Exclusive interview: Why is Scoot adding Embraer narrowbodies to its fleet?


Low-cost carrier Scoot had a remarkable 2023. Among other accomplishments, the Singapore Airlines-owned company won the title of ‘Best Low-Cost Carrier’ at the Trade Travel Gazette (TTG) Travel Awards and Travel Weekly Asia Readers’ Choice Awards in October, and also bagged ‘Best Low Cost Long Haul Airline’ for the third consecutive year at the Skytrax World Airline Awards at the 2023 Paris Air Show. 

While accepting the award for ‘Best Low Cost Long Haul Airline’ in Paris, Scoot CEO Leslie Thng said the airline will “continue to pave the way in redefining value travel in the industry.”

Less than a year later, Scoot is doing exactly that. The airline, which boasts a fleet of entirely Airbus A320s and Boeing B787 Dreamliners, is now adding an entirely new aircraft type – the Embraer E190-E2. 

At the 2024 Singapore Airshow, AeroTime caught up with Scoot’s COO, Ng Chee Keong, more popularly known as CK Ng, for the next installment of our Executive Spotlight interview series. 

Ng shared how the Embraer E190-E2 integrates with the airline’s operational vision, how the airline crew is training for the new aircraft, and how Scoot is adjusting aircraft maintenance to suit a completely new aircraft type.

Why the Embraer E190-E2 is now part of Scoot’s fleet

Ng said the single-aisle Embraer E190-E2 will give Scoot the chance to “experiment” with new routes and being able to explore new frontiers

“The Embraer E190-E2 basically will allow us to fly to places where we find that if we operate with the conventional A320 or the 787s will be over capacitated,” Ng explained. “There are some places where we think we don’t have that kind of capacity yet.”

Ng’s comments are validated by Embraer’s outlook on the Asia-Pacific region.

During a 2024 Singapore Airshow media roundtable, Adam Young, Embraer Vice President Marketing for APAC, said the company sees a demand for secondary cities or tertiary destinations in the region. 

Young added that the market shift to secondary cities, which often have smaller airports, will spark a demand for small narrowbody aircraft in Asia-Pacific. 

The first of Scoot’s nine E190-E2 aircraft is expected to arrive sometime in April 2024, and will come from Embraer’s manufacturing facility in São José dos Campos, Brazil.


In March 2024, Scoot revealed the first six destinations its new Embraer E190-E2 plane will fly to, and they are all secondary cities. 

New destinations: 

  • Koh Samui Airport (USM) 
  • Sibu International Airport (SBW)

Existing destinations: 

  • Hat Yai International Airport (HDY) 
  • Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport (KUA)
  • Krabi International Airport (KBV)
  • Miri International Airport (MYY) 

In a May 2023 Airport Technology report, Scoot CEO Leslie Thng said the E190-E2s will allow the airline to serve “thinner routes to non-metro destinations out of Singapore”.

How is Scoot training its crew for the new Embraer fleet?

Ng expressed his eagerness to welcome the E190-E2s into Scoot’s fleet, a new aircraft type, which he said is “totally nascent” in Singapore and the region. 

“I daresay that Embraer doesn’t show its face pretty much [in the region]. So, in that sense, I welcome the new addition and I’m very sure the general public and our customers are very excited,” he said.

Ng also said that because the airline is welcoming a new aircraft type, it has looked at training all departments and areas from engineering and pilot and cabin crew training to ground support and even ramp support facilities. 

He added that training has been implemented for the smallest of equipment, “even as basic as a tow bar”. 

“Each aircraft type has its own organic tow bar, and the E190-E2’s is different,” he said. 

Image: Embraer

When it comes to pilot training for the Embraer E190-E2, Ng expressed the importance of minimal disruption to current operations, hence the preference to base the simulators in Singapore. 

“We have simulators in Singapore for the 787 and the 320s, but in order for us to optimize training and to not have too much traveling time overseas, we’d rather have the simulator in Singapore,” Ng said.

Ng shared that one of the “main attractions” of having Embraer in Singapore was that it was prepared to bring a simulator into the country.

“We basically had an opening ceremony,” Ng said. “We inaugurated the simulator a few days ago, so I would say that simulator training in Singapore was a first-hand opportunity for pilots to have time optimized between traveling overseas and all that.”

On February 19, 2024, Embraer and CAE officially inaugurated the APAC region’s first E-Jets E2 full flight simulator (FFS) in Singapore. The E2 training program features CAE’s competency-based training assessment (CBTA) courseware, interactive classroom instruction with the CAE Simfinity virtual simulator (VSIM), and immersive practical training in a new CAE 7000XR Series FFS. 

Scoot pilots have already begun training in preparation for the E190-E2’s entry into service later this year. For the training, pilots will experience all aspects of flight and practice multiple scenarios to enhance their skills and preparedness ahead of Scoot’s first revenue flights with the new aircraft.

Scoot’s cabin crew training for the E190-E2 is also conducted in Singapore. 

“For the cabin crew training, we have the door training in Singapore, so again it reduces the travel time overseas,” Ng explained. “When you are away from Singapore, it means you don’t have much time for day-to-day operations.” 

Regional MRO support 

Real_life_photo / Shutterstock.com

Ng said that the current line maintenance for the E190-E2s will be performed by SIA Engineering Company, which undertook training courses designed by Embraer. 

“They have to learn,” Ng said. “We have courses that were basically started by Embraer, from Brazil where they learn how to get a type rating for the engineers in order to fully service the aircraft down here.” 

With the demand for narrowbody aircraft and secondary destinations, Ng said Scoot is looking forward to the possibility of a regional support for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). 

“For MRO facilities, we are looking at regional support and that’s a possibility we are exploring right now,” Ng said. “In time to come, we will have an established Embraer MRO presence where we can carry out our checks.”

Image: Fokker Services

 In February 2024, Embraer entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fokker Services Asia, assigning Fokker Services Group Asia’s facility in Seletar, Singapore as an Authorized Service Center for Embraer’s first generation E-Jets family, supporting the steadily growing Embraer presence in the region.

On its website, Scoot promises the arrival of the Embraer E190-E2s will create a “wider network” and “new adventures”. 

So, with the plane manufacturer strengthening its presence in Asia-Pacific and the airline unveiling new destinations, it seems that Scoot’s customers can certainly look forward to reaching new frontiers.

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