New Asian Budget Airlines

Budget airlines have formed the Asia Pacific region’s first alliance comprising eight low-fare carriers from Japan to Australia to boost usage of their networks.

Value Alliance includes Singapore Airlines’ Scoot and Tiger Airways, ANA’s Vanilla Air, Tiger Airways Australia, Nok Airlines, NokScoot, Cebu Pacific Air and Jeju Air, Vanilla Air said on Monday.

A reminder

When you book with many LCC airlines then you’ll often see that they will offer travel insurance for the flight. Well if this is the case, then do not take the airline’s offer, because your own travel cover will be enough. Source: http://www.over80.co.uk/

The partnership follows a Chinese alliance by low-cost carriers (LCC) linked to HNA Group this year. Value Alliance is the world’s largest alliance of budget airlines and offers a website allowing passengers in a single transaction to book tickets and extra services such as additional baggage and meals across airlines in the group, according to the group. The members offer flights to more than 160 destinations with 174 aircraft, it said.

The alliance, which excludes bigger budget carriers lsuch as AirAsia, will increase the geographical reach of its members by using the strength of each partner’s website in its home market, Campbell Wilson, the chief executive of the medium-haul airline Scoot, said in Singapore.

“We are doing this for our own strategic reasons,” Mr Wilson said, when asked if AirAsia and Jetstar from Australia’s Qantas Airways were invited. “The fact that you don’t see the others here speaks for itself.”

Value Alliance also excludes Indonesia’s Lion Air and India’s IndiGo.

The goal, instead, is to bring together smaller airlines as an alternative to the AirAsia and Jetstar branded groups across the region, according to people in the industry.

“This is a positive move for the LCCs,” said Dan Lu, an analyst in Tokyo at JPMorgan Securities Japan. “The one disadvantage for LCCs is their lack of network brand. It’s quite difficult for them to join the full-service alliances so they have to form their own alliances. Through this joint alliance they can expand their network.”

Low-cost carriers have flourished in Asia as growing wealth encourages more people to fly for the first time. At least a dozen low-cost airlines started operating in Asia Pacific the past decade, ordering hundreds of aircraft from Airbus and Boeing.

Boeing’s 2015 global market outlook showed Asian low-cost carriers generated average annual growth of 24.5 per cent over the previous decade. By comparison, European peers grew 13.4 per cent.

The US plane maker also forecast 100 million new passengers entering the Asian market annually for the foreseeable future, creating demand in the next 20 years for 10,370 single-aisle planes such as Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’ A320.

The new alliance is not as extensive as the “Big Three” full-service carrier partnerships such as Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam. Those alliances feature extensive codesharing agreements, access to a network of waiting lounges, and the ability to redeem points on partner flights.

However, doubts has been cast over their effectiveness and, indeed, Emirates and Etihad Airways have both declined to join any of the Big Three.

Among budget carriers worldwide, Europe’s Ryanair and EasyJet have also eschewed alliances while still managing to lure enough passengers to be among the world’s biggest airlines.

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Southeast Asian Budget Airlines Round Up

tarting from 24 January 2014, Tigerair will operate four weekly flights between Singapore and Male Airport, main international airport in the Maldives.

Tigerair will be the only budget airline offering direct Singapore – Maldives flights. AirAsia X also recently announced flights to Maldives from Kuala Lumpur.

“If you haven’t visited Maldives, you really owe it to yourself to make that trip because you will love the place,” said Mr Alexander Knigge, Chief Commercial Officer at Tigerair, “It is a perfect holiday destination regardless of whether you are taking a honeymoon, a family vacation or treating yourself to a much needed break from your busy life. We are very excited to be the first and only no-frills airline to fly to Maldives from Singapore.”
Starting from 31 March, 2013 THAI Smile will operate roundtrip flights from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport to Mandalay International Airport five flights per week. THAI Smile inaugural flight TG781 from Bangkok took off at 07.25 hours on 31 March 2013 and arrived in Mandalay at 08.50 hours (local time).

THAI organized a warm welcome upon arrival in Mandalay , which was attended by representatives from the aviation and tourism sectors in Mandalay , the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. The return flight to Bangkok was TG782, departed at 09.30 hours (local time) on 31 March 2013 from Mandalay and arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 11.55 hours.

THAI Smile is also introducing four other international destinations: Bangkok to Ahmedabad, India with two flights per week, Phuket to New Dehli, India with two flights per week, Phuket to Mumbai, India with two flights per week, and Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with four flights per week, which will be launched on 31 March 2013, 2 April 2013, 3 April 2013, and 4 April 2013, respectively. Currently, THAI Smile operates roundtrip flights to seven destinations in Thailand and overseas: Macau, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani, Phuket, Krabi, Udon Thani, and Ubon Ratchathani.

Jetstar Airways started non-stop flights between Phuket and Melbourne on December 14th. The direct flights between Phuket and Melbourne will operate every Saturday and Sunday with a third day to be introduced in April 2014.

The second Australian city to be joined to Phuket by direct flights will be Sydney, starting in February next year, when Jetstar will fly state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners between the two cities.

Additionally, for the holiday season, Jetstar has expanded its schedule from Singapore to Thailand, offering up to five daily flights between Bangkok and Singapore on the Dreamliner. Jetstar also offers competitive holiday insurance for the over 85s on their website too.

“Thailand is strategically one of the most important destinations in our network, and this is reflected in both Jetstar Asia’s and Jetstar Airways’ continued capacity growth in the region,” Jetstar Asia CEO Bara Pasupathi said.

Beginning September 1st, Thai AirAsia X will begin 4 times weekly service from Bangkok to Narita and Osaka airports. To jump start the new service, AirAsia X is offering promotional fares starting at 2,990b each way from now until July 13th with travel valid from September 1st through July 31st 2015.

Starting November 21st, service from Kuala Lumpur to Narita and Osaka will also begin with daily service planned for May 1st 2015. The airline is expanding service from South East Asia to Northern Asia in response to an increase in visitors to and from Japan. During a press conference CEO Azran Osman Rani remarked that the new service “significantly strengthens our position as we are using Kuala Lumpur as a connecting hub to connect people in Japan to not only Southeast Asia but also…to Australia”

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Air Asia going the Long Haul

Air Asia who have been dominating the budget airways of Southeast Asia are now stretching their wings but including Long Haul flights.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Budget airlines in Asia are starting to piece together long-distance networks, challenging one of the last preserves of premium carriers.

During the past few years, Malaysia-based AirAsia X 5238.KU -2.05% Bhd. has offered to fly passengers on routes such as Taipei to Melbourne, Australia, a journey that takes a little more than 14 hours. Singapore-based Scoot and Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd. J7X.SG -2.13% have teamed up to offer connections such as Chennai, India, to Sydney.

The moves are slowly reshaping air travel in Asia, where long-distance routes of eight hours or more had been dominated by pricier carriers through two major hubs, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The budget carriers often connect through smaller hubs, such as Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok. The developments have spurred the growth of budget carriers. Scoot, a unit of Singapore Airlines Ltd. C6L.SG +0.57% , started two years ago, and now flies from Singapore to 12 cities, including Sydney, Tokyo and Seoul.

Scoot and Tigerair issue joint itineraries and tickets over routes that involve transferring to each other’s flights. Tigerair, 40% of which is owned by Singapore Airlines, and Scoot are waiting for the country’s competition regulator to decide if they can conduct joint marketing and align flight schedules.

“Ultimately, for consumers, there will be more destinations available and greater convenience,” said Scoot Chief Executive Campbell Wilson.

Jetstar Airways Pty. Ltd., the budget unit of Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd. QAN.AU -0.39% , also offers connections to its passengers when feasible, said Alistair Hartley, Jetstar’s head of network planning. “We would still do it in a very low-cost manner,” said Mr. Hartley. Budget carriers’ chief consideration is making sure aircraft capacity utilization is high so costs can be kept down, he said.

Even with the extra services, the budget carriers say they can still offer less-expensive fares. A ticket from Taipei to Melbourne booked about a month in advance costs US$642 on AirAsia X. On Singapore Airlines the same ticket costs US$1,095.

Some airlines in other regions are following suit. Deutsche Lufthansa AG LHA.XE +0.38% said Wednesday that it planned to start a budget unit offering intercontinental services by next year. That would make the German airline the first European premium carrier to pursue a discount long-distance approach. Short-distance budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle AS NAS.OS -0.55% last year started flying longer routes.

Asian full-service carriers are adopting some of the tactics budget airlines use to lower costs and said that increased demand leaves room for both types of airlines.

“The emergence of budget carriers means there are now more travel options for consumers,” said Singapore Airlines spokesman Nicholas Ionides. “There has been continued growth in both budget and full-service travel amid the emergence of budget carriers, and this will continue.”

Cathay Pacific, which is based in Hong Kong, said there are more than 100 airlines operating at Hong Kong International Airport, including more than a dozen low-cost carriers, and that it competes successfully in the city and internationally. “It is important to note that we offer extremely attractive fares in our economy-class cabins,” Cathay Pacific said. “We also offer promotional fares, including our very successful Fanfares program, which sells an average of 1,500 to 2,000 tickets a week.”

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UK airports and skies as busy as ever

Of the 93m people who began their journey at a British airport last year, 52pc used low-cost carriers, according to new data from Amadeus, the travel industry technology company.

The latest figures represent a four percentage point rise on the previous year, when 48pc of passengers used budget airlines such as easyJet, Ryanair and FlyBe.

Amadeus’s statistics also showed that budget carriers took a 38pc share of European flight traffic in 2012 – a rise on the 36.5pc figure in 2011.

This low-cost carrier penetration in Europe represents the biggest market share – regionally – in the world. In North America, budget airlines have just under a third (30.2pc) of the market, while in Asia it is less than a fifith (18.6pc).

If you are taking your family on holiday then ensure you have them all covered for any flights they might take.

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Latest list of new and future budget airlines

Budget airlines are always adding new travel routes and here are the latest changes for this month…

Asia-Pacific: AirAsia, Cebu Pacific Air, GoAir, IndiGo,  AirAsia, Jetstar Airways, Lion Air, SpiceJet, Thai AirAsia, Tigerair Singapore
Central & South America: GOL, Interjet, VivaAerobus, Volaris
Europe: easyJet, germanwings, Jet2.com, Monarch Airlines, Norwegian, Pegasus Airlines, Ryanair, transavia.com, Volotea, Vueling, Wizz Air
Middle East: Air Arabia, flydubai
North America: loyal Air, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, WestJet
Analysis was done mistreatment Innovata / Diio Mi knowledge for the weeks commencing twelve August 2013 and thirteen August 2012. In 2 cases knowledge was manipulated manually to avoid excessive distortion.

Thai AirAsia enraptured thirty two routes from Krung Thep’s Suvarnabhumi field (BKK) to Bangkok Don Mueang field (DMK). These haven’t been enclosed in this airline’s list of born or new routes.
Wizz Air enraptured seventeen routes from national capital Modlin field (WMI) to national capital Chopin field (WAW) as a results of the temporary closure of that field. These haven’t been enclosed in this airline’s list of born or new routes.

Remember to always take out insurance too, over80.co.uk has a good listing of them.

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Budget airlines taking over Asian skies!

For the thousands of expats in Asia it has never been easier to get around the continent, from India to Indonesia and Korea to Singapore. There has been an explosion in budget and no frills carriers all over the continent particularly in south east Asia.

Leading the budget airlines charge is Air Asia who are based in KUL but have hubs all over Asia including Bangkok, Singapore, Jakarta and Manila. Again in 2013 Air Asia has been voted the world best budget airline.

Close on the tail of Air Asia are a couple of competitors who are mainly based out of Singapore, these are Jetstar and Tiger Airways who both fly around Asia, but also provide air links to Australia where they have their own domestic services. Tiger has particularly focused on flits to mainland China taking advantage of the growing middle class in that country who are keen to travel around SE Asia.

Some budget airlines are also looking towards India for the same reason with a one billion plus population and growing middle class who want to travel more.

Indonesia is another country with a burgeoning middle class who want to travel more and have their own repertoire of budget airlines including Indonesia Air Asia, Lion air among others.

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From Donny to the Canaries

The regional airport for South Yorkshire, Robin Hood Airport, is going from strength to strength these days with more and more flights being announced.

Low cost airline Ryanair has announced a new winter sun route to Tenerife from Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport.

Services begins in October 2013 with a weekly flight on Thursdays which will go on sale on the http://www.ryanair.com website tomorrow.

Ryanair celebrated the launch of its schedule by announcing a 100,000 seat sale across its entire European network with prices starting from just £22.99 for travel in July and August which are available for booking until midnight on Thursday.

Ryanair’s Maria Macken said: “Ryanair is pleased to launch our Doncaster winter sun 2013 schedule, with a weekly flight to Tenerife from October 2013. Passengers in South Yorkshire can now enjoy sunshine all year round, thanks to Ryanair’s ultra-low fares and no fuel surcharges guaranteed.”

It will be interesting to see if this route is still running next year.

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