SINGAPORE--Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ new low-cost carrier, is searching for a retained PR firm ahead of its first flights later this year.

An airline spokesperson confirmed that a pitch process had begun, but declined to provide further details until the review completes. The Holmes Report understands that a number of Singapore PR firms are battling for the business.

Scoot was unveiled last year, and will soon commence flights to Australia and China, before expanding to destinations in India, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The airline is viewed as a move by Singapore Airlines to prevent low-cost carriers such as AirAsia and Jetstar from further eating into its market share.

Last year, Scoot selected boutique firms Sparkfury and Tangoshark to handle creative and interactive duties, respectively.

Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson has said that the airline’s name is an attempt to evoke a sense of “quirkiness, spontaneity and informality”, marking a considerable departure from the more conservative brand attitude of parent company Singapore Airlines.

The name has already attracted plenty of negative comment, with Singaporean blogger Mr Brown claiming that it could stand for “So Cheap-O Overseas Travel”. AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes took to Twitter to criticise SIA’s strategy.

SIA already owns 33 percent stake in low-cost airline Tiger Airways, which differs from Scoot in only flying short-haul routes. It also operates mid-market regional carrier Silk Air.