK) - Qingdao Boeing 777-200 service on November 25.
December 2015: Low cost carrier (LCC) NokScoot (NSC) will begin 4x-weekly, Bangkok - Tianjin Boeing 777-200 service, adding to (NSC)’s recent Nanjing and Qingdao destinations in China.
June 2016: "Value Alliance: the Hubs, Focus Airports and Routes Where Alliance Members Might Gain Synergies", by (CAPA), June 20,2016.
Since the Value Alliance was announced in May 2016 as the 2nd low cost carrier (LCC) alliance, there has been industry interest about how and where the alliance can deliver synergies. The 9 initial members of the Value Alliance include Cebu Pacific (CEB), Cebgo (SRQ), Jeju Air (JJA), Nok Air (NKA), NokScoot (NSC), Scoot (SCT), Tigerair Singapore (TGR), Tigerair Australia (TAU) and Vanilla Air (VNL).
Tokyo Narita is the alliance hub with more service from Value members (5) than any other. But Asia's most popular airports for Value members are not where the alliance has a local member: Taipei and Hong Kong.
In terms of frequency, Manila and Bangkok Don Mueang have the most Value flights, reflecting their local membership there. The local Value member based at an airport typically dominates the hub, accounting for >90% of Value flights. That creates a strong feed network for other members but also (potentially) competition that may be too strong. Members overlap on only 6 routes so far and their combined frequency gives them a scale advantage against non-Value (LCC)s. Although it is premature to evaluate the effectiveness of the alliance (new members will join and existing members will grow) this analysis looks at where there are network opportunities for cooperation.
* Airports most frequented by Value Alliance are not member hubs.
There are services from 3 or more members of the Value Alliance at 15 airports in Asia. This includes Tigerair (TGR) and Scoot (SCT), which have the same ownership, but excludes Cebu (CEB) and Cebgo (SRQ), since (CEB) owns (SRQ). (TGR) and (SCT) are expected to merge, with only 1 brand surviving.
5 airports have services from 4 or more alliance members. The 2 most popular airports (Taipei Taoyuan (6) and Hong Kong (5)) are not local hubs for the Value Alliance. 3 airports have services from 4 Value members: Hanoi, Osaka Kansai, and Tokyo Narita. Only Tokyo Narita is a Value hub (served by Vanilla Air (VNL)), although Osaka Kansai is a growing focal point for (VNL) and in time, will likely become a hub.
Taipei is home to 2 (LCC)s – Tigerair Taiwan (TTW) and V Air (VAX) (but neither is a member of Value (or of U-FLY)). Tigerair Taiwan (TTW) is 10% owned by the Tigerair Holdings but is not a member, and is expected to be wholly under control of the China Airlines (BEJ) Group, once the expected Tigerair (TGR)/Scoot (SCT) merger occurs. V Air (VAX) is owned by TransAsia (FSH) and has no partnership affiliations. TransAsia (FSH), a full service regional airline, is not a member of a global alliance.
It is not without coincidence that the most commonly served airports are in NE Asia. Taipei and Hong Kong are accessible from both SE Asia and northern NE Asia with narrow body aircraft, making the 2 airports accessible for all members. Only Jin Air (JIN) (not an alliance member) is a NE Asian wide body (LCC) operator, so NE Asia’s (LCC)s are restricted from flying deep into SE Asia.
In contrast, SE Asia has 3 wide body (LCC) operators that are belong to an alliance: Scoot (SCT), NokScoot (NSC) and Cebu (CEB). (CEB) can access NE Asia with narrow body aircraft, although it sometimes uses wide body aircraft on trunk/congested routes. There are services from 3 Value members at 10 airports, and all but 3 are Value member hubs.
* Measured by frequency, most services are at Value alliance member hubs.
This analysis next looks at the largest airports in the Value Alliance based on weekly frequencies. This analysis comprises the 21 largest airports (the 20th and 21st largest have the same number of frequencies). The 6 largest airports are all member hubs.
The 4 largest (Manila, Bangkok (DMK), Singapore, and Cebu) are significantly larger than the rest. Of the 10 largest airports based on member frequency, only 2 (Hong Kong and Taipei Taoyuan) are not member hubs.
* Largest Value Alliance airports are dominated by their members.
13 of the region's largest airports have >7 daily flights from alliance members. Each is dominated by its local alliance member. At the 2 largest (Manila and Bangkok (DMK)) the local alliance hub member operates 98% and 94% of all flights by the alliance. In other words, of all Value flights at Manila, Cebu (CEB) operates 98% at Manila, while NokScoot (NSC) and Nok (NKA) operate 94% of all Value flights at Bangkok (DMK).
A Value Alliance Member typically accounts for >90% of alliance flights at its home. 4 airports are around the 80% mark, while there is no Value Alliance member operating flights at Bangkok (BKK) (they instead operate out of Bangkok (DMK)).
* Value Alliance members overlap on 6 routes.
There is a possibility that the Value Alliance could help (LCC)s gain scale on routes, especially where due to infrastructure constraints ( slots, air traffic, bilaterals) organic growth may not be an option.
In the week commencing Jun12, 2016 the Value Alliance members overlap on only 6 routes. This excludes overlap only between Scoot (SCT)/Tigerair (TGR) (owned by the same company and expected to be merged) and Cebu (CEB)/Cebgo (SRQ) ((CEB) owns (SRQ)). (CEB) has the most overlap (4 routes) followed by Jeju (JJA) (3), Tigerair (TGR) and Scoot (SCT) (2) and then Vanilla Air (VNL) (1).
No route has >2 operators. The frequency split varies between relatively even and lopsided. As this analysis is focused on the opportunity to offer more flights, frequency (not seats) is considered. The use of wide bodies at Scoot (SCT), and sometimes Cebu (CEB) would alter a capacity share analysis.
* Value Alliance opportunity to link Northeast Asia with Southeast Asia.
The geography of east Asia means that (LCC)s cannot serve the entire region with existing narrow body technology, although (LCC)s in some markets can come close. The final analysis in this report considers the ability of the Value Alliance to link Northeast Asia with SE Asia, and vice versa.
6 of the members have routes between NE and SE Asia. Vanilla Air (VNL) operates wholly within NE Asia but is examining a Taipei base to use 5th freedom rights to fly to SE Asia. Cebu Pacific (CEB) has the greatest number of flights between NE and SE Asia. This is probably unsurprising given the Philippines' geographical position, which is more between the regions. Tigerair (TGR) and Scoot (SCT) have approximately 10 routes between the regions.
Evaluating the opportunity is complex: routes are often to points where there is no service from another Value member, or there is limited frequency, and it may not enable a same-day connection, or a connection within reason. Some connections would be circuitous. But as noted earlier, it is too soon to evaluate the opportunity for the alliance.
* Outlook: long haul operator, member with central geography, could bring opportunity but also competition.
The Value Alliance faces the same conundrum as full service alliances: adding members brings opportunities but also competition. A member that is more central between the regions (such as in Hong Kong or Taiwan) could enable more links and connection opportunities.
Alternatively, that member may prefer to serve points on its own. (As (CAPA) has previously recorded, some Value members are expected to work with HK Express outside the (LCC) alliance organizations). More long haul operations could mean that an airline gains access to the strong regional hub of a partner in a different part of Asia. Alternatively, this could preclude cooperation between other members.
The opportunities for the Value members today are varied, but they do exist. With time, the synergies within the alliance should become greater. Most critically, this is all being developed with minimal cost, unlike the high joining and membership fees of full service alliances. While the gains may not seem as significant, neither are the costs.
Conclusion: As (CAPA) has previously concluded of the alliance:
* Joining the Value Alliance should be an appealing option for Asia’s independent (LCC)s since the cost and risk of membership are small. At the May 16, 2016 launch event, executives representing the founding members stressed that the concept is to add incremental passengers without incurring additional cost or adding any complexities. The members said that they would not have joined, if they had not been able to retain their business models.
* The main objective is for each member to increase their brand awareness across Asia-Pacific. The main objective is for each member to increase their brand awareness across Asia-Pacific and augment their distribution network through cross-selling. The alliance members pointed out that most of their brands are not well known outside their respective home markets.
* The members expect that the alliance will only generate a small increase in their interline traffic volumes (at least in the initial phase).
* Interline traffic for most members is a very small part of their overall business (for some it has even been non-existent) and most members do not expect that interline traffic will ever account for a large share of their overall traffic.
* The Value Alliance essentially offers its members a nothing-to-lose alternative for attempting to increase transit traffic and attract passengers in new markets who are now flying with other airlines. Even if the alliance only brings each member a +1% incremental gain in passenger traffic, it can be deemed a success, given the limited cost and the simplicity of the new offering.
* Asia’s independent (LCC)s need to evolve and embrace new alternatives if they are to maintain their growth trajectory and succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.