From ‘Scoot? Likely name of SIA’s budget carrier’, 25 Aug 2011, article in asiaone.com
Scoot Airlines may well be the name of Singapore Airlines’ long-haul budget offshoot.
The Straits Times reported that it ran checks and found that New Aviation, SIA’s wholly owned subsidiary that will run the new entity, has registered “Scoot” as the trademark with the Intellectual Property of Singapore.
When ST asked SIA if “Scoot” was indeed the name chosen for the carrier, company spokesman Nicholas Ionides neither confirmed nor denied the finding.
He said: “Several names have been under consideration, but the management of the new airline is not able to confirm details of the branding at this stage.” The carrier is slated for launch by the middle of next year
Scoot would be an apt name to call an Autobot that transforms into a, well, scooter, but not a budget carrier. Scoot has a zippy, light-hearted exhilarative feel about it, but passengers don’t want a plane sounding like promiscuous bumblebee. They prefer something with a ‘Air’ or ‘Jet’ in it to provide the assurance that the plane actually stays in the air as it’s supposed to, especially for a long haul flight. Air travel is serious business, and even if the risk of a plane being disabled by lightning is next to zero, somehow the thought of ‘Scoot’ Airlines braving turbulence wouldn’t bode well even for the hardiest traveler.
It’s a name you can use for a hang-glider or a World War One biplane, basically any cute contraption that whirls, spins and chugs as you manoeuvre it, but using it on a carrier is like giving your bodyguard a name like ‘Twerp’, ‘Squirt’ or ‘PePe’. You don’t have to be majestic about it, but neither should one give an SIA offshoot a name that can pass off as one of the Seven dwarfs, a zesty carbonated drink (Scoot is It!), a dishwashing liquid (Scoot germs away!) or even a Pokemon (Scoot! I choose you!). Scoot gives a sense of jittery lightness and smallness, and worse, it carries faecal connoations because Scoot sounds like a hybrid of scat and poo and is onomatopoeia for a wet fart all at the same time.
The word scoot is even outdated in today’s context, and probably hasn’t been seen anywhere in popular media since Archie comics ( ‘Hey, Jughead, could you scoot over and grab me a milkshake?). But here’s a list of rather twee low-cost airline names: Mango (South Africa), Firely ( Malaysia), Wizz *snigger* Air (Hungary). The closest names to ‘Scoot’ are from Canada, ‘Zip’ and ‘Zoom’ Airlines, both now defunct and proof that you should never use action words implying haste in your airline names. One of the worst names ever imagined belonged to an Australian carrier (IMPULSE airlines), which was subsequently renamed to the less dangerous sounding ‘Jetstar’. They might as well have named it ICARUS AIR. So, branding is important for airlines just like any commercial product, which brings me to the evolution of our very successful SIA.
The first suggestions following the Malaysia-Singapore Airlines split in 1971 to register our very own carrier included the likes of National Singapore Airline and MAJULAH Singapore Airline, which is understandable in light of the patriotism behind this pivotal moment in aviation history. In 1972, someone thought of ‘Mercury Singapore Airlines’, which has a cosmic element to it, though Mercury is the smallest planet (excluding Pluto) and closest to the Sun. Thankfully, we settled on the simplicity of Singapore Airlines, though SIA has had more than its fair share of success thanks to its stewardesses and a suggestive tagline rather than the brand name itself.