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Old April 5th, 2005, 08:36 PM   #841
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Ryanair sees annual traffic numbers soar 20 percent

LONDON, April 5 (AFP) - Ryanair, the Irish no-frills airline, carried 2.566 million passengers in March -- an increase of 20 percent on the same month the previous year, it said Tuesday.

That compared with 2.137 million passengers carried in March 2004.

Passenger numbers were boosted partly because the Easter holiday weekend fell during March this year, compared with April in 2004, Ryanair said in an official statement.

The no-frills airline said the load factor -- passengers as a proportion of the number of seats available -- was 80 percent, compared with 78 percent in March 2004.

Meanwhile, the total number of passengers increased in the twelve months to March to 27.594 million people, with a load factor of 84 percent.

The low-cost Dublin-based carrier added that 98 percent of air tickets over the past year were booked over the Internet, compared with 97 percent the preceding 12 months.
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Old April 7th, 2005, 02:33 PM   #842
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07 April 2005
Low-cost carriers urged to look beyond usual choice spots
By Chua Chin Chye, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE: Budget carriers in Singapore have been urged to broaden their choice of destinations and look beyond the usual choice spots.

That call came from Singapore's Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong.

He was at a ceremony to sign an open skies agreement with Bahrain's Transport Minister Sheikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Kahlifa.

It is Singapore's third open skies pact with a Middle Eastern country, after Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The Bahraini minister lost no time in inviting Singapore Airlines to resume flights to his country, saying that Bahrain has now become a regional hub for a thriving Middle East.

SIA stopped its services to Bahrain in 1988 when the entry of long-range jets allowed the carrier to fly directly from Singapore to Europe, without having to refuel midway.

As for Mr Yeo, he took the opportunity to address budget carriers which are facing problems in securing new destination rights.

Just last month, Indonesia said it was closing four cities to new budget carriers.

Mr Yeo said the authorities would do their best to help, but he urged the carriers to look at alternative destinations.

"There are still other cities in Indonesia that are available. And we have urged them to take a look at these other cities. We have told them to cast their network as large as possible, not just focus on the key capital cities or the key cities in each country," he said.

Meantime, talks for an open skies agreement between Singapore and Australia are still continuing.

"For Australia, we are just one step away from the open skies agreement... For us, the final step is really the trans-Pacific route, for SIA to be allowed to pick up passengers from Australia to fly to the US... This is the last one step, but it is the most difficult final step," Mr Yeo said.

Officials from both Singapore and Australia are expected to come up with a timeframe for further talks by the middle of this year. - CNA

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old April 7th, 2005, 02:39 PM   #843
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Business Times - 07 Apr 2005

S'pore urges Jakarta to open up key cities to low-cost carriers


SINGAPORE - Singapore Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong urged Indonesia on Thursday to reverse a ban on regional budget airlines flying to four major cities, saying increased tourism would boost economic growth.

Mr Yeo said Singaporean aviation officials had been told by their Indonesian counterparts during talks in January that the cities of Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan and Denpasar on Bali would be not be open to low-cost carriers.

'We are urging the Indonesians to reconsider, to take a look at the interests of the economy rather than seeking to protect their airlines,' Yeo told reporters after signing an open skies pact with Bahrain's Transportation Minister Sheikh Ali Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa here.

'If they are looking at creating employment, the best way to create employment is to have another million visitors into the country which the airlines will provide if they are allowed to fly.'

Mr Yeo emphasised that transport ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) had agreed to have unlimited flights between their capitals by 2008.

'So it's only a matter of time before they (Indonesians) have to open up. So we are telling the Indonesians 'why not open up earlier?'' Mr Yeo said.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 06:33 PM   #844
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easyJet March passenger traffic up 29 pct.

LONDON, April 7 (Reuters) - Passenger numbers at European low-cost airline easyJet (EZJ.L) rose 28.9 percent in March from a year ago to 2.57 million, the British-based carrier said on Thursday.

The airline said its load factor - the proportion of seats sold - was 91.2 percent of capacity, 4.3 percentage points higher than a year ago.

The increase, which included the busy Easter break, beat figures from larger low-cost rival Ryanair (RYA.I) which this week reported a 20 percent rise in passenger numbers.

Shares in the airline, which has expanded aggressively in the past 12 months and now flies to 60 airports, had risen 2 percent to 219 pence in early morning trade against a flat FTSE-350 transport sector .

Also on Thursday, smaller British regional airline Flybe reported a 32 percent year-on-year increase in March passenger numbers to 345,426.

British Airways (BAY.L) said earlier this week that its passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), rose 4.5 percent.

EasyJet said the traffic numbers were in line with its pre-close trading statement from March 22, which signalled a rise in first-half revenues per passenger and said operating margins were steady, sending its shares higher.

While passenger numbers continue to rise, budget airlines face concerns about falling yields, the average revenue per passenger carried and kilometre flown, amid stiff competition.
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Old April 10th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #845
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey
Rolling 12 month passenger totals to February 2005:
EasyJet = 26,420,497
Ryanair = 27,165,404

Percentage increase in passengers since February 2004:
EasyJet = 16.3%
Ryanair = 13%

Load factor (ie percentage bums on seats) in February 2005:
EasyJet = 85.9%
Ryanair = 79%
Rolling 12 month passenger totals to March 2005:
EasyJet = 26,996,777
Ryanair = 27,593,923

Percentage increase in passengers since March 2004:
EasyJet = 28.9%
Ryanair = 20%

Load factor (ie percentage bums on seats) in March 2005:
EasyJet = 91.2%
Ryanair = 80%
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Old April 10th, 2005, 10:19 PM   #846
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Ryanair boss paid more tax than his profitable airline
10 April 2005
The Sunday Independent (Ireland)

NICK WEBB and DAN WHITE

RYANAIR boss Michael O'Leary paid more tax in one go than his hugely profitable airline has over the last three years. Despite a turnover of €1.07bn and pre-tax profits of nearly €230m, Ryanair actually paid just €2.05m in tax last year.

Europe's most profitable airline's tax bill was €21.9m last year but by deferring a large chunk of the dues, through using clever accountancy, it handed the Revenue Commissioners a paltry €2.05m. This represented a minuscule 0.89 per cent of the company's pre-tax profits.

In 2003, Ryanair paid just €3.4m in tax on its €265m profits, having deferred the majority of its bill. This represented less than 1.3 per cent of its pre-tax profits. In 2002 it paid €5.07m in tax, again having deferred a huge slice of its tax charge.

In one of his regular publicity gimmicks O'Leary presented the Government with a three-foot cheque for nearly €14m made out to "dithering Bertie" in November 2003. This, he said, represented his personal tax bill for the year. He added that he was happy to pay the tax for the privilege of living in the independent republic of Mullingar. O'Leary's massive personal tax bill was settled months after he cashed in 4 million Ryanair shares for about €23.8m.

Ryanair is able physically to pay less tax than its profit and loss account suggests it owes, by deferring a large part of the bill. The principal reason for this is that companies can use their investment in new plant and machinery to defer or put off paying tax, using accelerated capital allowances.

Ryanair has been involved in a huge capital expenditure programme as it seeks to expand its fleet of Boeing jets.

Last year, O'Leary spent about €331m on new aircraft, with Ryanair effectively getting a new airplane every fortnight. In February, Ryanair announced plans to buy 70 next-generation Boeing 737s, with an option to buy 70 more. The initial list price of the aircraft is $4.6bn but the final bill could hit as much as $9.2bn if all the options are exercised. Since 1999, Ryanair has ordered 225 737s and taken options on 193 more. The new planes will be delivered between 2008 and 2012. The rolling capital expenditure programme, which sees new jets arriving until 2012 at the very least, could see Ryanair's tax bill deferred for a number of years before it has to pay up, analysts said.

"We've been buying shed-loads of aircraft since 1998.So we've built up a massive set of capital allowances. It'll take years to work through them," said Ryanair's Howard Millar.

"It [the tax rate]'ll start to catch up once we get over the capital expenditure hump. Our percentage going out the door will start to increase," he said. "The proportion we'll be able to shelter will decline over the next two or three years. Then it'll get smaller and smaller."

Ryanair isn't the only major Irish company to pay almost nothing in tax by deferring its bills. The 20 most valuable companies on the stock market have put off paying a staggering €1.1bn in tax, through the clever and entirely legal use of a variety of tax breaks and allowances. Cement and concrete giant CRH handed over just €188m to the tax man last year, having deferred a large chunk of its €247m bill.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 01:13 PM   #847
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Business Times - 11 Apr 2005

Valuair to start service to interior Chinese provinces

HONG KONG - Singapore-based Valuair Ltd will become the first budget airline to fly to interior Chinese provinces when it begins service to the southwestern city of Chengdu in two weeks, a newspaper reported on Monday.

The airline is also planning to add flights to the southern Chinese cities of Xiamen, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the South China Morning Post reported. The carrier currently flies to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Jakarta and the western Australia city of Perth.

Valuair chairman Lim Chin-beng was quoted as saying he plans to charge only about 10 per cent less than competitors on the China routes.

'We would be pricing very close to the major airlines because we don't want to disturb the market and the authorities,' Mr Lim told the paper.

Valuair, which started commercial flights in May, hopes the new Chengdu route will help it break even in its second year of operation, the paper said. The airline has struggled recently amid a 30-per cent decrease in tourists visiting Singapore after the Dec 26 tsunami devastated parts of the region.

But Mr Lim was quoted as saying Valuair still managed an average passenger load of more than 50 per cent despite being a few months behind its target. He said, 'When (business) gets tougher, it becomes more exciting,' the paper reported.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:16 AM   #848
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April 12, 2005
Star Cruises may raise Valuair stake

KUALA LUMPUR - STAR Cruises, the world's third-largest cruise-line operator, is keen to increase its stake in Valuair if the Singapore budget carrier needs more funds to expand its business, chairman Lim Kok Thay said.

It bought about a fifth of Valuair in December to tie up with the carrier on packages to attract more of the 8.9 million tourists expected in Singapore this year.

The shares of Hong Kong-based Star Cruises, partly owned by Malaysia's Genting Berhad, also trade in Singapore.

'If management puts up a good case, and if it's for further expansion of the business, we'd certainly look into it,' Mr Lim said in a recent interview.

'We're happy to look at anything that makes us more money, and this has such a big potential,' he added.

Singapore is within six hours' flying time for more than 2.5 billion people in Asia, where the number of millionaires rose 8.4 per cent in 2003, according to a Merrill Lynch and Capgemini Group study last month.

Valuair, the first Singapore-based budget airline, needs to expand amid growing competition from low-cost carriers backed by Singapore Airlines and Qantas Airways.

'We see Star Cruises as a strategic investor and would definitely be open to having them take a larger stake,' Valuair said in an e-mail statement. 'We would also be prepared to consider investments from other value-adding strategic partners.' -- BLOOMBERG NEWS

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 03:19 AM   #849
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Anyway, in today newspaper, there is this comment from the transport minister if hes actually NOT banning the budget carriers from those four cities, but its actually theres no deal in the negotiation between the airlines and the transport council.

Usually after his comment, within 2 or 3 weeks, the airlines will have green light to fly into those four cities. Good news though.

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Old April 12th, 2005, 10:45 AM   #850
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80
everything is very possible in Indonesia.

I think the reason why he can influence the government is because the media in Jakarta seems reporting it like a serious problem between the authorities in SG and Indonesia. It was about unfair treatment by the CAAS to Indonesian airline and yada yada..

but they forgot if many Indonesian airlines are getting easy access to SG. Such as merpati, GA, lion air, star air, Bouraq and even Riau airlines.

LOL..its ironic rite?

cheers
Ooo...so its actually the government responding to the media...and not to this fernandez lah?
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Old April 12th, 2005, 02:31 PM   #851
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Yeah and maybe fernandez also a bit influenced the decision though, if his airlines wasnt having a hard time to enter singapore, then this jakarta decision wont be exists

Anyway heres the article i was reading before.

Indonesian Transport Minister Denies Restricting Budget Carriers

JAKARTA, April 12 Asia Pulse - Transport Minister Hatta Rajasa has denied issuing a statement banning foreign budget airlines from flying to four major cities in the country.

There is no such regulation, but negotiations are needed bilaterally such as on seat capacity for the national interest, Hatta said yesterday, adding that Singapore did the same for its own interest.

Earlier Hatta had been quoted as saying that foreign low cost carriers (LCCs) are banned from serving four large cities in the country.

In January, Singapore asked Indonesia to add seat capacity for airports in Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Denpasar to implement the open sky policy and to allow Singaporean low cost carriers to gain landing rights in Yogyakarta, Semarang and Bandung.

Hatta said the request was rejected as it will threaten Indonesian airlines
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Old April 12th, 2005, 04:32 PM   #852
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12 April 2005

Singapore to hold talks with Indonesia over additional landing rights

By Jennifer Alejandaro, Channel NewsAsia

Singapore's Transport Ministry said it is in the process of arranging a meeting with its Indonesian counterpart to talk about air rights.

They will discuss a Singapore request to allow more of its discount carriers to fly to Jakarta and other key cities in Indonesia.

The ministry did not give a date for the meeting.

But a Bloomberg report quoting Indonesia's Transport Minister says it could take place on May 13.

With the recent spurt of low cost carriers in the region, competition in the sector has been intensifying.

And these carriers are not just competing for passenger numbers but also for destinations.

Indonesia is seen as an one important market.

But last month the Indonesian Transport Ministry said it would not grant additional landing rights in cities such as Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Denpasar to overseas low-cost airlines.

Jakarta wants to protect its national airlines - namely Garuda and Merpati - from competition.

The decision affects Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia and will also hurt plans by AWAIR - the Indonesian arm of Air Asia - to fly between Jakarta and Singapore.

Sngapore's civil aviation authorities said they could not proceed with AWAIR's application to fly to the island because of the restriction by Indonesia.

Last week, Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong said he hoped that Indonesia would review the new ruling.

The Bloomberg report quoted his Indonesian counterpart as saying that Jakarta may consider giving new licenses if overseas budget air carriers fly to smaller cities that are not served by international airlines.

Valuair which is already flying to Jakarta told Channel NewsAsia it would be interested in flying to more destinations in Indonesia in the future. - CNA

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old April 13th, 2005, 10:47 AM   #853
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13 April 2005

Valuair becomes first budget carrier to fly from Singapore to China

SINGAPORE : Valuair will next week become the first Singapore-based budget carrier to begin flying into China when it begins a service to the Sichuan capital of Chengdu, the airline said.

Valuair will offer a one-month promotional fare for a return flight of 442 Singapore dollars (270 US), including taxes, at least 15 percent cheaper than its established rivals.

Singapore Airlines unit SilkAir and Air China are currently offering promotional return tickets to Chengdu for 520 dollars and 555 dollars respectively, inclusive of taxes, although their regular fares are generally over 700 dollars.


Valuair, which began operations in May last year and already flies to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Perth and Jakarta, is trying to establish itself as Singapore's "second international airline".

It has positioned itself in the regional aviation market between the ultra-cheap budget airlines and the major carriers, with its flights still coming with light meals, assigned seating, leather seats and on-board service.

Valuair said it would announce a sixth destination within days.

Two other budget carriers, Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia, are also based in Singapore, while the Thai arm of Malaysia's AirAsia operates a service between the city-state and Bangkok.

Valuair's Singapore-Chengdu flight takes about four and a half hours and the service will operate four times a week.- AFP

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old April 14th, 2005, 01:31 AM   #854
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April 14, 2005
Valuair CEO makes surprise exit
He is the second budget carrier chief here to quit in less than six months

By Nicholas Fang
Transport Correspondent

ANOTHER boss of a budget airline has quit out of the blue.

Valuair chief executive officer (CEO) Sim Kay Wee resigned abruptly on Tuesday and did not turn up for work yesterday.

His surprise exit comes less than six months after Tiger Airways CEO Patrick Gan stepped down after just eight months on the job.

Valuair said yesterday that Mr Sim, 55, had resigned because of personal reasons.

Chairman Lim Chin Beng will take over the controls for the time being.

Mr Sim told The Straits Times in a phone interview yesterday that he was taking a short period of leave and would be returning to work before his resignation takes effect next Friday.

He said it was too early to say what he would be doing following his resignation, or even if he would stay within the aviation industry.

The industry veteran declined to comment on the hot topic of why he resigned.

Some industry watchers said there had been rumours of tension among Valuair's top management recently.

Mr Sim became CEO of Valuair last August after retiring from his position at flag-carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) where he was senior vice-president for cabin crew.

Valuair, which started operations last May, said in a statement yesterday: 'Valu- air's management would like to take this opportunity to thank Kay Wee for his leadership and contribution to Valu- air.

'We wish him all the success in his future endeavours.'

Mr Sim had previously served under Mr Lim at SIA. Mr Lim retired as deputy chairman of SIA in 1996.

Leadership changes seem to be increasingly common in the low-cost carrier industry, with Tiger Airways having experienced three CEOs since taking to the skies last September.

Ryanair veteran Charlie Clifton stood in as Tiger's CEO before Mr Gan took over.

Following Mr Gan's departure, Tiger appointed industry veteran Tony Davis as its president and CEO.

News of Mr Sim's resignation comes at a hectic time for Valuair, which announced this week that it will become the first Singapore-based budget carrier to begin flying into China when it starts a service to Chengdu next week.

Competition in the budget carrier market is hotting up.

Valuair is up against SIA affiliate Tiger Airways and Qantas Airways' Jetstar Asia - both of which are also based in Singapore - as well as Malaysia's AirAsia.

And if that is not enough, a combination of regulatory hurdles, protectionism, predatory pricing, terrorism and natural disasters has clouded the growth of regional budget carriers over the past two years.

Valuair had said earlier that it was aiming for a possible public listing in two years' time to raise funds for further expansion.

Mr Sim had said then that the airline was on track to break even by March next year.

CALLING IT A DAY


Mr Sim, who apparently resigned for personal reasons, says it is too early to tell what he will be doing next or even whether he will remain in the aviation industry

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved
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Old April 14th, 2005, 02:11 PM   #855
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Haha..maybe they are arguing over whether Valuair should be a budget or full service carrier?
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Old April 15th, 2005, 02:56 PM   #856
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15 April 2005

Ryanair agrees plans for new European base in Germany


LONDON : Ryanair, the Irish no-frills airline, announced it had reached an agreement for a new European hub at Luebeck airport near Hamburg in northern Germany that would handle two million passengers annually.

Ryanair said it had reached an agreement with New Zealand-based investment group Infratil, which simultaneously announced the purchase of Luebeck airport.

"Ryanair ... has reached agreement with Infratil to base up to four new (Boeing) 737 aircraft and deliver up to two million passengers per annum to Luebeck airport," the airline said in a statement.

"This agreement is subject to the successful completion of a conditional purchase agreement between Infratil and the City of Luebeck announced on April 14. Settlement of the transaction is expected to occur a few months' time," it added.

Ryanair said it would invest over 250 million dollars (196 million euros) in four new Boeing 737 aircraft and create over 200 new jobs in Luebeck.

"This new base would revolutionise the future growth of Luebeck Airport," Ryanair's deputy chief executive Michael Cawley said.

Ryanair currently flies from eight airports in Germany, where its main base is the Hahn airport in southwestern Germany.

The airline has helped to transform European air travel by offering cheap fares on short-haul routes across the continent.

Ryanair's announcement came a day after it agreed to settle out of court a dispute with British airports operator BAA surrounding the scale of fuel levy charges at Stansted Airport, north of London.

In February, Ryanair announced the order of 140 Boeing planes, including 70 firm orders in a deal worth over 4.0 billion dollars, and the creation of 2,500 jobs.

The airline is looking to steal a march on its rivals, especially Britain's easyJet, by driving prices down amid cut-throat competition from both the no-frills sector and traditional flag carriers including British Airways, Germany's Lufthansa and Aer Lingus in Ireland.- AFP /ls

Copyright © 2005 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 01:20 PM   #857
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Business Times - 19 Apr 2005

Low-cost carrier Ryanair scraps inflight entertainment system


(LONDON) Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair said yesterday it was scrapping its paid inflight entertainment system due to lack of demand from passengers. Dublin-based Ryanair it had decided not to introduce the much-lauded portable entertainment units, on trial on some of its planes since November, across its fleet.

'It was lack of demand. They decided not to follow it any further,' a Ryanair spokeswoman said. It was a rare about-face for chief executive Michael O'Leary who said in September the units would become 'as common as the in-flight magazine'. However, the airline said it had not lost any money on the system which it had on trial on just five aircraft before making a significant investment. Ryanair is now considering in-flight gambling as the latest source for non-ticket revenue.

Passengers were asked to pay 5 (S$15.7) to access movies, cartoons and television shows on the portable units, which resemble small laptops, and are not built into seats as on full-service carriers. - Reuters

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 01:52 PM   #858
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$15 for movies?? I can buy a DVD with that money!
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Old April 20th, 2005, 01:37 PM   #859
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Business Times - 20 Apr 2005

Valuair adds Xiamen to network; Tiger Airways slashes prices


SINGAPORE - Two of Singapore's low-cost carriers upped the ante in the region's cutthroat budget airline market on Wednesday, with Valuair announcing its second China destination and Tiger Airways slashing prices to US$6.

Valuair said in a statement it would begin flying to Xiamen in south-eastern China from Monday, its second destination in the mainland after opening a route to Chengdu earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Tiger Airways - an offshoot of Singapore Airlines - said it would offer one-way tickets to any of its 10 destinations for S$9.98 from Thursday until the end of June, the peak school holiday travel season. Current fares range up to about 10 times higher.

Observers say both airlines are trying to take advantage of the upcoming summer holidays and Singaporeans' affinity for travel overseas, especially during school breaks.

'I'm confident, with the value we provide, that we'll not only be carrying high volume of Singaporeans wanting to visit Xiamen either for business or pleasure, but also attracting a lot of tourists into Singapore,' said Valuair chairman Lim Chin Beng in a statement.

Singapore's aviation authorities have embraced the growth of low-cost fliers and are building a passenger terminal at Changi Airport specifically for discount airlines that is set to open in 2006.

Qantas-backed Jetstar Asia is the other budget airline based in the Republic.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #860
huaiwei
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I know about the Xiamen service thanks to a travel site rather then from the news or the airline itself.
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