According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, scoot means “to move swiftly”, but with the new Singapore Airlines subsidiary choosing to be named “Scoot”, I am not sure if they are hitting or missing the point. To me, it looks more like they are missing the point than getting it!
Scoot, which was officially unveiled today, has been getting quite some press even before it took off. With this airline, Singapore Airlines wants to complete the loop of offering a choice of services to passengers. SIA being the full-service version, SilkAir being the regional version and Scoot being the medium to long-haul intercontinental version.
The modus operandi is simple. The airline will operate in a 2-class configuration, and allow customization of most parts of the flying experience such as meals, luggage and seat selection for a cost. Pricing is intended to be about 40% cheaper than a full service player. The launch is intended by mid 2012, and the airline intends to fly to China and Australia to start with, and add destinations in Asia, Africa, N. America amongst others. The selection of the B777, to be fitted with 400 seats, indicates they are very confident of filling up these big birds, although it remains to be seen how much cannibalization will happen for the parent brand SIA.
The mandate of the airline is to fly away to destinations 5 to 10 hours away, which is where my issue with the brand starts. By no stretch of imagination would I call 5+ hours of flying as getting somewhere quickly.
And perhaps TBWA who suggested this name to them forgot this basic correlation here. I know that Apple does not really grow apples and Mango is the new phone software from Microsoft. But Scoot still somehow does not portray the correct image in my head for a long-distance carrier.
The press release on the Scoot website explains why they chose the name. Find it here.
“We chose the name ‘Scoot’ for many reasons, not least because it‘s different. Rather than the tried and tired “airlines” this, “airways” that or “air” yawn, it’s short, sharp and snappy. It stands out. It’s geographically independent, and can be a verb or a noun. Besides difference, it conveys spontaneity, movement, informality and a touch of quirkiness—all attributes we intend this Company to be known for,” said Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson.
I have my differences. Only if Mr. Wilson could convince me. I know he can use the much quoted line by Shakespeare, “Whats in a name?” and get away with it!