Twenty-four hours on a budget airline: Scoot tempts Australians with $300 fares to Europe

Singaporean budget airline Scoot is offering Australians the chance to fly to London for as little as $309 as part of its 10-year anniversary sale.

Price comparison website Finder managed to find fares to London from as low as $309 from Perth and the Gold Coast, and from $349 from Sydney and Melbourne.

Elsewhere in Europe, Scoot is offering even cheaper fares from major Australian cities to Berlin and Athens.

Examples include Gold Coast to Berlin for $179, and Perth to Athens for $279.

Finder travel expert Stephanie Yip said the savings are unprecedented.

She found the fares from Australia to Europe are roughly $30 cheaper today than during Scoot’s last major promotion in April.

The low fares, which do come with a catch, are selling out fast.

“While we won’t deny what an incredible sale this is for those running a tight budget and a light backpack, it does have its drawbacks, and if you’re willing to put a little more dosh into your travel fund you could score something with a little more comfort [and] a swifter flight,” Ms Yip told The New Daily.

Scoot is one of the largest budget airlines in the region, alongside Jetstar and Air Asia.

Scoot is one of the largest budget airlines in the region, alongside Jetstar and Air Asia. Photo: Getty

Long-haul on a budget

Budget airlines typically fly short jaunts between states or nearby countries.

That’s what makes these affordable flights from Australia to Europe so unique.

Scoot was founded in 2012 by Singapore Airways, and it absorbed its now-defunct competitor Tiger Airways a few years later. It currently competes with the likes of Jetstar and Air Asia, offering a decidedly no-frills experience.

Flying with Scoot from Sydney to London, for example, typically involves 24 hours in the air plus stopovers in Singapore and Bangkok.

Scoot's economy cabin is spartan compared to full-service airlines.

Scoot’s economy cabin is spartan compared to full-service airlines. Photo: Yusuke Kawasaki/CC BY

And, like with most low-cost airlines, checked baggage is an optional add-on.

Onboard, there’s no in-flight entertainment, and food and drink cost extra.

Scoot infamously has a policy of not allowing passengers to bring their own food onboard.

Enforcement is another matter, though.

And these policies haven’t stopped Scoot from snagging a few gongs in its 10 years of operation.

Airline rating agency Skytrax declared Scoot to be the world’s best long-haul, low-cost airline in 2021, with Jetstar in second place.

A screenshot capturing some of the advertised deals on Scoot’s website on June 3.

The competition

The vast majority of Australians travelling to Europe will continue to opt for full-service airlines like Qantas, Emirates, Qatar and Singapore Airways, all of which offer warm meals, entertainment and checked luggage as standard.

Flying with these airlines also involves just a single stopover at a major hub airport.

Scoot’s discount, three-flight journey from Australia to Europe evokes Qantas’ so-called Kangaroo Route of decades past.

Back then, planes didn’t have the range to fly non-stop and thus had to stopover in multiple cities between Australia and Europe.

But times have changed.

Next year, Qantas will launch the world’s first non-stop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Europe off the back of the existing Perth-London route.

It is promising a world-class cabin experience, enough room to walk around and stretch, and no need to mingle at layover airports along the way.

A screenshot capturing some of the available deals on June 3.

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