Behind the scenes: Scoot’s pilots and fleet technical specialist share their work experience

If you’ve ever had a quick overseas getaway, you’ll know the name Scoot like second nature. But do you know what it’s like to work for Scoot? We managed to get two interviews with Scoot’s very own pilots, as well as a fleet technical specialist, to uncover all the gritty details of what goes on behind the scenes.

In this blog post, we spoke to Junior First Officer Tao Han, Second Officer Justin, and tech fleet member Chun How. The guys gave us awesome insights on two distinct career paths. All you aviation enthusiasts, this one’s for you. You might just find some nuggets of wisdom in this power-packed post.

How did you end up as a pilot at Scoot?

TH: It was my childhood dream to be a pilot. However, I only gave deeper thought to flying as a career while in National Service. Back then, I was assigned to an air defence tank platform and really enjoyed operating the tank. After my first leisure flight in Johor Bahru, I told myself, “YES! I want to be a pilot!” I chose Scoot because it’s a fast-growing airline with a unique culture. This meant that I would have many opportunities for career development, to grow as a person, and to contribute back.

J: I spent close to three years in the banking industry after graduating with a degree in Computer Engineering. When Scoot opened up its doors for the cadet pilot programme, I applied without hesitation. I grew up loving aeroplanes. When I was young, I always looked forward to the flights (more than the holiday itself!). Being a pilot was a dream. Therefore, when I was presented the chance to fulfil my childhood aspiration, I just could not say no.

What does it take to be a pilot? 

TH: Personally, I feel that some important traits a pilot should possess are leadership skills, critical thinking, being meticulous, and adaptability. Of course, a healthy dose of passion is a must! Flying is dynamic; things can change very rapidly (e.g. weather or delays) and you need to think fast and make crucial decisions to adapt to these changes. Also, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have perfect eyesight! You do need to meet the CAAS Class 1 Medical Requirements though.

J: Passion, more than anything else. Being a pilot is a lifelong career; you will need a healthy dose of passion as you will likely be a pilot for the rest of your working life. Pilot training is challenging. But with tenacity and a positive mindset, you will ultimately be rewarded for your hard work.

What’s a typical day like for you?

TH: I usually reach the operations centre an hour before reporting time to prepare necessary documents. We’ll then hold a briefing to ensure everyone is on the same page. Afterwards, we conduct pre-flight preparations. For me, this entails a walk-around inspection of the aircraft, verification of documents and setting up the cockpit. Then off we go! During the flight, the flight crew is in charge of aviating and navigating. This also involves communicating with the air traffic controllers and monitoring the aircraft systems to ensure that the aircraft is flying as it should. After my shift, I wrap up with some post-flight duties in the operations centre before heading home to my loved ones.

J: As pilots, we do not work regular hours. As cheesy as it might be, no single day is alike. The weather fluctuates, the aircraft changes, and the airport differs. Each take-off and landing are unique. Every good flight starts with adequate preparation. A lot of hard work goes into planning prior to each flight. However, once in the air, knowing that we are able to soar above the clouds doing something that only a small, select group of people can do is extremely satisfying.

What do you enjoy about being a pilot at Scoot?

TH: The camaraderie amongst the crew. We usually call our Captains by their first name which creates a friendlier and more open cockpit environment. This allows us to be more open about raising up concerns, should we have any. In addition, Scoot A320 pilots have a fixed roster. This gives me greater predictability on how to arrange my time outside of work. It is also more family friendly for those married with children.

J: Working my dream job on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, day in and day out, and getting paid for it! Nothing comes close to the experience of working 40,000ft in the air, with the best office views you can ask for. Not forgetting travelling around the world ‘for free’!

What are some words you would use to describe the community/environment at Scoot?

TH: Scootitude – Different, Open, Empowered, Rewarding, Safe.

Everyone is very willing to teach and share information when you ask for help. The diverse backgrounds and cultures of the many pilots here give me a wider pool of experiences to learn from. We are also a closely knitted family here at Scoot!

J: Scoot prides itself as a youthful, vibrant airline. My colleagues are fun-loving and there is an energetic vibe to the company. Quite a contrast to the corporate environment I have been used to. It has been a great ride so far.

What are some exciting destinations you have flown to and visited?

TH: Bali is currently my favourite destination because of her gorgeous scenery, always greeting me each time I fly there. This is especially so when I fly in during a clear day; the majestic mountains with a beautiful coast never fails to amaze me. Also, with the way Scoot is expanding, I can only expect more exciting destinations to fly to in the future!

J: Japan is one of the countries I always look forward to flying to. Japan is steeped in culture and history, and there is so much to explore in this beautiful country. Whenever I fly to Japan, I find myself digging into the freshest sushi and most scrumptious ramen. With Scoot expanding its operations to Europe and beyond, I look forward to more adventures ahead.

What’s an unforgettable experience you’ve had while flying?

TH: It was definitely experiencing the weather phenomenon called ‘St Elmo’s Fire’ while flying through the Bay of Bengal! That is where one of the harshest weather systems in Asia is found. Try Googling it!

J: I enjoy the different perspectives of our planet Earth from above, be it the changing cloud formations, the first burst of dawn through the horizon, the brilliant colours of dusk falling. However, the hands-down, most unforgettable experience was doing my first landing at Changi Airport on a flight with 300 passengers. It was nerve-wracking and exhilarating at the same time. The adrenaline rush, the mixture of emotions and excitement is something I’ve kept reliving in my mind. We all remember our first time!

Any words of advice to those looking to pursue a career in this field?

TH: Hey, like most things in life, you won’t know until you try! In the meantime, look out on Facebook for recruitment roadshows Scoot will be hosting, or learn more about Scoot’s cadet pilot programme! The future is Yellow. What are you waiting for? Come join us!

J: Never give up! If you fail to get through the initial selection process, give it another shot. As long as your passion for aviation continues to burn, you’ll eventually get the opportunity to fly these amazing machines. It is addictive – once you start, you can’t stop.

Sounds like a pretty exciting and eye-opening life for Tao Han and Justin! Let’s hurry on over to Chun How’s area of expertise in tech fleet – he had lots to share as well. If you’re interested in an alternative career path at Scoot, check this out.

Can you give us a little background on how you joined Scoot in your current role under Fleet Technical?

CH: I was browsing cheap airfares online for my post-graduation travel plans. Needless to say, I was enticed by the cheapest fare offered by Scoot. Whilst doing so, I saw that their website was kind of wacky and fun! I thought it would be enjoyable to be employed by Scoot, and also open up the door to more travel. I could have my cake and eat it too!

Immediately, I searched for job postings available on Scoot’s website and came across the position at Fleet Technical. Coincidentally, the preferred academic discipline was a Degree in Aerospace Engineering. The next thing I knew, I was called in for an interview right after an online assessment. I am always thankful that although I had zero work experience in aviation, Scoot was willing to offer fresh graduates like myself a big opportunity to set foot in the industry and pursue our aspirations.

What exactly is Fleet Technical?

CH: The Fleet Technical department renders flight operations and technical support in the day-to-day running of Scoot’s fleet. We deal with flight planning and routing evaluations, airplane performance analysis, airport evaluation, fuel and overflight budgeting, payload/block time studies, and routing evaluations. Fleet Tech works very closely with all other operational departments as well as the commercial folks.

Interesting fact: Fleet Tech is one of the first few departments to know where Scoot will be Scootin’ to next! (Don’t worry, we’re good with secrets.) We also work very closely with local and foreign authorities to ensure that Scoot consistently complies with diverse regulations.

What do you do and what does a typical day in your role encompass?

CH: Being in this dynamic environment means daily assignments are different. A typical day starts with scanning through my ever-flowing inbox and prioritising tasks. I also keep tabs on project timelines and incoming fleet reports. One of the handiest things I’ve learnt from my colleagues is to be kay-poh (or “nosy”) about everything and anything (related to work, that is). Keeping abreast of weather and current events is very important to our daily work.

Do you have to travel for work and where have you been?

CH: Yes! I travel for audits, regulatory conferences, and aircraft technical training! So far, I have been to Kunming, Haikou, Qingdao, Dalian, Shenyang, Nanjing, Tokyo and Seattle! Many more opportunities to come!

What is it about your job at Scoot that you love so much?

CH: Scoot’s culture and fun-loving people keep me going at work! Due to the nature of the job, I get to interact with people from different backgrounds and nationalities. It allows me to constantly learn from exceptional individuals.

One of the best things at Scoot is that we get to dress down every day! Although dressing is laid back, that doesn’t mean our quality of work is! Every employee in Scoot maintains a high level of professionalism and respect for one another, regardless of rank. Personally, my bosses give me plenty of autonomy to get things done. This certainly allows me to demonstrate my sense of responsibility and enhance my creativity towards problem solving.

What are some words you would use to describe the community/environment at Scoot?

CH: Scoot is a low-cost carrier, but we are certainly not low class. We produce high quality work and ensure safety is never compromised. At Scoot, we also love to have fun and travel! It’s the Scoot DNA!

Any unique experiences while at Scoot?

CH: Many of them! The most unique one would be the amalgamation between Scoot and Tigerair Singapore. I am proud to say that Fleet Technical has done a remarkable job in obtaining the single Air Operator Certificate (AOC). The process was not easy, but I am glad that everyone pulled through and achieved the results we wanted.

Any words of advice to those looking to pursue a career in this field?

CH: Be passionate about what you want to do and it will never be dull!

Blown away by how awesome life at Scoot sounds? If you’re hyping yourself up for a possible career in aviation, you’ve hit the jackpot here. Scoot’s got a few positions open for those who want to come onboard. You won’t want to miss these unicorn opportunities – who knows if you’ll get the chance again? Click here to explore the possibilities!

Sophia Lee

I used to freelance exclusively for Glints - now I'm a content marketing intern working furiously in the backdrop. Talk to me about writing any time! (Or we could have a serious discussion about video games and e-sports... that's cool too.) Find me on Instagram (@pxtrx)!

One Reply to “Behind the scenes: Scoot’s pilots and fleet technical specialist share their work experience”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *