Travelers snap up Tiger’s cheap seats

PHUKET: Singapore’s first budget airline, Tiger Airways, will begin flights this month between Singapore’s Changi Airport and Bangkok, Phuket and Haad Yai.

Salinla Seehaphan, Manager of Tiger Airlines Thailand, told the Gazette that one third of the tickets for the first week of one-way flights are promotional-fare tickets priced at S$1 (25 baht), excluding fees, insurance and taxes.

She said that within 24 hours of being put on sale, the cut-price seats on the Bangkok flights had sold out through Tiger’s website, Regular one-way ticket prices range from S$40 to S$140 (1,000 to 3,500 baht), exclusive of extras.

The airline’s Singapore-Bangkok service will be launched on September 15, followed by Singapore-Phuket on September 22 and Singapore-Haad Yai on September 29.

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There will be three flights a day on the Singapore-Bangkok route, and one a day on both the Singapore-Phuket and Singapore-Haad Yai routes. The company plans to offer as many as 10 destinations by the end of its first year in business, rising to 15 in the second year.

Tiger Airways will use Airbus 320s with 180 seats in an all-economy configuration. The airline recently took delivery of its second A320 with two more aircraft due to be delivered in December. The company plans to add four more planes to its fleet in 2005, and a further four in 2006.

The airline expects to carry some 200,000 passengers by the end of 2004, and to be in profit within a year of its launch.

The new player in Asia’s cut-rate air war is a joint venture between Singapore Airlines, which owns 49%; Indigo Partners LLC (24%); Irelandia Investments Ltd (16%), and Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd (11%).

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