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Old September 22nd, 2004, 01:01 PM   #421
babystan03
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SEPT 22, 2004
Cheap air tickets? (Read the fine print: You are paying more than you think)
Surcharges, taxes and fees may add up to at least $50 a ticket, or even more than $100 when you book through a travel agent

By Karamjit Kaur

THOSE wishing to travel these days cannot miss them: big ads screaming out air fare bargains.

They cover everything from Singapore Airlines' (SIA) recent $148 return fare offer on selected flights to Bangkok or Jakarta, if two people travel together, to the 29 cent charge for Thai AirAsia's Singapore-Phuket flight.

But there is a hidden factor travellers should first consider before packing their travel bags: The fares are not that low in reality.

The prices quoted in the big print, the ones that scream out at you, are the base fares.

If you take a closer look at the ads, however, you will notice something at the bottom in tiny print, couched behind a phrase like 'surcharges and taxes not included'.

The actual amounts of such surcharges are never printed, and all airlines - budget or full-service - seem guilty of the practice.

What are these charges?

There are charges that have been with us for a while now, such as airport departure tax - $15 per traveller at Changi Airport. But the rest are more recent: the $6 security charge that has come about after the Sept 11 attacks, for example.

The terrorist threat has had other effects on the price: Travel insurance is more expensive now, while higher crude oil prices have led many carriers to tack a fuel surcharge onto the ticket price.

Airlines like Thai AirAsia, which do not charge for fuel, slap on an administration fee instead.

And when you book a ticket through a travel agent, you have to reach for your wallet again to pay a service fee of at least $30.

Explained the president of the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas), Mr William Tan: 'Many airlines have stopped paying agencies a regular commission. But there is a cost in issuing a ticket and processing the booking. So, now, customers pay a service fee to the agencies instead.'

If you pay by credit card, be prepared to add even more.

Charges add at least $50 to the cost of the ticket and, depending on the carrier and whether you use a travel agent, could climb to more than $100.

The executive director of the Consumers Association of Singapore, Mr Seah Seng Choon, is against the layering in of these hidden costs. He said: 'It's not fair to the consumer who may think the low fare is all he has to pay, but later finds out that there are all these extra charges.

'Airlines and travel agents should be more transparent especially now when so many new components have been added to the cost of the ticket.'

The chief executive officer of Tiger Airways, Mr Patrick Gan, said that separating the base fare from taxes and other charges is 'the best way to present air fares, as this clearly shows passengers what they are paying for, be it airport services or government tax'.

So why not publish the fares in full? Advertising all the different charges takes up more space and more money, said Natas' Mr Tan.

A spokesman for SIA said: 'We indicate clearly on all our advertisements that the fares shown do not include airport taxes, fuel and insurance surcharges.'

When contacted, Valuair and AirAsia - whose ads also do not list various surcharges - said the different taxes and charges are clearly available on their websites.

Valuair's spokesman added: 'It is not our intention to mislead or hide anything from consumers.'

Mrs Radha Subramaniam, 42, a civil servant who flew Tiger Airways to Bangkok last week, said: 'Airlines should make it clear what the net fare is when they advertise. But, as consumers, we also have to be less ignorant.'

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 02:34 PM   #422
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Quote:
It suppose it is because most of these airlines are small, and the total capacities are relatively small too since they use smaller planes, despite having high frequencies?

Anyway, that chart does finally conclude some stuff I have bee nspeculating about. Just look at the unusually high traffic between Hong Kong and Taiwan, or that between it and Taipei in particular. Goes to show how much politics can skew the numbers to this extent!

Oh and btw, those data from for the year ending March 2003. Who noes if there will be substaintial impacts to the charts by now with the explosion of LCCs in this year!
KLM, lufthansa, Kuwait airways uses 747-400 and A340-400, the rest like Thai airways, Emirates, Air france, Singapore airlines, Philippines airlines, Cathay pacific, Srinlanka airlines use A330s, B777-200/300 and even SQ use a340-500 and 747-400s (last time i was on SQ, last 2 weeks ago and in august, it was in 747 because the passengers was very full) and finally Garuda, use 737-300/400s sometimes A330

edited: I forgot to mention Air india and Saudi arabia airlines, they use A310 and B747-300s respectively.

The budget carrier like Valuair, Lion air use 737-400, MD-83 and A320..so i think they have full capacity for SIN-JKT route.

Also i have to notice that Medan - Penang isnt in the list too, they have the same frequencies on that route. MAS always like this route because everyday they got 80% load factor, so does the other airlines.

Maybe you was right, the data is incorrect OR Indonesia and Aus-Pacific routes werent included on the statistic.

edited: The SIN-JKT route is heavily known as the busiest route in asia along with SIN-BKK and BKK - HKG. so i doubt if the data is quite old, maybe there was a mistake.


Anyway dude, expect more traffic between Indonesia - Singapore/Malaysia next year, since the government will scrap the 120 us dollar tax for every Indonesian who will go overseas!

cheers
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Last edited by David-80; September 23rd, 2004 at 01:40 AM.
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Old September 22nd, 2004, 04:59 PM   #423
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S$382?? Hmm....I think the airfare might go lower......maybe S$300....?
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 12:45 AM   #424
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Ryanair is going to fly 2 daily flights to Porto(from Stanstead), from January 2005!!!
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 07:14 PM   #425
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Thursday September 23, 6:38 PM
EasyJet reports good summer, raises profit forecast



LONDON (AFP) - The British low-cost airline easyJet reported improved trading conditions during the European summer and raised its full-year profit forecasts.

For the year to end-September 2004 the no frills carrier now expects a pretax profit above 60 million pounds (88 million euros, 108 million dollars), compared with 52 million the previous year.

The move comes despite the continuing volatility in fuel prices.

The airline's previous guidance, a profit warning in June, forecast a pretax profit that "at least" exceeds 52 million pounds.

"EasyJet has enjoyed improved trading during the final quarter of 2004," said chief executive Ray Webster.

"I'm pleased to report that the actions we are taking to strengthen our competitive position have begun to pay off."

Since the beginning of August, easyJet has announced 16 new routes and nine new destinations, cut Zurich and reduced capacity to Copenhagen and Amsterdam as part of an ongoing programme to drive costs lower.

EasyJet's load factors -- passengers as a proportion of the number of seats available -- remained in the 85-90 percent range during the summer.

It forecast year to end-September 2004 passengers above 24.2 million, and revenue growth, including ancillary activities, of around 16 percent.

However, the airline warned that it expected yield, or average fares, to remain under pressure during 2005.

The carrier also announced five new routes from London Gatwick to three new destinations in Ireland and enhanced services from Gatwick to Almeria and Valencia in Spain.

The new Irish destinations to Cork, Knock and Shannon are easyJet's first to the country.

The three Irish services will start next January and the Spanish services next March.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 10:09 AM   #426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80
Anyway dude, expect more traffic between Indonesia - Singapore/Malaysia next year, since the government will scrap the 120 us dollar tax for every Indonesian who will go overseas!

cheers
I will be looking forward to that for sure!!!
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Old September 26th, 2004, 02:42 AM   #427
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Yesterday I saw a documentary on Channel 8 regarding budget airlines, they were saying that those ultra cheap 29cents fares was actually a marketing strategy(and not for profit definitely). Secondly, the load factor of the budget airline was something like 80%, so instead of leaving the 20% of the seats empty, they decide to fill it up by introducing the cheap fares.....

There was some funny analogy used to describe the airlines by the valuair boss......He said SIA is a rolex watch, while tiger and airasia is casio......Valuair is swatch........
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Old September 26th, 2004, 06:52 AM   #428
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and what jetstar asia would be? casio or swatch? or casio G-Shock?

cheers
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Old September 26th, 2004, 06:54 AM   #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80


and what jetstar asia would be? casio or swatch? or casio G-Shock?

cheers
I assume it'll be casio judging from the kind of price it charges in australia....
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Old September 26th, 2004, 11:52 AM   #430
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This story was printed from TODAYonline

Come fly (budget) with me!

But you'll need blankets, a mechanic and eight hours

Weekend • September 25, 2004

Budget airlines in Asia are like tins of baked beans in England. They're cheap, plentiful and prolonged exposure to either can give you a bad case of wind.

Interestingly, the marketing strategies of both products are identical.

In England, supermarkets went to war using tins of baked beans as ammunition. They didn't throw them at customers, although that might have taken care of doddering senior citizens who always whack you with their trolleys.

But they did reduce prices so that tins were 3p (9 cents). Supermarkets hoped the prices would draw shoppers, who were then expected to fill their trolleys with other products.

Budget airlines operate the same way. Low prices draw the customers, who then fill the flight with doddering old relatives who always whack you with their luggage.

Ironically, special offers have made certain flights cheaper than a tin of beans. But you might be better off with the beans.

My wife and I recently flew on a budget airline. It's not fair to reveal the name. But we flew from Senai Airport.

After taking an hour to get there, the guy at the check-in counter said: "The plane's here, but we're still waiting for spare parts."

"Spare parts? Are we travelling on a plane or a bicycle?"

When do you hear of a plane being delayed because it's waiting for spare parts? I expected a mechanic in oil-stained overalls to turn up, put his hands on his hips and say: "Hmm, looks like gearbox trouble to me. That's a big job that. Need a week to fix that."

We waited patiently for the "spare parts". For five hours: To fly to Malaysia — from Malaysia!

A confrontation was inevitable. "Excuse me," I asked the counter guy. "Have the spare parts been fitted yet?"

"No, we're waiting for them to come back from KL."

"KL?! What the hell is missing from the plane? The left wing? Is the mechanic going to turn up with a helicopter propeller and say: 'Best I could get at short notice'?"

About eight hours after we arrived at Senai, we took off on a replacement plane. Two hours later, the cabin doors opened and I almost fell out of the plane.

We really are spoilt at Changi Airport. Those air-conditioned walkways from the planes to the terminal gate are taken for granted by us all.

I was struck by that thought as I stepped out onto an invisible walkway and fell down the first three steps of a portable staircase. It was like a scene from Beatlemania.

Getting into the spirit of things, I waved to the airport crowds, which consisted of a lone security guard who wasn't sure whether to wave back or shoot me.

The return flight was no less eventful. To cut costs, the budget airline doesn't allocate seat numbers. Free seating can only mean one thing — queuing.

The kiasu queue at the departure lounge was so long, those at the front must have got off the plane, bypassed the arrival hall and gone straight back to the departure lounge to start queuing for the flight back.

When the glass doors opened, large families actually ran across the tarmac to the plane, which was parked about 12km away.

The poor counter girl, almost flattened in the stampede, had a walkie-talkie. She needed a starter's gun.

The return flight was freezing so my wife asked for a blanket. The look of disgust on the stewardess' face suggested my wife had just poked her in the eye.

"A blanket?!" she said. "We don't have any blankets."

I was stunned. "If you don't have blankets. What do you do if someone dies? Cover them with packets of noodles?"

No, of course they wouldn't. A corpse can't pay for noodles.

But the flight was (slightly) cheaper than those offered by the major carriers.

Budget airlines must learn, however, that when it comes to a plane, size may not be everything. But you can't take eight hours to get it up.

Neil Humphreys

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old September 26th, 2004, 10:51 PM   #431
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Global News Wire - Europe Intelligence Wire
Copyright 2004 Irish Independent
September 24, 2004

RYANAIR BACKS PRICE WAR IN WINTER BLAST

RYANAIR chief executive Michael O'Leary predicted his fares would fall by between 10pc and 20pc this winter, as the competitive "bloodbath" among airlines intensified.

Despite an upbeat assessment of the company's performance at its agm and a commitment to leave "no stone unturned" to prompt an increase in Ryanair's beleaguered share price, the stock tumbled 3.3pc to Euro 4.09.

Analysts said the fall was caused by a substantial 7pc drop in the shares of rival Easyjet which has cut back growth plans.

Airline stocks were also hit by high oil prices of $ 48 per barrel. Ryanair's price hedging runs out in October, exposing the airline to much higher fuel bills.

The beginning of the Ryanair agm was briefly delayed as directors held a board meeting which included a discussion on whether to book to buy oil at current high prices.

Mr O'Leary said the company would not hedge at $ 40 to $ 45 per barrel and would wait until prices fell into "the $ 30s".

He predicted the prices would be "spiky" between now and the US presidential election in November.

But he said historic fuel costs increased in the winter as demand in America rose in the cold weather. However, he added: "There is no point in worrying about an oil price of $ 40 or $ 50 per barrel - our balance sheet is stuffed with cash." Mr O'Leary said shares in Ryanair could begin to recover "when fuel settles down and when there is clarity on the survivors in the European airline industry."

Despite an agm which was packed with shareholders, including one investor who was nursing heavy losses since the company announced a profits warning in January prompting a 30pc share collapse, no one at the meeting asked the directors any questions.

Mr O'Leary told shareholders: "We are continuing to deliver the numbers and we hope the market will catch up with us." Commenting on reports Ryanair pilots are to establish an association to negotiate with the company, he said: "Ryanair is not anti-union. We are pro-employee." He predicted pilots would opt to deal directly with the airline in future despite the move to form a staff association.

Mr O'Leary also stressed the potential benefits of its new in-flight entertainment system, which is expected to generate revenues of Euro 14m in its first year of operation.

He said the new units, a first for the European airline industry, would require an initial investment of $ 12m, or almost $ 50,000 per aircraft.

While the company is planning to charge Euro 7 to watch a film, Mr O'Leary stressed it could increase price at periods of peak demand, such as weekends, or reduce prices in slacker midweek periods.

David MurphyDeputy Business Editor

***********************************************
September 21, 2004
Company Press Release
Big expansion in Spain and first daily services to Portugal

Ryanair, Europe’s No. 1 low fares airline today announced four new low fares routes from London Stansted to Spain and Portugal. The new routes, which will commence on dates between the 2nd November 2004 and the 25th February 2005, will give even greater choice to consumers at Ryanair’s lowest fares. This brings to 78 the number of routes offered by Ryanair from London Stansted and to 12 the total number of airports served in the Iberian Peninsula from London.

From London Stansted Starts Starting fares (excl. taxes)
Valencia 2 Nov £0.99
Almeria 19 Jan £0.99
Porto 19 Jan £3.99
Seville 25 Feb £4.99

Announcing the new routes in London today, Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary said “We opened our first route to Spain in November 2002 and, with this announcement today, Ryanair will serve more Spanish airports (10) directly from London than any other airline. We are also delighted to launch our first scheduled route from London to Portugal with a twice-daily service to Porto, Portugal’s second largest city. This year Ryanair will carry over 4 million passengers on our routes to Spain and next year we expect to see that figure rise to 5.5 million.

Two of these routes, Valencia and Almeria, have already been announced by Easyjet but, as in the case of Barcelona (Girona), Reus and Santander, where we compete with them, it is only by flying with Ryanair will consumers enjoy the lowest airfares and the best punctuality. Easyjet’s average fare remains more than 60% higher than Ryanair while their on time performance has trailed behind Ryanair’s for over 100 weeks in a row. In total our passengers on these routes will save over £86 million against the same services offered by Easyjet.

These fantastic new Spanish and Portuguese routes are on sale today at www.ryanair.com from an incredible £0.99 (excluding taxes) and at these fantastic prices we urge passengers to book quickly as these seats will be in huge demand.”
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Old September 27th, 2004, 11:30 AM   #432
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Business Times - 27 Sep 2004

Low-cost revolution in Asia irreversible: easyJet chief

He says traditional network carriers will face tough choices

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Traditional network carriers in Asia have some painful decisions to make in the wake of a proliferation of low-cost carriers (LCC) across the continent, according to Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Mr Haji-Ioannou should know, for he owns Europe's second largest low-cost carrier group, easyJet, and was one of the pioneers in the business.

In an exclusive interview with BT last week, the Serial Entrepreneur (as he describes himself in his card), said Asia was undergoing the same revolution in travel which Europe had experienced in the 1990s.

'This revolution is irreversible,' he said. 'It is a revolution which will challenge the logic of flying your B777 or B767 on a two-hour flight with only 20 per cent of your business class seats occupied.'

'In short, legacy carriers will have some tough choices,' said the 37-year-old entrepreneur. 'They will have to choose whether they want to be long-haul carriers or short, point-to-point players. To me, these two objectives are incompatible with each other. They require different aircraft, serve different markets, cater to different customer needs and call for different skills sets,' Mr Haji-Ioannou said.

LCCs have the competitive advantage in short haul, he said. 'If you ask me, SIA's short-haul business class is totally unsustainable,' he said.

'They are putting a lot of effort, but do people value the quality of service on such short hauls?'

But it won't be an easy (no pun intended) ride for LCCs either, he conceded.

'The proliferation of low-cost carriers in East Asia is rapidly leading to a capacity overhang, which will put pressure on yields,' Mr Haji-Ioannou added. 'But the consumer will be the big beneficiary.'

However, Asian LCCs have a key advantage which the Europeans and Americans never had: significantly lower cost of labour.

'We have about 54 low-cost players in Europe, though many are not making money,' he said.

'In Asia, your labour cost is about half of that in Europe. This significantly raises the odds of success.'

Besides managing costs, a key ingredient for success of an LCC is brand management, Mr Haji-Ioannou said. And this is a particularly important asset when LCCs want to expand their brandings to other travel-related businesses and products.

'You need a simple product, high profile, lots of PR and publicity and high brand recognition,' he said.

He cited easyJet and Virgin group as cases in point. 'We have used our high-profile and recognisable orange corporate colour across the spectrum of other products which all cater to discount travel,' he said.

'Similarly, Virgin group had also been very successful in projecting its brand across the world and across products.'

The shipping and aviation tycoon was here recently for a travel seminar and meetings with transport industry officials and others. He told BT he had plans to operate a budget cruise business in the region, hubbing at Singapore.

'Our ships will ply the Mediterranean during the five months of the European summer,' he said.

'However, during the winter months, while most other Mediterranean cruise operators head for the Caribbean, our ships will head to Singapore. Singapore is a natural base for regional budget cruises,' he said, suggesting that easyCruise ships will be 'modern, casual and minimalist' and will cater to youngish travellers who enjoy on-shore holidays in more than one destination.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 11:51 AM   #433
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September 27, 2004

Budget rides can be great way to fly

By JANICE WONG

AN anecdote recounted by the then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong played in my mind as I interviewed some air stewardesses last week.

My assignment was to find out if flying is still a much-sought-after job, and whether it is still considered glamorous, given the burgeoning budget airline sector that stresses more on costs than coiffure.

In his National Day Rally speech in 1997, Mr Goh said that someone had observed that Malaysian stewardesses flying for Singapore Airlines fold blankets better than the locally-bred Singapore Girl.

Why? Because Singaporeans get their maids to do it for them.

Mr Goh can take heart that nowadays local stewardesses, at least those I have met, are neither spoilt nor snooty.

I was pleasantly surprised by the confidence and professionalism displayed by the cabin crew when I boarded budget carriers Tiger Airways and AirAsia.

There was none of the brusqueness I encountered on some full-service airlines even though the Tiger Airways and AirAsia girls had to handle payment for food as well as keep the toilets clean.

I have not yet flown with Valuair but the airline's stewardess, Ms Audrey Heng, charmed me.

The former Singapore Airlines (SIA) stewardess told me that whenever she is in a taxi, she tells the driver about Valuair and its cheap fares.

She said the cabbies often express surprise asking why "a pretty girl like you" has not chosen to fly with a more glamorous carrier.

Discrimination exists. A Tiger Airways stewardess told me that she had encountered some supercilious looks from her counterparts in another airline.

These girls, who feel superior on the basis of their designer uniforms, clearly have not grasped the essence of hospitality or realised how the airline industry is shifting.

It's shameful how cruel, catty and competitive women can sometimes be towards their own kind.

Luckily, many Singaporean women aspiring to be cabin crew members have adapted to the global trend where flying has become more a mode of transport and less of an occasion.

In the US, traditional airlines like United, Delta and US Airways have laid off thousands of workers while budget carriers grow.

According to the International Herald Tribune, US budget airline JetBlue gets 120,000 resumes a year or 50-plus applications for one opening, while Southwest Airlines saw a 30 per cent surge in applications this year.

In Singapore, at least 900 women have applied to join low-cost carriers.

I had worked briefly as a stewardess about four years ago and would not have hesitated to join a budget carrier had they existed then.

It always made my day to see a jet-lagged face return my smile, be it from the passenger seated in business class, the one herded into Y class or just someone transitting at the airport.

I also like the idea of joining a start-up.

The camaraderie and the absence of hierarchy means one can make a significant difference and nurture relationships.

At the 150-employee Valuair, boss Lim Chin Beng often chats with staff over tea, a luxury he probably could not afford when he was deputy chairman of SIA.

Valuair executive director Arthur Lim said his girls work harder, adding: "There is no idealised image for you to fall back on. You are judged solely on how well you carry out your duties."

Naysayers admonish: Don't join a start-up because it has more perils than perks.

I say give it a try.

It may be turbulent, even short-lived sometimes, but it could well be your best ride ever.

Like my career with Streats.

Copyright © Singapore Press Holdings, 2004. All rights reserved.
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Old September 28th, 2004, 12:46 AM   #434
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Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 27 September 2004 2332 hrs

Tourism Australia and Valuair tie up to entice Singaporeans to fly to Perth
By Yvonne Cheong, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : Flying to Perth looks set to get cheaper.

Tourism Australia and budget carrier Valuair will spend $400,000 over three months to tempt Singaporeans to head down under.

Each year, some 62,000 Singaporeans head for Western Australia.

But the region's tourism commission is not satisfied with this. It wants to increase the number by at least 10 percent.

So the tourism authorities are partnering Valuair to make it more attractive to head down under.

Mr Rowden Sharpe, Tourism Western Australia, said: "We are definitely targeting a new market segment like a new first-comer. They are still going to require accommodation, they are going to require package, and from Tourism Australia's role, we will be ensuring that those variety of packages are in the marketplace for the travel agent."

For a start, there will be a promotion in mid-November which will see Valuair offering tickets to Perth for about $400.

This will be 30 percent cheaper than peak season fares on full service airlines.

Mr Sim Kay Wee, CEO of Valuair, said: "I am basically targeting the smart traveller, the guy who is kind of tech-savvy, the guy who is also interested to know more about travelling to out of the way places in Australia, and who want to participate in the slice of Australia life.

"This event will be quite exciting. We hope to involve families in this event and we hope to fly in a celebrity from Australia as well."

Among those whom Valuair will target are weekend golfers and students.

Ultimately the Singapore-based budget carrier wants to make Perth the destination for first time holidaymakers.

Mr Sim added: "After all now Perth is like a suburb of Singapore. People will have no qualms about just going there for a long weekend. We hope that through us Perth will become a very familiar ground to many young Singaporeans."

The carrier is also working with Singapore's Tourism Board to promote the city-island to Western Australians by offering dual-destination packages to Bangkok or Hong Kong.

So is Singapore's other budget carrier Tiger Airways also eyeing the market down under and will there be a price war?

When Valuair begins flying to Perth on December 1, it will break the current duopoly by Singapore Airlines and Qantas Airways.

And though Tourism Australia says it expects the market to grow by about 10 percent, competing low-cost carrier Tiger Airways says it will not be considering Perth for a long time to come, but will instead focus on Southeast Asian destinations.

Valuair is also looking at tying up with other airlines to make it more attractive for Western Australian tourists to stop over in Singapore for a few days before heading to European destinations.

It may increase it to two flights if response is good, and may fly to other Australian cities such as Brisbane or Melbourne.

Mr Sim said: "My advice is not to commit yourself to any holiday package right now but to wait for Valuair to fly from December 1. We hope to launch our flights and if they can wait, they will definitley get a great deal going down to Australia." - CNA

Copyright © 2004 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old September 28th, 2004, 11:50 AM   #435
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Bali travel leaps forward
Perth Airport is pleased to announce a fifty percent growth in passengers travelling to Bali and welcomes increased services by Garuda and Air Paradise and start up of Australian Airlines on the Perth Bali route.

The additional seat capacity on the Perth Bali route will result in travellers having more opportunities to travel to Western Australias favourite overseas destination, the holiday island of Bali.

Recently both Garuda Indonesia and Air Paradise increased services on the route. Garuda Indonesia is now offering 10 flights per week beginning the 2nd October 2004 and Air Paradise has 5 flights per week plus for the month of October it is increasing its services to 8 flights per week due to demand. Qantas has also announced increased capacity to Bali with the introduction of its B767 all economy class services with Australian Airlines.

This is great news for holiday makers as increased services will invariably mean increased competition on the Perth Bali route and the continued availability of great value holiday packages Perth Airport Chief Executive Officer Graham Muir said.

There has been extraordinary growth in the number of passengers travelling to Bali in the first two months of financial year 2004/2005 with over 50% more people choosing the popular holiday destination compared to the same period last year Mr Muir said.

The rise in Bali traffic is one of the main reasons for the boost in international passenger traffic figures through Perth Airport. The first two months of Financial Year 2004/2005 has shown record international passenger numbers with growth rates running at 15% compared to the same period last year. The growth in Bali traffic coincides with the recent announcement by Singapore based discount airline Valuair of its introduction of daily services on the Perth Singapore route from December of this year.

The airport is also experiencing record domestic passenger numbers with the first two months of 2004/5 showing an increase of 17% on the same period last year.

Airlines provide services to destinations that people want to visit and Western Australia is proving to be a popular destination for overseas and domestic travellers."
http://www1.perthairport.com/content.aspx?ContentID=284
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Old September 28th, 2004, 02:13 PM   #436
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SEPT 28, 2004
Valuair takes on the big boys in ad war
CEO says airline will use cheaper media like taxi-top and radio ads to build brand instead of relying on an individual or icon

By Nicholas Fang

NO SINGAPORE Girl? No Sir Richard Branson? No problem, says Valuair executive director Jimmy Lau, when asked how the low-cost carrier plans to market itself effectively as it takes on the big boys of the aviation industry.

Speaking at an advertising conference, Mr Lau said that Valuair would not seek to model itself on carriers such as Virgin Atlantic or Malaysia's AirAsia, which have often featured their charismatic chief executives, Sir Richard and Mr Tony Fernandes respectively, in their marketing efforts.

Sir Richard is remembered for having famously gone naked or putting on a wedding dress to promote his companies, while the flamboyant Mr Fernandes is often the centre of attention at media conferences or other promotional events.

On the contrary, Mr Lau said in a speech at the conference last week: 'We are not promoting any particular icon or individual like some of the other carriers do.

'We are only four months old and competing with a hybrid model. We are obviously not a full-service carrier, but we are not a budget airline either.

'We like to see ourselves as a low-cost operator that offers comfortable travel at a low price,' he said, adding that Valuair's target market was the 'mass affluent'.

'We're a 'brand challenger' to the established big names in the same way that Adidas was to Nike, StarHub to SingTel and Pepsi to Coke.'

With the emphasis on providing value for money, Valuair has sought to keep its operating costs down, through efforts such as using a single class of aircraft, the Airbus A320, while maintaining a few frills such as assigned seats and meals.

Mr Lau said that as a result, the airline has opted for relatively cheaper advertising options such as using taxi ads instead of the glitz and glitter of large-scale global campaigns that are the trademark of bigger airlines with deeper pockets.

'These have been less expensive but were able to create good brand recognition and awareness for us among our target consumers,' he said.

Its radio campaign had also proven very cost-effective for the airline, he added.

Asked whether Valuair would seek to market its all-girl cabin crew as a challenger to Singapore Airlines' globally recognised Singapore Girl image, Mr Lau said that Valuair would not be emphasising any single aspect of its service.

'We try to bring out as many of our strengths as possible, including our crew and pilots, and not just focus on one person.'

Mr Lau said that Valuair would continue to work with partners such as Visa, StarHub and Ricola, as well as offer themed holidays such as women-only shopping trips to Hong Kong, to further strengthen its brand and position in the region's highly competitive aviation market.

The carrier is also partnering sporting associations such as the Fencing Singapore federation, and will help athletes and officials organise trips to any of the destinations that the carrier services.

It is also the official carrier for December's ZoukOut party at Sentosa, and will be flying in party-goers from Bangkok, Hong Kong and Jakarta.

Valuair currently flies to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Jakarta, and plans to start flights to Perth by the end of this year. It has also begun the process of applying to fly to major cities in China and expects to get approval within the next few months, he said.

Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old September 30th, 2004, 02:53 PM   #437
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Business Times - 30 Sep 2004

Tiger Airways, UOB launch affinity card

By GEORGE JOSEPH

(SINGAPORE) Budget carrier Tiger Airways and Singapore's largest credit card issuing bank UOB have teamed up to launch the latest affinity card for air travellers here - the UOB-Tiger Airways Visa gold smart card.

On a day when there was a hive of activity on the low-cost carrier front in Singapore, with Qantas-backed Jetstar Asia showcasing its management team and crew uniform, Singapore Airlines associate Tiger Airways and United Overseas Bank introduced a credit card that among other benefits will get users a 5 per cent discount on selected airfares and advance notice on all promotions.

In April this year, DBS Bank partnered Malaysia's Air Asia to give travellers here a MasterCard which allows them to redeem flights on the budget carrier through a frequent flier programme. Later, Valuair said that under a tie-up with Visa, the airline will offer discounts to all of Visa's 200 million customers worldwide.

It now remains to be seen if the third Singapore-based LCC, Jetstar Asia, joins in the credit card affinity game to pull in customers who have been enticed with some of the lowest fares ever heard of in the airline business.

Yesterday, UOB and Tiger Airways said their cardholders will be able to get a 'fly to Bangkok for only $28 (one-way)' deal. Other benefits include a 10 per cent discount on in-flight duty-free purchases and up to 50 per cent off selected hotel rack rates through UOB Travel Planners.

UOB said that it will continue to 'seize new market trends and develop strategic partnerships'. Executive vice-president (personal financial services) Sim Puay Suang said: 'In air travel, consumers today are beginning to favour the frills-free option of travelling to regional destinations which leaves them with more spending money for their business or leisure activities.'

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old October 2nd, 2004, 10:13 AM   #438
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^
The ad for the card.....


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Old October 3rd, 2004, 10:48 AM   #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03
^
The ad for the card.....


!!

Come to think of it...if you are a credit card holder...why bother with budget airlines??
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Old October 3rd, 2004, 11:17 AM   #440
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
!!

Come to think of it...if you are a credit card holder...why bother with budget airlines??
Aiyah got a lot of good offers mah.......anyway even if you hold a credit card you might not be really rich loh........
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