SINGAPORE - Budget carrier Scoot will start flying the first of its 20 new Boeing 787 planes to Perth and Hong Kong from early next month, with almost all the aircraft to be fitted with made-in- Singapore engines.
The airline is set to receive the plane on Feb 2. The plan is to launch the inaugural flight to Perth on Feb 5, after which the aircraft will fly to Hong Kong early the next morning.
The Singapore Airlines subsidiary expects to receive its second B-787 in early March and the third plane the following month, its chief executive, Mr Campbell Wilson, told The Straits Times.
"After Perth and Hong Kong, we will fly the aircraft to Sydney and Gold Coast and, after that, possibly to Bangkok," he said.
Apart from the Australian destinations, Bangkok and Hong Kong, Scoot also operates from Singapore to Taipei, Tokyo, Seoul and the Chinese cities of Tianjin, Shenyang, Nanjing and Qingdao.
Its B-787s, which will have up to 375 seats in two classes, are primarily made of carbon-fibre composite material, making them lighter and more fuel-efficient than similar-sized airplanes.
They are powered by Rolls- Royce engines, almost all of which will be assembled and tested at the British firm's facility at Seletar Aerospace Park.
The fan blades - the engine's main component - are also made here.
The Seletar facility produces Rolls- Royce's flagship Trent engines: the Trent 1000, fitted on B-787s; and the Trent 900, which powers the Airbus 380 superjumbos.
One Trent 1000 engine, which took about 80 people to assemble and test, was unveiled yesterday at the facility. Engines produced there are fitted on planes operated by carriers around the world.
To boost interest in the aerospace sector among young people, Rolls-Royce will embark on a 10- day tour in April, taking the Trent 1000 to secondary and tertiary institutions, the firm's regional director (Asia-Pacific) Jonathan Asherson said.
"We'd like young Singaporeans to be fascinated and aware of the flourishing aerospace industry in Singapore, where today we are capable of making, flying and servicing engines throughout their entire life cycle. This is part of their future and we hope that they will be inspired to be a part of it."
Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was guest of honour at the event, said it is remarkable that such work is being done in Singapore, which has no history in the manufacture of aircraft engines.
"There was a time when Singapore was known to produce toys, hair wigs and mosquito coils," he said, adding that today, the workforce is capable of much more, but the learning and training must continue as technologies advance and industries evolve.
This article was first published on Jan 21, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.