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An airline that offers a child-free zone on its planes is now operating services from the UK for the first time.

Scoot, a low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines that launched in 2012, is running direct Dreamliner flights from London Gatwick to Bangkok with bare-bones one-way economy fares starting at just £210.

A multitude of upgrades are available, though, including the option of paying from £16 to sit in a ‘ScootinSilence’ seat towards the front of the plane, where under-12s are banned.

Pictured here is Scoot's child-free 'ScootinSilence' section, where under-12s are banned. The low-cost airline has launched a Gatwick to Bangkok route

Pictured here is Scoot’s child-free ‘ScootinSilence’ section, where under-12s are banned. The low-cost airline has launched a Gatwick to Bangkok route

It isn’t the only airline that tries to help passengers that want to keep their distance from youngsters, though. Japan Airlines has a feature on its booking system that indicates which seats on the plane will be occupied by infants up to the age of two.

Scoot’s ScootinSilence section is sandwiched between economy and the plusher ScootPlus cabin, which offers reclining leather seats, meals, in-flight entertainment and 30kg of baggage, from £368.

Other ticket options include ‘flybag’, which includes £20kg of baggage, from £41; ‘flybageat’, which includes 20kg of baggage plus one hot meal, a drink and a snack, from £50, and ‘MaxYourSpace’, the option to purchase up to two empty adjacent seats.

Scoot said that it had received an ‘overwhelming response’ for the Gatwick to Bangkok route and that many of the flights up to January 8, 2022, are now fully booked.

Scoot was named the World's Best Long-Haul Low-Cost Airline by the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2021 , the 'Oscars of Aviation', and has a fleet of 50 aircraft

Scoot was named the World’s Best Long-Haul Low-Cost Airline by the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2021 , the ‘Oscars of Aviation’, and has a fleet of 50 aircraft

The airline said that it would be ramping up the service from late March 2022 to three scheduled flights a week.

The carrier was named the World’s Best Long-Haul Low-Cost Airline by the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2021, the ‘Oscars of Aviation’, and has a fleet of 50 aircraft.

Mr Campbell Wilson, Scoot’s Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘For nearly 10 years, Scoot has empowered travellers to customise their flight experience as they prefer, whether it be with extra legroom, checked baggage, free carry-on cabin luggage of 10kg, inflight Wi-Fi, tasty meals, ScootinSilence or just enjoy an unbeatable airfare.’

Travellers wishing to use Scoot for a trip to Thailand will need to carefully check the travel rules beforehand.

Mr Campbell Wilson, Scoot's Chief Executive Officer, said: 'For nearly 10 years, Scoot has empowered travellers to customise their flight experience as they prefer'

Mr Campbell Wilson, Scoot’s Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘For nearly 10 years, Scoot has empowered travellers to customise their flight experience as they prefer’

Scoot said that it had received an 'overwhelming response' for the Gatwick to Bangkok route and that many of the flights up to January 8, 2022, are now fully booked

Scoot said that it had received an ‘overwhelming response’ for the Gatwick to Bangkok route and that many of the flights up to January 8, 2022, are now fully booked

Thailand has announced that it will reinstate its mandatory Covid-19 quarantine for foreign visitors and scrap a quarantine waiver from Tuesday due to concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The decision to halt Thailand’s ‘Test and Go’ waiver means visitors will have to undergo hotel quarantine, which ranges between seven to 10 days.

Meanwhile, a so-called ‘sandbox’ programme, which requires visitors to remain in a specific location but allows them free movement outside of their accommodation, will also be suspended in all places except for the tourist resort island of Phuket.

‘After December 21, there will be no new registrations for “Test and Go”, only quarantine or Phuket sandbox,’ said deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhanadirek.

The announcement came a day after Thailand reported the first case of local transmission of the Omicron variant.

It also came weeks after Thailand reopened to foreign visitors in November, ending nearly 18 months of strict entry policies that contributed to a collapse in tourism, a key industry and economic driver that drew 40million visitors in 2019.

About 200,000 visitors who had previously registered for the quarantine waiver and sandbox programme will still be eligible, said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.

‘This is not to shut off tourists but to temporarily suspend arrivals,’ he said.

The decision will be reviewed on January 4, he added.

For more on Scoot visit www.flyscoot.com/en. 


Revealed: Japan and Singapore still have the most powerful passports in the world, while the UK and USA move UP from seventh to joint sixth place in the 2022 ranking

  • The Japanese and Singaporeans can travel to 192 countries visa-free
  • Germany and South Korea hold onto joint second spot in the index
  • Afghanistan comes bottom – its citizens can only enter 26 countries visa-free
  • Scroll to the bottom of the story for the full global ranking 










Japan and Singapore still have the most powerful passports in the world, a new global ranking for 2022 has revealed. Their citizens can travel to 192 countries visa-free.

Germany and South Korea hold onto joint second spot, with passport holders able to access 190 destinations visa-free, while Finland, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain share third place, with a score of 189.

The US and the UK passports have regained some of their previous strength after falling to eighth place in 2020 – the lowest spot held by either country in the index’s 17-year history. Both countries now sit in sixth place, with a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 186, up from 185 in the fourth-quarter 2021 ranking, which earned them seventh-place berths.

Japan and Singapore still have the most powerful passports in the world, a new global ranking for 2022 has revealed

Japan and Singapore still have the most powerful passports in the world, a new global ranking for 2022 has revealed

The ranking has been produced by the Henley Passport Index, which is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). It analyses how many countries a passport holder can enter without a prior visa.

The Henley Passport Index says that its latest results and research show record-breaking levels of travel freedom for top-ranking nations Japan and Singapore, but also the widest recorded global mobility gap since the index’s inception.

It points out that without taking evolving and temporary Covid-related restrictions into account, the passport holders of the two Asian nations can enter 166 more destinations visa-free than Afghanistan, which sits at the bottom of the index.

Its citizens can only enter 26 countries visa-free. 

A statement accompanying the 2022 results says: ‘This deepening divide in international mobility between wealthier countries and poorer ones was brought into sharp focus late last year with the arrival of the highly infectious Omicron variant, which was met with a raft of punitive restrictions against mainly African nations that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described as akin to “travel apartheid”.

The US and the UK passports have regained some of their previous strength after falling to eighth place in 2020 – the lowest spot held by either country in the Henley Passport Index's 17-year history

The US and the UK passports have regained some of their previous strength after falling to eighth place in 2020 – the lowest spot held by either country in the Henley Passport Index’s 17-year history 

‘According to historical data from the Henley Passport Index, an individual could, on average, visit 57 countries in 2006 without needing to acquire a visa in advance.

‘Today, that number has risen to 107, but this overall increase masks a growing disparity between countries in the global north and those in the global south, with nationals from countries such as Sweden and the US able to visit more than 180 destinations visa-free, while passport holders from Angola, Cameroon, and Laos are able to enter only about 50.’

Erol Yayboke, director of the Project on Fragility and Mobility at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, says the research clearly shows that people in poorer nations experiencing fragility – places from where escape is often the only option for survival, especially in the presence of active conflict – have the fewest pathways for regular and orderly movement.

Meanwhile, Dr Christian H Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners and the inventor of the passport index concept, believes opening up migration channels is essential for post-pandemic recovery.

He states: ‘Passports and visas are among the most important instruments impacting social inequality worldwide as they determine opportunities for global mobility.

‘The borders within which we happen to be born, and the documents we are entitled to hold, are no less arbitrary than our skin colour.

‘Wealthier states need to encourage positive inward migration to help redistribute and rebalance human and material resources worldwide, including improving the size and quality of their own workforces.’

THE HENLEY PASSPORT POWER INDEX GLOBAL RANKING 2022

1 Japan 192 visa-free countries

1 Singapore 192

2 Germany 190

2 South Korea 190

3 Finland 189

3 Italy 189

3 Luxembourg 189

3 Spain 189

4 Austria 188

4 Denmark 188

4 France 188

4 Netherlands 188

4 Sweden 188

5 Ireland 187

5 Portugal 187

6 Belgium 186

6 New Zealand 186

6 Norway 186

6 Switzerland 186

6 United Kingdom 186

6 United States 186

7 Australia 185

7 Canada 185

7 Czech Republic 185

7 Greece 185

7 Malta 185

8 Hungary 183

8 Poland 183

9 Lithuania 182

9 Slovakia 182

10 Estonia 181

10 Latvia 181

10 Slovenia 181

11 Iceland 180

12 Malaysia 179

13 Liechtenstein 178

14 Cyprus 176

15 United Arab Emirates 175

16 Chile 174

16 Monaco 174

16 Romania 174

17 Bulgaria 173

17 Croatia 173

18 Hong Kong (SAR China) 171

19 Argentina 170

20 Brazil 169

20 San Marino 169

21 Andorra 168

22 Brunei 166

23 Barbados 161

24 Israel 159

24 Mexico 159

25 St. Kitts and Nevis 157

26 Bahamas 155

27 Uruguay 153

27 Vatican City 153

28 Seychelles 152

29 St. Vincent and the Grenadines 151

30 Antigua and Barbuda 150

30 Costa Rica 150

30 Trinidad and Tobago 150

31 Mauritius 146

31 St. Lucia 146

32 Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) 145

33 Dominica 144

33 Grenada 144

33 Macao (SAR China) 144

34 Panama 142

35 Paraguay 141

35 Ukraine 141

36 Peru 135

36 Serbia 135

36 Vanuatu 135

37 El Salvador 134

38 Guatemala 133

38 Honduras 133

39 Colombia 131

39 Samoa 131

39 Solomon Islands 131

40 Tonga 129

40 Venezuela 129

41 Nicaragua 127

41 Tuvalu 127

42 North Macedonia 125

43 Kiribati 123

43 Montenegro 123

44 Marshall Islands 122

45 Moldova 120

46 Palau Islands 119

46 Russian Federation 119

47 Bosnia and Herzegovina 117

47 Micronesia 117

48 Georgia 115

49 Albania 114

50 Turkey 110

51 South Africa 104

52 Belize 101

53 Qatar 97

54 Kuwait 95   

55 Timor-Leste 93 

56 Ecuador 91

57 Nauru 89

58 Fiji 88

58 Maldives 88

59 Guyana 87

60 Botswana 86

61 Jamaica 85

62 Bahrain 84

63 Papua New Guinea 82

64 China 80

64 Oman 80

65 Belarus 79

65 Bolivia 79

65 Saudi Arabia 79

65 Thailand 79

66 Namibia 78

67 Lesotho 77

67 Suriname 77

68 Kazakhstan 75

69 eSwatini 74

70 Malawi 73

71 Kenya 72

71 Tanzania 72

72 Indonesia 71

72 Tunisia 71

72 Zambia 71

73 Dominican Republic 70

74 Azerbaijan 69

75 Gambia 68

76 Uganda 67

77 Cape Verde Islands 66

77 Philippines 66

78 Armenia 65

78 Zimbabwe 65

79 Cuba 64

79 Ghana 64

79 Morocco 64

80 Kyrgyzstan 63

80 Sierra Leone 63

81 Mozambique 62

82 Benin 61

82 Mongolia 61

82 Rwanda 61

83 India 60

83 Sao Tome and Principe 60

84 Mauritania 59

84 Tajikistan 59

85 Burkina Faso 58

86 Gabon 57

86 Uzbekistan 57

87 Cote d’Ivoire 56

87 Senegal 56

88 Equatorial Guinea 55

88 Madagascar 55

89 Guinea 54

89 Mali 54

89 Togo 54

89 Vietnam 54

90 Bhutan 53

90 Cambodia 53

90 Chad 53

90 Comores Islands 53

90 Niger 53

91 Algeria 52

91 Central African Republic 52

91 Egypt 52

91 Guinea-Bissau 52

91 Jordan 52

91 Turkmenistan 52

92 Burundi 51

93 Angola 50

93 Cameroon 50

93 Laos 50

94 Liberia 49

95 Congo (Rep.) 48

95 Haiti 48

96 Djibouti 47

97 Myanmar 46

98 Ethiopia 45

98 Nigeria 45

99 South Sudan 44

100 Eritrea 43

101 Congo (Dem. Rep.) 42

101 Iran 42

102 Lebanon 41

102 Sri Lanka 41

102 Sudan 41

103 Bangladesh 40

103 Kosovo 40

103 Libya 40

104 North Korea 39

105 Nepal 37

105 Palestinian Territory 37

106 Somalia 34

107 Yemen 33

108 Pakistan 31

109 Syria 29

110 Iraq 28

111 Afghanistan 26 

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