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Old May 5th, 2004, 05:13 PM   #61
babystan03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
So now it it back to 5 flights lah? So I was correct when I said SIA and Cathay have the same number of flights! (thanks to silly air rights controls...)
Yes right....made the mistake cos they were showing 2 flights for the same timing because cathay and american airline code share.
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Old May 5th, 2004, 06:06 PM   #62
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Btw, did you guys know the most busiest air traffic in changi is from Singapore to jakarta with 27 flights a day !

SQ have 9 flights a day to Jakarta, Garuda 8 times, KLM,Lufthansa,Air france, emirates, Kuwait airways,Lion air (4 times), Philippines airlines, Thai airways, Cathay, etc and a week from now...Valuair

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Old May 5th, 2004, 06:11 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80
Btw, did you guys know the most busiest air traffic in changi is from Singapore to jakarta with 27 flights a day !

SQ have 9 flights a day to Jakarta, Garuda 8 times, KLM,Lufthansa,Air france, emirates, Kuwait airways,Lion air (4 times), Philippines airlines, Thai airways, Cathay, etc and a week from now...Valuair

Cheers
Which is why airfares are getting cheaper and cheaper for the Singapore-Jarkata route.....
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Old May 5th, 2004, 06:23 PM   #64
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Singapore's first budget carrier Valuair takes off with maiden flight

Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 05 May 2004 2055 hrs

By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : Singapore's first budget carrier, Valuair, has taken to the skies with its inaugural flight to Bangkok.

And it looks like passengers can expect a price war, not just among budget carriers but also the full-service airlines.

Major carriers are already feeling the impact of these low-cost carriers and their cut-throat prices.

Before Valuair's first commercial flight, there was a bit of song and dance by the cabin crew.

Spirits were high and there was plenty to celebrate.

It is a new airline with new prices to match -- from S$138 for a return ticket to Bangkok or Jakarta, and just S$300 return to Hong Kong.

So it is no wonder Mr Chong Fah Cheong, the first passenger to check in, was smiling.

"Since I'm paying that kind of price, why not? If there are alternatives, all the better for me," one passenger said.

"It's a new airline for me, so I just want to try it out. I guess maybe because we are paying less than normal, expectations are not so high," another said.

But there are high expectations that ticket prices for full-service airlines will also come down, especially with Cathay Pacific and SIA recently announcing lower fares to Hong Kong of between S$300 and S$368.

But can full-service airlines keep up these prices?

Valuair chairman Lim Chin Beng said, "I think it's a knee-jerk reaction because they cannot bear to see low prices, lower than theirs. It is a show of force, a show of strength but my question is if they manage to kill the budget airlines, then obviously their prices will go up again. So, is that in the interests of the travelling public?"

Mr Lim, who confessed to being surprised by the price cutting at other full-service airlines, felt they would be better off competing with each other rather than against a budget carrier.

He added that based on his past airline experience, such price cutting, if widespread, may not be sustainable for the big boys, who could very well end up losing money.

But the question for passengers must surely be, just how much lower can the fares go after the promotional period is over?

Valuair, for one, is keeping its cards close to its chest and will only say they will be looking at what other airlines are doing and keeping their options open.

Valuair will start flying to Hong Kong from Friday and to Jakarta from Monday. - CNA

Copyright © 2004 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old May 5th, 2004, 08:24 PM   #65
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Valuair is pretty much like Silkair in my opinion, they still offer meals but i have no idea if Valuair will offer IFE like Silkair.

Babystan09, yeap it can get low as $50 by 2 years from now, as many LLC will establish.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 06:08 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80
Valuair is pretty much like Silkair in my opinion, they still offer meals but i have no idea if Valuair will offer IFE like Silkair.

Babystan09, yeap it can get low as $50 by 2 years from now, as many LLC will establish.
Thanks I hope so too....

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Old May 6th, 2004, 08:06 AM   #67
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Air Fare Wars

MAY 6, 2004

Valuair chief lashes out at big airlines' price cuts
SIA, Cathay should fight each other, not budget carriers


By Karamjit Kaur

THE move by Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines to slash fares to Hong Kong smacks of bullying tactics, said Valuair chief Lim Chin Beng, adding that the big boys should compete with each other instead.

At a pre-launch ceremony to mark Valuair's maiden flight to Bangkok yesterday, he said 'they should be watching each other and fighting with each other', rather than putting their efforts into 'losing money trying to fight with a budget carrier'.

He said this when asked to comment on Cathay's decision on Tuesday to offer $300 round-trip tickets to Hong Kong, the same promotional fare Valuair is offering for its own flights to Hong Kong, which begin tomorrow.

SIA is offering round-trip tickets at $368, if two people travel together. Its regular fare is $500.

Mr Lim, who was once deputy chairman of SIA, said: 'I'm very surprised they are doing this... It is a knee-jerk reaction and a show of force and strength.'

Still, he does not think the two flag carriers' low fares will last long 'unless they want to lose money'.

Will Valuair fight back?

He said: 'We do not believe in unhealthy cut-throat competition based solely on fares. We believe in product differentiation.'

At the end of the day, it is the product that will determine whether or not an airline survives, he said.

'We believe we have a good product. We offer some services, like simple meals and assigned seats, at a low fare. It may not be the lowest fare but it is low,' he said.

It is a concept that suits Mr Irving Low, 33, a partner at accounting giant KPMG, who was on board VF302 when it left Changi Airport at 1.50pm.

'I lived in Europe for several years and I have flown on budget carriers like Ryanair which offer no frills. It's nice to have a basic level of service and I don't mind paying a little extra for that,' he said.

Among the 162 passengers were nine journalists from Singapore. The flight took just over two hours and passengers were served a light meal of fried noodles, a small banana muffin and coffee or tea.

Also on the flight was professional triathlete Jonathan Pereira, 28, who said: 'For me, food is not a priority, especially on short flights like this one. The critical thing is good fares and convenient flight times.'

Still, if the fare was the same, he would choose a full-service airline for facilities like an in-flight entertainment system, he said.

For now, at least, it looks like a travellers' market.

Mr Trevor Williams, a venture capitalist, said: 'Each airline has its place and you choose based on your needs. If I am going on a business trip, I would probably fly a full-service airline but if it is short haul, Valuair is as good as anything else.'

Competition can only intensify as more budget carriers enter the market.

Valuair has adopted a hip and fun image and cabin crew wear polo T-shirts, trousers or skirts and sneakers.

Passengers on yesterday's flight also had a chance to win $100 StarHub vouchers, by answering simple questions about Valuair.


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Copyright @ 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 08:13 AM   #68
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Valuair to offer more frills

May 06, 2004

On the cards: N-Gage consoles, themed flights

By Chua Kong Ho

MR SUZUKI Sinichi, 30, bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok on Valuair the moment he heard that the budget airline was starting a daily service to the Thai capital.

Yesterday, the Japanese national, who teaches at a private school in Singapore, joined 137 others on the airline’s inaugural flight.

“I’m excited and looking forward to the flight. It is much cheaper than what I’m used to paying in Japan,” he told Streats at the airport yesterday.

But Valuair will have to work hard at retaining the loyalty of passengers such as Mr Suzuki.

He will be travelling on Thai AirAsia, the other budget airline currently serving the Singapore-Bangkok sector, on the return leg to Singapore.

“I don’t know whether I’ll fly Valuair or AirAsia the next time. I’ll decide after comparing the two,” he said.

Valuair must be hoping that its “some frills” concept catches on.

Streats understands that it is close to a deal with StarHub to offer 20 sets of Nokia N-Gage, the handheld gaming consoles, on its flights. It is also working on more themed flights such as an all-women’s golf package and rainbow tours.

Besides AirAsia, Valuair also has to contend with full-service carriers Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, which reacted to Valuair’s offer with some bargains of their own.

SIA cut its Bangkok and Jakarta economy class return fare to $168, just above Valuair’s $138 for this month.

On the Hong Kong route, Cathay matched Valuair’s promotional fare of $300 for its evening flights and is offering a package that includes hotel accommodation that is cheaper than Valuair’s equivalent offer.

“I’m surprised at the reaction of the big boys,” said Valuair chairman Lim Chin Beng, a one-time managing director of his current rival, SIA.

“They should be watching and fighting each other instead of putting their efforts into competing with us.”

He added: “It’s a knee-jerk reaction. If they (the major carriers) want to continue to lose money, then they can continue the price war.”

Mr Lim said that while he was against unhealthy price wars, he conceded that his fledgling airline needed to watch what competitors were offering.

“We’re keeping our options open,” he said, when asked whether Valuair will cut its fares or extend the promotion period.

Yesterday, Valuair sold out its first Bangkok-bound flight, but filled only three in five seats for the two return legs. The airline needs to fill four in five seats to make money, said executive director Jimmy Lau.

Copyright © 2003 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 04:38 AM   #69
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Now... United Airlines joins fare war with $294 offer

MAY 7, 2004

First, Valuair offers $300 for round-trip ticket to Hong Kong

Then, Cathay Pacific announces same price for single traveller

And SIA unveils $368 package deal for one, if two go together

By Karamjit Kaur

FARES to Hong Kong continue to fall as more full-service airlines undercut each other.

The latest to enter the fray is United Airlines, which yesterday unveiled a $294 round-trip deal per person to the Special Administrative Region, if two people travel together.

It beats Cathay Pacific's $300 round-trip offer for a single traveller announced on Tuesday and Singapore Airlines' $368 package deal for one, if two people go together.

Asked if United's move to cut its fare was a knee-jerk reaction to what the other two flag carriers have done, Mr Laurence Chin, general manager of the airline's Singapore office, said: 'When deciding on fares, we look at various considerations such as market trends, aircraft loads, competition and when we feel that there is a market opportunity.'

The fierce battle for travellers to Hong Kong took off when Singapore budget airline Valuair offered a special promotion rate of $300 for a round-trip ticket until June 30. The carrier will start flying to Hong Kong from today.

On Wednesday, before its maiden flight, which was to Bangkok, its chairman, Mr Lim Chin Beng, said he was surprised by the way the big boys have responded.

He said 'they should be watching each other and fighting with each other', rather than 'losing money trying to fight with a budget carrier'.

United's Mr Chin said: 'It's the same market we're all playing in and we have to move and adjust our prices as and when we see fit.

'The market has picked up... and it's a great time for United to extend this deal to customers, especially our Mileage Plus members who can continue to accrue miles.'

It is a view shared by Mr Anthony Concil, spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, which represents more than 270 full-service airlines.

'Deciding on fares is a commercial decision that airlines make,' he said, adding that it is normal for airlines to act to 'defend their turf'.

Mr Lim is unfazed by the undercutting. He believes his model, which offers some service for a relatively low fare, is workable.

As for the promotions offered by the big boys, he pointed out that they come with restrictions.

United's latest offer, for example, is only for those who book by next Thursday and travel before the end of next month.

Asked how many seats would be offered at the discounted fare, Mr Chin said without elaborating that it would depend on the date of travel.

The carrier flies once a day from Singapore to Hong Kong.

The Straits Times understands that the number of cheap seats on each flight will vary and will depend on how full the aircraft is.


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Old May 7th, 2004, 07:44 AM   #70
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This is getting dirty now

Anyway, I do think SQ wont lose their market in SG-JKT route, as many people in Indonesia are usually SQ freaks


cheers
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Old May 7th, 2004, 09:46 AM   #71
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that's nice to hear...
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Old May 8th, 2004, 06:00 AM   #72
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Dogfight in the air: Is it fair and square?

MAY 8, 2004

By Karamjit Kaur

SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) and Cathay Pacific's robust reaction to Valuair's arrival on the market - slashing fares to Hong Kong and other cities the new carrier flies to - was on the cards, aviation experts point out.

And as an old hand in the business, the airline's chairman, Mr Lim Chin Beng, should have seen it coming.

Surely, they asked, after 30 years in the business, the former deputy chairman of SIA did not expect the big players to sit idle?

Some industry pros wonder if Mr Lim may have been joking when he remarked on Wednesday that the big boys should be 'watching each other and fighting with each other' instead of 'losing money trying to fight with a budget carrier'.

Said Mr Peter Harbison, managing director of the Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, which provides aviation consultancy and information services: 'Perhaps he was merely drawing attention to the fact that this is happening and it is because budget carriers are entering the market.'

Valuair is Singapore's first budget carrier.

Whatever the case, his comments highlight issues that deserve scrutiny, such as: Are the full-service carriers doing the right thing? Are they in fact being anti-competition?

How does the consumer figure in the equation? Where does this leave Valuair?

DEFENDING ONE'S TURF


THE Singapore manager for Cathay Pacific, Mr James Ginns, argues that the full-service carriers are being perfectly fair by slashing the price of their return ticket to Hong Kong. His airline lopped its usual $400-plus tickets to $300, the same as the new entrant's promotion fare.

'No one should be surprised to see a carrier like us competing in this low-cost space,' he said, adding that Cathay is merely responding to 'a market opportunity that exists'.

SIA's area vice-president for Singapore, Mr Wong Hong, defended SIA's actions by pointing out that competition is competition: 'It doesn't matter whether it's a budget carrier or a full-service airline.'

SIA is offering a $368 deal to Hong Kong per person, if two people go together.

Mr Anthony Concil, spokesman for the International Air Transport Association (Iata), which represents more than 270 full-service airlines, explained that it is normal for airlines to 'defend their turf'.

DBS Vickers aviation analyst Chris Sanda said he would not describe the moves as anti-competition unless 'they went across the board and offered all their seats at the discounted fares, but they are not'.

SIA and Cathay Pacific's promotions are for a limited time and do not apply on all flights, he pointed out.

Said Mr Harbison: 'Even if the laws of competition apply - and I'm not sure they do in this case - there's nothing to say you can't match your competitor's price.'

There is speculation in the industry that the big players' muscle flexing is to sound a warning to Valuair, and others waiting to enter the fray, that the full-service airlines will react if their markets are invaded - never mind that budget airlines create new markets.

After all, said Mr Sanda, there will be some overlap between what the newbies and the old-timers do and some switching by full-service customers to the low-cost boys.

BIGGER SKIRMISHES AHEAD


MEANWHILE, Mr Lim is holding on to his airline concept to see Valuair through, almost as if it was a talisman. The concept is modelled after successful United States budget carrier JetBlue, where some service is offered together at a relatively low fare.

To be sure, the current response from the big boys is just a skirmish. Bigger battles are ahead when two new Singapore-based budget carriers backed by full-service airlines enter the market.

SIA has a stake in Tiger Airways, and Australia's Qantas has a hand in an as-yet-unnamed airline.

Like Malaysia's AirAsia, both will offer no frills and compete based on low fares.

Hong Kong-based UBS Warburg analyst Timothy Ross, warned that when this happens, 'Valuair will find itself caught between two extremes - not being cheap enough to capture the low-end market and not having enough services to capture the high end'.

He believes the new carrier is likely to be marginalised by its budget competitors because there is 'a great appetite for travel at low prices without any frills, especially for short flights of two or three hours'.

Survival, said Mr Harbison, will depend on how religious the newbies are in their budgeting.

He said: 'In Europe, when the budget airlines came in, the full-service carriers thought that, because they were bigger and had more seat capacity, they could price just below or at the same level and they would blow the low-cost players out of the market.'

However, the no-frills gang who survived pulled through because they were able to sustain their low prices.

So far, Valuair's entry has been smooth: About 80 per cent of its seats to Bangkok on its 162-seater Airbus 320 have been sold on its twice-daily flights, until the end of this month.

Yesterday, it took off to Hong Kong about 70 per cent full, with 113 passengers on board. About the same number of seats have been sold on these flights in the next three weeks. It needs to fill 75 per cent of its seats on each flight to break even.

Meanwhile, with the promise of even better deals around the corner, no customers are complaining about the upcoming dogfights.


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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:36 PM   #73
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I sure hope valuair's early entry into the game will give it a slight edge...it seems the most vulnerable of the lot!
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Old May 9th, 2004, 06:47 PM   #74
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Quote:
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I sure hope valuair's early entry into the game will give it a slight edge...it seems the most vulnerable of the lot!
It's still hard to predict who will survive till the end.....let's keep our fingers crossed!!
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Old May 9th, 2004, 11:46 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80
This is getting dirty now

Anyway, I do think SQ wont lose their market in SG-JKT route, as many people in Indonesia are usually SQ freaks


cheers
SQ freaks? But arent there countless airlines flying the Sg-Jkt route?
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Old May 10th, 2004, 02:25 PM   #76
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Travel agents vie for piece of budget airline pie

MAY 10, 2004

AT LEAST one travel agent has muscled in on the budget airline action and a few dozen are trying to do the same.

Chan Brothers Travel is offering a three-day Bangkok package with a Valuair flight and hotel accommodation, starting at S$199.

SA Tours is also in talks with Valuair.

Singapore's first budget airline told The Straits Times that 30 to 40 travel agents 'of all sizes' have called in the past month, all wanting to sell Valuair tickets. Negotiations are going on, said the airline.

Valuair started flying to Bangkok on May 5 and to Hong Kong on May 7. Flights to Jakarta are due to begin this week.

Return tickets to Bangkok and Jakarta cost S$138; those to Hong Kong cost S$300.

Agents reason that while budget travellers usually buy their tickets online, they would still have to get accommodation. They figure they will not mark up Valuair's prices, but will instead do what they're best at - providing different types of accommodation and tours that are attractive to customers.


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Old May 11th, 2004, 01:11 AM   #77
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@Huaiwei Yup, there are many, but many indonesian prefer SQ because of their Krisflyer and the ontime perfomance things, well you still can try Emirates or any other european carriers like klm, air france and lufthansa if you want to be ontime...but still they choose SQ !


Btw I heard that Valuair 1st flight to jakarta was cancelled? and the passengers were enroute to Garuda ? any info on this?

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Old May 11th, 2004, 03:02 AM   #78
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Valuair cancels flights to Jakarta

MAY 11, 2004

It calls off first flight to Indonesian capital and those over the next few days; passengers can go on Garuda instead

By Natalie Soh

BARELY a week after it took to the skies to Bangkok and Hongkong, budget carrier Valuair had to call off its maiden flight to Jakarta yesterday morning.

All flights to the Indonesian capital are also off for the 'next few days', said Mr Jimmy Lau, Valuair's executive director.

He said the cancellations were not because of technical faults with its brand new fleet of A320 Airbuses but he would not be drawn into saying if it had anything to do with the Indonesian side.

The 51 passengers on VF202 to Jakarta had to be transferred to a Garuda Indonesia flight yesterday, at no extra charge.

They found out about the cancellation only when they arrived at the airport to check in for the 8.15am flight.

All of them had paid a special promotional return fare of $138, the same price that the airline is charging to fly to Bangkok.

The cheapest ticket to Jakarta on Garuda costs about $240, according to one travel agent.

Mr Lau said that passengers booked on flights for the next few days could also be transferred to Garuda at no extra charge.

Alternatively, they can cancel their bookings for a refund.

'We will arrange it,' he said.

Jakarta was the third destination for Valuair, Singapore's first budget carrier. Flights were scheduled daily.

Valuair was set up last year by SIA veteran Lim Chin Beng, with his son Arthur, and a couple of other partners.

Singapore Airlines recently tied up with Ryanair to form a budget carrier, Tiger Airways.

Valuair entered the market saying it had no plans to compete on price alone but would differentiate itself in other ways.

Instead of keeping to the low-cost no-frills model of other budget carriers, it would offer fares some 30 to 40 per cent cheaper than those of a full-cost carrier, and some frills, such as meals.

Though it said price was not its only selling point, the launch of its flights to Hong Kong for $300 last week sparked a reaction from some full-cost airlines.

Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines were all prompted to cut their own fares on the busy route.

Yesterday, Mr Lau put a brave face on the cancellations and said the maiden flight was merely 'postponed'.

He added that Valuair's flights to Bangkok and Hong Kong were not affected, and that the company was still taking reservations for future flights to Jakarta.


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Old May 11th, 2004, 03:05 AM   #79
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Gee....that sounds serious! I hope they come out with an explaination soon!

But come to think of it...those lucky passengers got to enjoy a full-service flight on a budget air ticket??
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Old May 11th, 2004, 03:17 AM   #80
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Hmm i dont think its from Indonesian side, just checked with my mate and CGk is fully ready and it has the permission for valuair....i suspect their management maybe try to think twice before joining the very massive competition between sg-jkt. Even airasia, who already well known is considering Johor Bahru - jakarta instead of sg-jkt.

If it has problem with the permission, they should settle down long before their maiden flight to jakarta and 2004 is year of indonesian open skies, so they would get the permitt easier, Yet...the big advertisements of valuair in many indonesian newspapers are already there since 5 days ago, the authority of CGK of course will notice that.

My friend is on the 1st flight from sg to jkt with Valuair, i think hes pissed off with it.

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