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Old December 17th, 2003, 07:11 PM   #1
huaiwei
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Singapore's Budget Aviation boom takes off with Valuair, Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia!

Latest News | Updated Dec 17, 10.00 pm (Singapore time)

SINGAPORE -- Budget airlines may be able to operate out of Changi Airport within 18 months using a new no-frills terminal, Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong said on Wednesday. In what would be a major boost for budget carriers who have so far been reluctant to use Changi because of the high operating costs, Mr Yeo said fees at such a terminal could be 20 to 30 per cent less.

He said the Government intended to set up a new no-frills terminal to ensure Singapore did not miss out on the benefits of the fast-growing budget airline industry in Asia.

'Singapore will spare no effort to ensure that we remain the premier air hub in this region,' he said at a media function at Changi. We will continue to build on our fundamentals to ensure Changi Airport remains the preferred hub of choice for full-service carriers. But we also have to be nimble and adopt a complete mindset change to ensure that we can cater to the development and growth of low-cost carriers in this region.'

Low-cost Malaysian carrier AirAsia's efforts to establish a Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route had previously been frustrated because the Government had refused to give it cheaper operating fees at Changi.

Mr Yeo said it made sense to have a low-cost terminal operate out of Changi, rather than establish new facilities at Seletar Airport since the infrastructure is already provided for. He added that it would improve connectivity at Changi as passengers from Europe can transfer from their flights directly to the low-cost regional airlines.

The minister said he had instructed the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to explore what it could do to service the growing low-cost airline industry in Asia, and a decision on the new terminal would be made within a few months. The terminal, which would have few of the luxuries passengers now experienced at Changi airport, could be operating within 18 to 20 months, he said.

Citing his own experience with low-cost terminals in the United Kingdom, Mr Yeo said he expected the new terminal to have similar 'physical attributes as some of our bus terminals'. He described the prospective facilities as 'very, very basic' and warned passengers would have to take their own umbrellas in case it rained when they got off the plane to walk to the terminal.
But he stressed that the new terminal will be 'equally efficient and clean'.

Last week, Singapore Airlines announced it intended to join the budget airline industry by setting up Tiger Airways with three partners to fly from the city-state next year. -- AFP
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Old December 18th, 2003, 03:53 AM   #2
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Excellent idea. I think this solves the problem of cost(changi is deemed 'expensive' for budget carriers), yet allowing budget carriers to plug into Changi connectivity. I think this is a much better idea compared to lengthening the runways at seletar airport as I think Changi Airport is more accessible. However I do hope that the terminal won't look too 'shabby' and '2nd class' as it will look really awkward beside the spanking new T3 and newly refurbished T2.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 04:59 AM   #3
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I agree. This is a wise move, and it can only enhance traffic volume at Changi, which has the advantage of feeding international passengers onto the budget flights

Also by not building at Seletar, we can avoid stupid problems like noise pollution.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 09:47 AM   #4
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BTW, here's the full report:

DEC 18, 2003

No-frills terminal could be on the way

Facility could be built at Changi Airport by 2005 to cater to budget airlines that need to keep operating costs low

By David Boey


A NEW 'no-frills' airline passenger terminal could be built at Changi Airport by 2005 for the growing number of budget carriers taking off in the region. It is likely to look more like a bus interchange, and have an austere design because low-cost airlines want to keep their operating costs low.

This sudden announcement came last night on the 100th anniversary of aviation, when Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong officiated at an airport function. Once the go-ahead is given, the standalone terminal should be up and running in 2005, a year before Terminal 3 is due to start operations. Its opening will coincide with the completion of a $240 million effort to upgrade Terminal 2, which will be 15 years old by then.

The estimated five million passengers the budget terminal can service each year will pay an airport tax of $12, lower than the $15 Changi passengers pay. But all passengers will still pay an additional $6 security surcharge. As luxuries in the budget facility will be slashed to a minimum, Mr Yeo said it should cost 'a fraction' to build compared to the $1 billion construction bill for T3.

'There's no aerobridge,' he said. 'Passengers walk in the open from the plane to the terminal. If it rains, they make a run for it. There'll be minimal carpeting - if at all. You're not going to have very high ceilings and the air-conditioning will only be in places where it's necessary.'

Mr Yeo said the idea was hatched after he visited terminals for low-cost airlines at Stansted and Luton airports in Britain, which serve European budget airlines, easyJet and Ryanair. If the plan takes off, a $100 million proposal unveiled just last month to lengthen Seletar Airport's runway and upgrade its facilities will be scrapped.

The speed with which the Government is moving is a reflection of the importance it places on Changi remaining the premier aviation hub in the region. The new terminal will allow Changi to serve full service airlines as well as budget carriers that want to keep operating costs low to maintain cheap airfares.

Low-cost airlines are putting increasing pressure on the region's air travel industry to up its game. Malaysia's AirAsia started Johor Baru-to-Kuala Lumpur flights in October from Johor's Senai Airport. Its maiden flight took off amid a media blitz and claims that Changi's passenger tax should be waived or reduced before the budget carrier would use the airport. Its chief executive officer, Mr Tony Fernandes, could not be reached for comment last night.

Barely a month after AirAsia took off, Indonesia-based Lion Air made its first flight to Changi's T1. Its head of public relations, Mr Hasyim Arsal, welcomed the choice of a low-cost facility. Speaking from Jakarta, he said: 'It would be very good for us because there's a lower-cost alternative. But if what we're using now is no problem, we will be happy to continue using the present terminal.'

Singapore-based budget airline Valuair is likely to start flying in May next year. One of its directors, Mr Jimmy Lau, hopes that efforts to create a no-frills building would not go overboard. He said: 'I certainly would not like to see a building that looks second class... I'm sure we will be able to build something that looks nice, but certainly we don't need to cut so many corners.'

It is understood that Tiger Airways, an offshoot of Singapore Airlines, has indicated interest in using the terminal.

Mr Yeo noted that catering to this new form of air travel requires a mindset change on the part of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, just as it does for the travelling public used to Changi's high standards.

Frequent flier Mike Yeo, 27, an aeronautical engineer, hopes that the terminal would not invoke images of 'banana republic airports in the 1950s with bored customs officers and ceiling fans turning lazily'. 'But I won't mind the no-frills terminal because as long as there are planes to get me where I want and get back safely, it's fine with me.'
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Old December 19th, 2003, 11:54 AM   #5
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'No frills' must not mean 'no class'

Operators like idea, but warn that it could backfire too

By Alexis Hooi


NO FRILLS is fine, just make sure the new budget terminal is not 'no class' as well. Industry players and travellers yesterday said that while the upcoming budget terminal was a good idea and would help cement Singapore's airport hub status, it could backfire if it was viewed as too 'low class'.

Mr Jimmy Lau, a director of budget airline Valuair, was worried that the budget terminal would be an eyesore to certain groups of passengers like business travellers. 'It's all well and good to cater to low-cost carriers but, then again, we don't want a second-class terminal. There's no necessity to build a no-frills terminal. Why not work with the existing infrastructure instead of having to build something that is second class? Let's not have something that is going to be a throwback to the 1950s,' he said.

Head of Indonesia-based Lion Air's public relations, Mr Hasyim Arsal, said the new terminal would be a good move, although using Changi Airport was a luxury his passengers would enjoy. Said Mr Arsal, 35: 'What we don't want is our passengers to feel like they are second-rate passengers in another terminal.'

Budget airline operators also said that building an additional terminal to cater purely to low-cost carriers may not be necessary since existing facilities at Changi Airport can double as 'no frills' areas.

For example, a section of Changi Airport can be demarcated to cater to budget airlines like Valuair, Lion Air, AirAsia and Tiger Airways. Here, passengers would not be given access to the airport's advanced facilities like the aerobridge. In doing so, airlines would be able to cut costs and there would not be a need to build a separate terminal.

To land an aeroplane, airlines have to pay landing fees. They are also charged for the use of aerobridges, which connect the plane to the terminal. The landing fee at Changi Airport for the Boeing 737-300, which some budget carriers use, is about $450. It is not known what charges will be levied in the new budget terminal. Aerobridge charges for such aircraft are $85 for the first three hours, after which they are $85 every hour. The latter can be done away with if budget airlines opt not to make use of aerobridges, thereby resulting in lower costs for the end-consumer.

Business travellers The Straits Times spoke to said lower costs for the budget flights were a definite draw, but considerations such as safety, flight frequency and the length of the trip were still important factors. Said Mr Douglas Foo, chief executive of food and beverage company Apex-Pal International: 'For short business trips, especially if we need to make many of them, having budget airlines will trim extra costs. However, for longer trips, it would not be appropriate, as our executives need to be fresh, especially if they have to start work upon reaching their destinations.'

Added a senior officer of a local bank, who did not want to be named: 'It makes a lot of sense to use the budget carriers for shorter trips, but if a budget terminal means taking a longer time to get to the taxi-stand, the return on savings would not be enough to compensate for the time lost.'

Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong announced on Wednesday that a budget terminal at Changi could be operating within 18 months as he vowed Singapore would not fall behind in the race for a share of the lucrative low-cost market. 'Singapore will spare no effort to ensure that we remain the premier air hub in this region,' he said.

Analysts and industry players agreed that the plan made good business sense. An AFP report quoted Mr Peter Harbison, managing director of the Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, as saying: 'It's a very practical response to some fairly substantial pressure. It's a recognition that there are going to be a number of airlines serving the lower end of the market.

'Changi Airport is always a world benchmark airport and it has taken the initiative to serve the lower-end market.' -- Additional reporting by Ben Ho
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 10:13 AM   #6
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how embarrassing...
using umbrellas.........

wait that sounds like guangzhou airport hehehe......
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by perthguy78

how embarrassing...
using umbrellas.........

wait that sounds like guangzhou airport hehehe......
Whats so embarrassing about that? If you cant picture yourself carrying an umbrella, then dunt even think of flying on a budget airline! At least the choice is yours.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 02:57 AM   #8
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No frills terminal very likely!!

No frills terminal very likely, as Tiger Airways has indicated interest in it. It is stated in the following piece of news.

Changi Airport to invite bids for third ground handler
Extra player will put downward pressure on fees: Cheow Tong
By VEN SREENIVASAN
(SINGAPORE) The government is inviting bids for a third ground handling operator at the award-winning Changi Airport in a move aimed at enhancing Singapore's competitiveness as an aviation hub.
Disclosing this yesterday, Minister for Transport Yeo Cheow Tong said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) had already started talking to various global players who might want to participate. 'The response so far has been very positive,' he said. 'We are hoping to be able to announce the bidders by July or August.'
Currently, all ground handling services - encompassing passenger handling, ramp handling, cargo handling and flight catering - are provided exclusively by CAAS subsidiary CIAS and Singapore Airlines subsidiary Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS).
Mr Yeo said Changi Airport officials will study two British terminals to find out how best to serve Asia's growing number of budget carriers.
'I visited Stansted and Luton airports in the United Kingdom, which are hubs for low-cost carriers. I have asked CAAS to study these airports closely when designing our proposed low-cost terminal,' the minister said.
He added that a third player would increase competition and put downward pressure on fees.
'As Changi's traffic has grown substantially over the years, it is timely to introduce a third ground handler to create more choices for airlines,' he said. 'The enhanced competition should lead to improved service levels and efficiencies, giving airlines greater value for money.'
He said Singapore's landing and parking fees were already among the cheapest in Asia, while fuel costs here were competitive. Hence the need to now focus on the cost of ground handling.
Passenger traffic at Changi Airport - which won 18 international awards last year - continued to pick up for the third consecutive month in December, with 2.7 million travellers using the airport. This number surpassed pre-Sars levels. In 2003, Changi Airport handled 24.7 million passengers, down 14.9 per cent from 2002. Still, the traffic figure marked a strong recovery from the nearly 60 per cent fall at the height of the Sars pandemic in April and May. Airfreight dipped 1.6 per cent to 1.61 million tonnes last year.
Mr Yeo said the fact that traffic volume expected would rise to 30 to 40 million passengers soon was sufficient justification to have three ground operations players.
Changi Airport's two terminals currently serve 68 airlines and have a total capacity for 44 million passengers. This will increase by about a third to 64 million travellers when Terminal 3, which is being built at a cost of some $1.76 billion, starts operating in 2008. Currently, SIA alone generates half the traffic at Changi.
Still, the government remains keen on building a low-fee terminal to cater to low-cost carriers - provided they wanted it.
'We are talking to Tiger Airways and we will be talking to others,' Mr Yeo said.
'Indications are that we are likely to go ahead because Tiger has indicated it wants a low-cost terminal.'
Commenting on the UK's Stansted and Luton airport hubs for low-cost carriers, the minister said the they showed how they kept a tight rein on carry-on baggage allowances and have a bare-minimum check-in system.
Turning to Thai Air-Asia's notification to the CAAS of its intention to operate Thailand-Singapore flights next month, Mr Yeo said the budget carrier still had to get the Thai government's official sanction before it could start the service.
'Thai AirAsia must be designated as an official airline by the Thai authorities first,' he said. 'Once that has been done, we will be happy to welcome them.'
The first service of the AirAsia-Shin Corp joint venture is likely to be either a Singapore-Phuket or Singapore-Bangkok route.
Copyright © 2003 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 03:50 AM   #9
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Hey babystan, if you're interested, check out the Singapore forum here. There are topics on aviation and more.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/forumd...s=&forumid=333
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Old January 15th, 2004, 07:17 AM   #10
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Cheaper Transport
I want to fly down there from Bangkok
More buget airline make that easy for me !
Well at least affordable
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Old January 15th, 2004, 05:26 PM   #11
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Hmm...I hear they are planning a direct route between Bangkok and Singapore soon isnt it? Cheaper flights are becoming a reality!!
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Old January 16th, 2004, 07:34 AM   #12
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At 1300THB!!!(single trip)

saw the price for the Bangkok-Singapore route at Airasia.com few days ago. Starting at 1300THB, or about S$57(single trip and excluding tax, about $130 for return.), it's really cheap. I think the cheapest airfare to Bangkok now is still in the S$200++ range.

Last edited by babystan03; January 17th, 2004 at 02:17 AM.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 07:36 AM   #13
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i know was ment to get down there next weekend to see my brother but just not some thing can afford to do !
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Old January 16th, 2004, 08:31 AM   #14
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Your brother is over here Trances? Well then very god. Now you can have a fantastically cheap way to see each other!
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Old March 24th, 2004, 06:06 PM   #15
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Latest development concerning the Terminal:

Tiger Airways in talks over budget terminal

PLANS for a terminal for budget airlines are firming up, with the Transport Ministry in serious talks with Tiger Airways to set up such a base.

Speaking to reporters at a conference, Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong said yesterday: 'We're confirming the details with them. Once they're satisfied it meets their needs and sign on the dotted line, we'll proceed with the construction.'

Mr Yeo said Tiger Airways, backed by Singapore Airlines and the people who set up successful Irish no-frills carrier Ryanair, was the only one among the three budget airlines eyeing the Singapore market to show interest in having such a terminal. The other two are Valuair, set up by SIA veteran Lim Chin Beng and which is poised to take off in May, and Malaysia's AirAsia.

Mr Yeo said that it does not matter even if only one airline wants the terminal - the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will still build it. It will also foot the bill, which analysts have estimated at between $20 million and $30 million.

Asked about Australian newspaper reports that Qantas was given the nod to operate a budget airline here 10 years ago, Mr Yeo said: 'No, they don't have the licence at the present moment.' He did not elaborate but said that any new airline wanting to set up here must be at least 51 per cent owned by Singaporeans.

Qantas declined to comment on its licence status. It had earlier refused to say anything on market talk that it is interested in partnering AirAsia.

AirAsia's chief executive Tony Fernandez denied he has any deal with the Australian carrier. 'We have our Singapore partner and we're not looking for any more partners,' he told The Straits Times. It is not known who its partner is.

AirAsia also said yesterday that it was keen to make use of the budget terminal when ready. It had applied for a licence to operate out of Singapore a month ago. Such licences take six to nine months to process.

Mr Yeo, who was speaking on the sidelines of an international chemical and oil pollution conference, also talked about the Government's plan to have marshals on MRT trains to deal with the terrorist threat.

The two train operators here have already been briefed about tightening security, he said. 'This is something that has to be done by the operators...They're there every day, they know what they have to do.'
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Old March 24th, 2004, 11:55 PM   #16
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Sounds like a good idea. This year, 3 budget airlines are going to launch operations in Singapore and having a dedicated terminal might make it more attractive for budget airlines to hub here
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Old March 29th, 2004, 09:22 AM   #17
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Tiger wants budget terminal to be kept basic

'Functional and efficient' is how no-frills carrier Tiger Airways wants it - so forget aerobridges for proposed facility

By Karamjit Kaur


DEAR Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong, while you are mulling over plans for a terminal for budget carriers at Changi Airport, please bear in mind that it should be very basic. All we want are enough check-in counters for passengers so they can be cleared quickly and ample parking bays for our aircraft.

Never mind aerobridges that connect planes to the terminal, because our passengers will be walking to their aircraft. But could you make that walk from the terminal a short one?


This is the wish list of Tiger Airways, so far the only no-frills carrier which will operate out of Singapore that has indicated to the Government it is interested in having a terminal for low-cost airlines at Changi.

The carrier - set up by Singapore Airlines (SIA), state-owned investment agency Temasek Holdings, the founders of Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, and United States-based marketing and business strategy consultant Indigo Partners - aims to take off in the last quarter of the year.

It is in 'serious talks' with the Government about setting up a new terminal, the minister told reporters on the sidelines of an international chemical and oil pollution conference.

Details are being confirmed, he added, and once the airline is satisfied the new terminal will meet its needs and commits to using it, construction will start. It is expected to take 18 months to complete.

The airline's spokesman told The Straits Times: 'From our perspective, the terminal should be basic, functional and efficient. More importantly, the cost of operations should be minimised, so we can pass the savings on to passengers in the form of lower fares.' Provisions should be made in the design for expansion if necessary, he added.

Observers say that in stressing that it does not want any frills, the airline is clearly mindful that fountains, paintings, plasma TVs and marble flooring may be lovely to look at but too costly to build and maintain.

Details of the design are being ironed out. It is believed the terminal will have several eating outlets selling light snacks, fast food and packed meals that passengers can take with them on their flight. Like many other budget carriers, Tiger Airways will not be serving meals on board.

The airline intends to start off with four new Airbus SAS A320 which it will lease. The aircraft will arrive in the second half of the year. By the time Tiger is in the air, one of its two competitors operating from Singapore would have started flying.

However, Valuair - set up by former SIA chief executive Lim Chin Beng - has said it will go beyond basics and is therefore unlikely to want to use the budget terminal. The other airline that could end up using the new terminal is AirAsia, which has applied for an air operator's certificate. This is required to operate commercial flights out of Singapore. The Malaysian no-frills airline is to start a joint-venture carrier based here.

Both Tiger Airways and Valuair will fly to destinations up to about four or five hours from Changi.
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Old April 15th, 2004, 08:59 AM   #18
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Latest News | Updated April 15, 12.55 pm (Singapore time)

Valuair gets go-ahead to operate in S'pore

SINGAPORE - The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore(CAAS) has granted budget carrier Valuair its air operator certificate on Thursday, putting it on track to becoming the first of four new Singapore-based low-cost airlines to launch the service.

The CAAS said the budget airline had demonstrated it was capable of providing services safely. The carrier was evaluated in areas such as manpower, organisation structure, training, maintenance, operations and quality assurance.

The next step for Valuair, set up by former Singapore Airlines managing director Lim Chin Beng, is a licence from the Air Traffic Rights Committee that will allow it to fly to its intended destinations.

Valuair is aiming to become the first Singaporean-based budget carrier to enter the increasingly crowded Asian budget airline market, with flights tentatively scheduled to begin at the end of this month. The other airlines -- Singapore Airlines-owned Tiger Airways, Malaysia's AirAsia and a yet-to-be-named airline partly owned by Australia's Qantas - have not been given operator certificates yet.

Singapore has announced it would build a special budget terminal to cater the low-cost carriers looking to use Changi Airport as a base. -- AP,AFP
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Old April 18th, 2004, 09:57 PM   #19
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Valuair gets air operator licence

Final hurdle is official nod for flight plans; budget carrier has also narrowed its search for a CEO

By Karamjit Kaur


IT'S all systems go for Valuair which got the official nod yesterday to start flying out of Changi Airport.

With air operator's certificate in hand, Singapore's first budget carrier has one last hurdle to clear before its maiden flight early next month.

It can expect to hear from the Transport Ministry in the next few days on whether it will get its two flights a day each to Bangkok and Jakarta, and a daily flight to Hong Kong.

Everything else is in place after a tough year of preparations, said a beaming Mr Lim Chin Beng, Valuair's chairman and Singapore Airlines veteran.

At a party for all 90 staff at the airline's Toa Payoh office, he said he was elated that the airline met the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore's requirements, which he described as a 'rigorous exercise'.

He said: 'The last one year we worked hard getting the airline off the ground, which was a big challenge. Now the next challenge is to fill the aircraft.'

The second of its two Airbus 320 aircraft arrived from Toulouse, France, on Saturday. Both are now parked at Changi, waiting to welcome passengers.

All 40 cabin crew have been trained and final touches are being made to the design of their uniforms. To reflect a 'fun and sporty image', they will don polo T-shirts and trousers or skirts, with sneakers instead of high-heels.

As for flight details and fares, which will be about 40 to 50 per cent lower than what other traditional carriers charge, expect an announcement next week.

The search for a chief executive officer is also in its final stages.

Two potential candidates have been identified, both with no airline experience. However, the carrier will take off even without a new top man on board, as soon as the air rights are awarded.

Three other low-cost carriers, also hoping to take off by year-end, are not far behind: Tiger Airways, set up by SIA with several partners; AirAsia's joint venture in Singapore; and a yet-unnamed newcomer backed by Qantas and Temasek Holdings.

Of the four, analysts say Valuair faces the toughest challenge. Two competitors are backed by heavyweight carriers and the third is already operating in the region and making a profit.

Unfazed, Mr Lim said: 'We cannot object and we cannot complain about competition. It will make us work harder, that's all.'
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Majulah Singapura 前进吧,新加坡!Onward Singapore முன்னேறட்டும் சிங்கப்பூர்

"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old April 18th, 2004, 10:05 PM   #20
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They havent decided where theyre going to fly to right?
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