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Scoot to fly to 8 more Australian cities (Amended)

Budget carrier teams up with Virgin Australia to fly to Adelaide, Ayers Rock Uluru, Brisbane, Canberra, Cairns, Hobart, Launceston and Melbourne

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"Our new partnership with Virgin Australia expands our coverage of Australia yet further, so ... Scoot - and Virgin - have Australia covered," says Mr Wilson.

Singapore

SCOOT is expanding its footprint by tying up with Virgin Australia to add eight more Australian destinations to its network.

The cities are Adelaide, Ayers Rock Uluru, Brisbane, Canberra, Cairns, Hobart, Launceston and Melbourne, the medium/long-haul budget carrier said on Monday.

Scoot had announced previously that it will start operating to Melbourne as well, but this will only commence from November this year.

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Through the interline partnership with Virgin Australia, Scoot's passengers will now be able to fly on direct flights operated by Scoot into Sydney, Gold Coast or Perth, and then onward to the eight destinations on flights operated by Virgin Australia.

The budget carrier is wholly owned by Singapore Airlines (SIA), which in turn is a key stakeholder - along with Air New Zealand and Etihad - in Virgin Australia.

Scoot's chief executive Campbell Wilson said: "Australia was Scoot's very first destination and, since launching flights to Sydney in June 2012 we've added Gold Coast, Perth and, soon, Melbourne. Our new partnership with Virgin Australia expands our coverage of Australia yet further, so whether it's north, south, east or west, Scoot - and Virgin - have Australia covered."

The budget carrier will receive the first of 20 Boeing 787s early next month, which will see it eventually phasing out its existing fleet of B777-200 aircraft. In an interview last year with The Business Times, Mr Wilson said that growth in its network will likely come from additional destinations in Japan, China and Australia.

Separately, Scoot and SIA's subsidiary, Tiger Airways, are trying to build up the volume of connecting traffic between the two budget carriers after receiving approval from the Competition Commission of Singapore last year to work together.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, its joint venture with Nok Air, dubbed Nok-Scoot, is expected to start operating from Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport in the first quarter of this year.

Shares in SIA closed at S$12.50 in the stock market on Monday, up 34 cents.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Scoot is adding seven more Australian destinations to its network, when the correct figure should be eight. The article has been revised to reflect this.

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