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Old September 6th, 2005, 04:45 PM   #1061
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AUGUST PASSENGER STATS BLOW BRITISH AIRWAYS AWAY
Ryanair Press Release

Ryanair, Europe's No. 1 low fares airline, today (Monday, 5th September 2005) celebrated carrying more passengers in one month than British Airways on its worldwide network for the first ever time. The statistics for August published by both Ryanair and BA show that Ryanair carried 156,000 more passengers than BA's entire network figure. Ryanair currently operates 250 routes across 21 countries and this year will carry 35 million passengers.

Speaking this afternoon, Ryanair's CEO, Michael O'Leary said:

"It's official - RYANAIR has today become the WORLD'S FAVOURITE AIRLINE! Last month Ryanair's traffic exceeded BA's worldwide passengers across its entire network. Ryanair carried over 3.26 million passengers an increase of 27% on the same period last year, while BA carried 3.10 million passengers on its entire worldwide network, as sales slumped by 4% from BA's August 2004 traffic in the face of multiple fuel surcharges. (BA suffered flight disruptions in August 2004 as well as 2005)

"Ryanair's passenger volumes are growing rapidly thanks to new destinations, lowest ever fares, industry leading punctuality and customer service and Ryanair's guarantee of NO fuel surcharges, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. BA keep turning passengers away with fuel surcharge after fuel surcharge, high fares, poor punctuality, flight cancellations and no catering. At least on Ryanair, customers can buy a sandwich with £100 they have saved over BA's high fares.

"That is why RYANAIR is now the WORLD'S FAVOURITE AIRLINE, and BA are now officially just the second choice".
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Old September 7th, 2005, 03:59 PM   #1062
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Btw in case you guys didnt know, Valuair just add more flight to Jakarta from SIN. its not twice a day from SIN - CGK.

babystan. thanks for the picture! I wonder where are your friend right now? (huaiwei)?

cheers
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Old September 7th, 2005, 04:58 PM   #1063
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80
Btw in case you guys didnt know, Valuair just add more flight to Jakarta from SIN. its not twice a day from SIN - CGK.

babystan. thanks for the picture! I wonder where are your friend right now? (huaiwei)?

cheers
Oh yeah I saw the valuair advertisement on the newspaper about the additional flight from Singapore to Jakarta.....

Not sure where he is......
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Old September 7th, 2005, 05:13 PM   #1064
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easyJet Carried 2.9M Passengers In August
7 September 2005
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones) -- easyJet said Wednesday that for the month ending August 2005 it carried 2,903,404 passengers, a load factor of 88.4%.

This compares with 2,459,735 for August 2004, a load factor of 88.6%.

For the rolling 12 months ending July 2005 the company carried 29,169,743 passengers (load factor 85.2%) earning it revenue of GBP1,319 million compared with 23,879,509 passengers (load factor 84.4%) for the 12 months to July 2004 which earned it revenue of GBP1,071 million.

Chief Executive, Ray Webster said: "August was another strong month for easyJet: load factor and passenger growth were both virtually unchanged from last month. Unit revenue (total revenue per seat flown) continued to increase year-on-year. We maintain the revenue and profits guidance issued with our third quarter statistics last month."
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Old September 7th, 2005, 05:25 PM   #1065
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Budget airline arrivals up 33 percent in Spain in 2004

MADRID, Sept 5 (AFP) - The number of arrivals to Spain on low-cost airlines surged 33.3 percent to 14 million passengers in 2004 from the previous year, according to a report by the Institute of Tourism Studies obtained by AFP on Monday.

Traditional airlines meanwhile saw their passenger arrivals shrink by one percent during the same period, said the institute, which is an arm of the ministry of industry, tourism and commerce.

Passengers arriving to Spain by a budget airline made up 29.2 percent of all arrivals into the country.

"In 2004, there were 104,000 low-cost flights, a 32.6-percent increase from the previous year," the report said.

"They maintained strong occupancy rates of 81.7 percent, higher, as was the case already in 2003, than the 76.1 percent rate of traditional airlines," the study said.

Low-cost airlines made the biggest inroads in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, with 23 and 22.4 percent of all budget arrivals to the country respectively.

In Catalonia, 69.2 percent of the low-cost passengers arrived from Britain, Italy and Germany with more British now flying there on budget airlines than on traditional ones, the study noted.

Easyjet has the largest share of the low-cost flight market in Spain with 20.3 percent, followed by Air Berlin and Ryanair which managed to increase its passenger traffic by 120 percent last year.

Also Monday, Air Berlin's general director for Spain and Portugal, Alvaro Middelmann, said the company was planning to extend its services from Palma, Mallorca to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain and Amsterdam from November.

Air Berlin, which unveiled a 32-percent rise in passengers from Palma to 2.5 million from July to July, also plans to begin operating twice-daily services between Palma and Lisbon and also Porto in Portugal.

Spain, the second most-visited country in the world in 2004 after France, welcomed a record 53.6 million foreign visitors, according to government statistics.

British citizens topped arrivals with 16.38 million visiting in 2004, followed by the 10.2 million Germans and 7.49 million French tourists.

Tourism is the biggest source of income for the Spanish economy, accounting for 12 percent of the nation's gross domestic product.
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Old September 10th, 2005, 03:15 AM   #1066
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey
Rolling 12 month passenger totals to July 2005:
EasyJet = 28,725,408
Ryanair = 30,275,805

Percentage increase in passengers since July 2004:
EasyJet = 22.7%
Ryanair = 29%

Load factor (ie percentage bums on seats) in July 2005:
EasyJet = 85.2%
Ryanair = 90%



Ryanair's figures are absolutely amazing. 29% growth, 90% load factor, and an annual total punching through the 30 million barrier!! And EasyJet is never far behind....
Rolling 12 month passenger totals to August 2005:
EasyJet = 29,169,743
Ryanair = 30,967,629

Percentage increase in passengers since August 2004:
EasyJet = 22.2%
Ryanair = 27%

Load factor (ie percentage bums on seats) in August 2005:
EasyJet = 88.4%
Ryanair = 98%
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Old September 11th, 2005, 09:17 PM   #1067
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Ryanair passengers are forced to hire bus to get home after their flight is cancelled
BY JUSTIN STARES in Brussels
11 September 2005
The Sunday Telegraph

STRANDED RYANAIR passengers were forced to hire a bus and drive 600 miles home after their flight was cancelled and they were told that the next aircraft out of a small French airport would be in 10 days time.

The 51 holidaymakers, led by a Belgian window cleaner, clubbed together to rent a vehicle for euros4,000 ( pounds 2,700) after the no-frills airline announced that their flight from Carcassone to Charleroi airport, Brussels, would not be replaced.

The passengers, mostly Belgians but including five Britons and 15 Germans, were told upon arriving at the airport last week that their flight to Charleroi, Ryanair's European hub, had been cancelled due to bad weather.

Their aircraft had been diverted to nearby Perpignan during a storm and there was no time to transfer them to that airport before the plane made the return journey, empty, the company said.

"They abandoned us there as if we were dogs,'' said Gauthier Renders, the 28-year-old window cleaner from Brussels. "There were children there and even an old woman with a walking stick. They didn't even give us a glass of water.''

He continued: "At the Ryanair desk they said there were no available flights before September 15. Everything was fully booked. They said that some of us could get home via Gerone in Spain but that was 200 miles away and there were only 15 places available.

"They also said they wouldn't pay for us to get there. So I looked for a bus in the Yellow Pages and we were on the road by 9pm.'' The bus company provided two drivers and after a 16-hour drive the coach arrived in Belgium, on Tuesday.

"That's a long trip and everyone was pretty frustrated when we got there. Ryanair said they would refund our return flight - half the price of the original ticket - but said that it would take three weeks for the money to arrive,'' Mr Renders said. "They don't care about the bad publicity; they know they are a cheap airline and that people will use them again just because they are cheap. But not me: my wife and I will never fly Ryanair again.'' Mr Renders and his wife paid euros220 each for the return trip to Carcassone, where they were attending a wedding. "I collected the names and numbers of the other passengers and as soon as I got back I phoned my lawyer. I thought we could take them to court, but he said there was not much point as some people only paid euros5 and the legal fees would be much higher than that.''

David Gering, Ryanair's commercial director in Belgium, said: "Ryanair is the company which cancels the fewest flights in Europe, though we do occasionally have to due to technical problems or bad weather. In the case of a cancellation our policy is to reimburse or offer a seat on the next available flight.''

A spokesman for Charleroi airport said: "The subsequent flights were all fully booked and Ryanair did not want to spend the money sending a replacement aircraft.''

The incident came in the week that Ryanair suffered a setback in its fight to overturn a European Union law that raises compensation for stranded travellers.

An advocate general at the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice said that the 2004 law, which took effect in February, should be upheld.

The legislation entitles passengers left stranded by overbookings or cancelled flights to compensation of between euros250 and euros600. The law sets out how passengers should either be re-routed, or looked after while awaiting a new flight - including the circumstances in which they must be provided with food, hotels and access to a telephone. Ryanair admits that it has been "inundated with claims'' following the posting of the new rules on notice boards at airports all over the EU.

Ryanair and nine other airlines represented by the European Low Fares Airline Association want the legislation scrapped on the grounds that it contravenes an international agreement protecting airlines when delays are beyond their control. They claim that the rules are unfair because compensation may exceed what customers pay for their tickets.

"The regulation on compensation and assistance to air passengers is valid,'' advocate general Leendert Geelhoed said. The full court usually follows the advocate general's advice.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 04:07 AM   #1068
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Sept 13, 2005
Tiger Airways won't impose fuel surcharge for now

SINGAPORE-BASED Tiger Airways said yesterday that it will not impose a fuel surcharge for the 'foreseeable future', despite surging jet fuel prices.

The airline hopes this strategy will give it an advantage over rivals like Jetstar Asia and Malaysia's AirAsia, which have both imposed surcharges.

Tiger Airways chief executive Tony Davis said: 'We price our product to make it competitive and ultimately that will determine how successful we are.

'Without imposing a surcharge, the difference between us and our competitors is even wider and therefore it means that our own performance will be that much greater.'

Jetstar increased its surcharge per flight by $2 to $10 two weeks ago. It has been charging $8 for all sectors, except Hong Kong, since May 12. AirAsia has been imposing a surcharge of up to RM25 (S$11) since July 14.

Tiger's parent company Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced its fifth round of surcharge increases last Thursday as jet fuel prices leapt to US$80 a barrel, up from US$48 a year ago.

From tomorrow, SIA passengers will pay a maximum of US$50 in fuel surcharges for a one-way fare.

Mr Davis also said his airline is not 'hedging' its fuel requirements.

Hedging involves locking in the prices of future fuel purchases for a certain period of time, regardless of daily price movements.

Rival AirAsia has used oil futures contracts to help reduce the risk of oil prices eroding its profits. The contracts will shield 63 per cent of its fuel costs for its current fiscal year.

Hedging and ticket surcharges are giving AirAsia an effective discount of US$20 a barrel on jet fuel.

ARTHUR POON

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 01:44 AM   #1069
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September 14
First all-female cockpit crew take to the skies on Jetstar Asia flight

SINGAPORE : Singapore's first all-female cockpit crew took to the skies on a Jetstar flight on Tuesday.

Captain Anastacia Gan piloted the plane with fellow female cockpit members for the Bangkok flight.

There are just a handful of female pilots in Singapore.

Anastacia is believed to be the first Singaporean Captain.

"I was from the military, the Republic of Singapore Air Force for 22 years...and then I joined commercial. I joined Silkair for three years before coming to Jetstar...I was the first female Singaporean pilot to be recruited by Silkair," she said.

Joining her in the flight deck was another woman, First Officer Camille Williams.

"I have not flown with a female captain before but probably won't be any different. We have all had the same training but different conversations perhaps," she said.

Most of the 80-odd passengers on the Bangkok flight had no concerns about the female configuration.

"As long as they are qualified, I am very comfortable."

"Wish her all the best - but be careful, my life is in her hands."

"I don't know - mixed feelings - never get a female pilot before."

"I think it's alright."

In the end, perhaps the only one who might have felt a little left out was flight steward Derek Tan - the only male working on the flight. - CNA/de

Copyright © 2005MediaCorp News. All rights reserved.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 02:37 AM   #1070
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Ryanair Holdings Names Cork As Its 15th European Base
13 September 2005
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Ryanair, a European low-cost airline,announced Tuesday Cork as its 15th European base.

The company said: "From Nov. 24, 2005, Ryanair will base a brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft worth $60M in Cork and add two new routes to Dublin and London Gatwick that will deliver more than 1 million passengers per annum on Ryanair's four routes to and from Cork." Ryanair's CEO, Michael O'Leary, said: "Ryanair's new Cork base will deliver 1 million passengers per annum, sustain 1,000 jobs in the region and allow the people of Cork and Munster to travel internationally and domestically for a fraction of existing prices.

"More than 1,000 low fare seats will be available daily between Cork and Dublin acting as a major stimulus to the tourism and business life of Cork."
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Old September 14th, 2005, 03:27 PM   #1071
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Business Times - 14 Sep 2005

Jetstar, Tiger Airways to bid for seats on India routes


S'pore-India MOU provides for more capacity; lower fares may result


By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Fly to India for less than $300? It could become a reality if Singapore's budget carriers successfully bid for new capacity obtained recently for three Indian cities.

Jetstar Asia and Tiger Airways have confirmed that they will bid for some of the 2,760 extra seats available on the Singapore-Bangalore, Singapore-Hyderabad and Singapore-Kolkata routes.

Last month, Singapore and India signed a memorandum of understanding for more services between Singapore and the three cities.

Under the deal, Singapore carriers can now take an extra 1,480 passengers a week to Bangalore, 640 to Hyderabad and 640 to Kolkata. Indian carriers, meanwhile, will be entitled to bring 2,760 additional passengers a week to Singapore.

Singapore's Air Traffic Rights Committee (ATRC) will distribute the additional capacity among Singapore carriers.

Tiger Airways' chief executive Tony Davis said his airline is bidding for the routes. 'Tiger Airways has successfully established itself as Singapore's largest and most popular low fare airline,' he said.

'Having developed an extensive network of services from Singapore, Tiger Airways would welcome the opportunity of offering our low, low fares to travellers between Singapore and India. We are making a robust case to the ATRC that services to India are awarded to Tiger Airways,' Mr Davis said.

Ken Ryan, chief executive of Jetstar Asia, is equally positive about his budget carrier's plan to operate additional services to India.

'India is a very attractive destination and we'd look at all opportunities, keeping in mind what the market can bear and what resources we have,' he told BT.

The Qantas associate already operates thrice-weekly flights between Singapore and Kolkata and plans to increase the frequency of those flights due to strong demand.

There are now 232 weekly scheduled passenger flights and 16 weekly scheduled freighter flights between Singapore and India, operated by seven airlines: Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Indian Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways, AirSahara and Jetstar Asia.

Despite recent new entrants such as Air Sahara, Jet Airways and Jetstar Asia, demand for seats has continued to grow dramatically. Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore figures show that in 2003-04, passenger and cargo traffic between Singapore and India grew 25 per cent and 23 per cent respectively to 1.5 million passengers and 86,000 tonnes. In the first half of this year alone, the number of visitors from India to Singapore rose 22 per cent to 287,987.

The resulting under-capacity has forced travellers to book tickets months in advance during the high season and kept fares among the highest - in dollar-per-kilometre terms - for any major international route.

On average, a return economy class ticket between Singapore and Mumbai costs about $800, depending on the season - the same as a return ticket from Singapore to London or Auckland, which are much farther.

In contrast, it costs half as much to fly back and forth from Hong Kong.

Not surprisingly, many travellers here would welcome the prospect of additional capacity and lower ticket prices to India.

Using the Airbus A320 planes currently flown by Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia, the additional capacity available for the three cities would translate into eight flights per week to Bangalore and about three a week to Hyderabad and Kolkata respectively.

The planes can fly 5,700 km - easily within range of most major cities in India. But of course, Singapore Airlines and even subsidiary Silkair could also bid for the additional capacity.

At the same time, although the MOU on more air services has been welcomed, observers point out the Indian government remains reluctant to increase capacity to the high-demand gateways of Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai.

The main reason for this is believed to be concern about the impact of competition on Indian state-owned carriers, who aren't just facing a squeeze from foreign competitors but also from new privately-owned domestic start-ups with greater access to capital, more modern aircraft and better customer service.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 05:30 AM   #1072
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Ryanair Names Nottingham East Midlands New Base Airport
14 September 2005
Dow Jones International News
Edited Press Release

LONDON (Dow Jones)--Ryanair, on Wednesday named Nottingham East Midlands as its 15th European base.

From Mar. 7, Ryanair will base 2 brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft worth $120M at Nottingham East Midlands Airport and add 10 new routes to its existing 5 routes.

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said: "From the 7th of March, Ryanair will operate 15 routes through Nottingham East Midlands delivering 1.2 million passengers per annum, sustaining 1,200 jobs in the East Midlands area."
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Old September 19th, 2005, 06:33 PM   #1073
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Business Times - 19 Sep 2005

Jetstar Asia flies to Phuket


SINGAPORE - Jetstar Asia, a Singapore-based budget carrier backed by Australian flag carrier Qantas, said on Monday it will launch services to Phuket from October, further heating up competition in the sector.

The low-cost carrier, which will fly to the famed Thai resort four times a week, is offering a special one-way fare, excluding taxes, of $22 (US$13) for travel until Dec 15.

After Dec 15, a one-way ticket would cost $48 without taxes.

Rival budget carrier Tiger Airways, an affiliate of Singapore Airlines, is currently charging $29.99 for a one-way trip to Phuket, without taxes, for a flight on Oct 25, according to its website.

Taxes and other charges in both Singapore and Thailand could total around $80.

The budget fares - less than $200 return including extra charges - are well below the cost of a return ticket to Phuket charged by a regular airline of about $560, according to a local travel agency.

Phuket, renowned for its white-sand beaches, has emerged from the damage wrought by last December's tsunami disaster.

'With rebuilding almost complete, we are confident that demand will grow, occupancy rates of hotels will continue to increase and our new service will make commercial sense,' said Jeststar Asia chief executive Ken Ryan.

Jetstar Asia currently flies to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kolkata, Manila and Taipei.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 01:36 AM   #1074
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Sept 21, 2005
Why Tiger Airways flight was delayed

I REFER to the letter, 'One case of airliner 'technical fault' too many' (ST, Sept 20), from Mr Ong Eng Yiow regarding the incident involving Flight TR116 on Aug 31.

During routine checks, which are done on a frequent basis, a slight abnormality was detected in an engine on one of our Tiger Airways aircraft. As a precaution, the engine was replaced, and this took some time. As a result, that particular aircraft was removed from service.

We regret the inconvenience caused to Mr Ong, but Tiger Airways is committed to upholding the highest level of operational safety.

Punctuality is, however, also very important to us. Since starting operations a year ago, we have achieved an excellent punctuality record, with 94 per cent of all flights departing on time.

We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to passengers as a result of the delay.

Capt Christopher Ward
Director of Flight Operations
Tiger Airways

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 12:29 PM   #1075
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21 September 2005

Tiger Airways eyes new routes in India and Southern China
By Matthias Chan, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : Budget carrier Tiger Airways is looking further afield as it aims to add new routes to its network.

It is now setting its sights on destinations in India, Southern China and Cambodia.

To prepare for expansion, Tiger Airways will more than double its fleet from four to nine aircrafts.

Celebrating its first anniversary, the carrier hopes to fly five times more passengers in its second year.

CEO Tony Davis met with the Air Traffic Rights Committee on Wednesday to discuss new routes to India.

But it is not just about new routes for the sake of expansion.

CEO Tony Davis has set very clear goals when it comes to new destinations.

"Individual routes that we operate have to make an operating profit within three years, otherwise those individual routes will go under review. And I'm pleased to announce that the routes that we are operating are performing very well," said Tiger Airways CEO Tony Davis.

To serve its new routes, Tiger Airways will take delivery of five new aircrafts next year to add to its existing four, with plans for another three in 2007.

It also hopes to fly some three million passengers in its second year, compared to 500,000 in its first year.

On rising fuel prices, Tiger Airways sees the situation as hurting its competitors more.

"We manage our cost base vigorously so we will continue to be the lowest cost airliner, offering the lowest fares with the best level of service. Others may increase their fares (due to the rising oil prices) but ours will remain attractive. So high oil prices are more of a concern for my competitors than for us," said Davis.

Tiger Airways is 49% owned by Singapore Airlines.- CNA /ls

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 03:31 PM   #1076
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Business Times - 22 Sep 2005

Jetstar, Tiger Airways clinch key routes to India


New flights to Bangalore and Kolkata may also trigger a price war

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Airfares to India could start coming down with two of Singapore's three budget carriers poised to fly to key cities of Bangalore and Kolkata by year end.

Qantas associate Jetstar Asia has clinched five flights a week to the Indian IT hub of Bangalore, while Singapore Airline's associate Tiger Airways has obtained rights to operate thrice-weekly flights to the West Bengal city of Kolkata.

Asked if this could possibly herald $10 flights to India, Jetstar Asia's CEO Ken Ryan quipped: 'Definitely!'

That view is also echoed by Tiger Airways' CEO, Tony Davis, who said his airline could start flights to India within three months.

All this comes after Singapore and India signed a memorandum of understanding for more services between Singapore and the three cities last month. Under the deal, Singapore carriers can now take an extra 1,480 passengers a week to Bangalore, 640 to Hyderabad and 640 to Kolkata. Indian carriers, meanwhile, will be entitled to bring 2,760 additional passengers a week to Singapore.

Tiger Airways applied to fly to all three cities, while Jetstar only applied for Bangalore and Kolkata. It is believed that the Air Traffic Rights Committee granted Singapore Airlines (SIA) the remaining available rights.

In addition to five flights a week to Bangalore, Jetstar has also been granted an additional flight to Kolkata on top of its current thrice-weekly flights. In short, it will now have four weekly flights to West Bengal.

Mr Ryan revealed that Jetstar has also been granted the rights to operate four services a week to Denpasar in Bali. This comes after Indonesia allowed more flights by Singapore carriers to Bali recently in return for additional 5th freedom rights granted by Singapore to Garuda.

But it is the India flights which seems to be the focus of attention among industry watchers here.

'We are going to see a price war even before the first Jetstar and Tiger flights take off,' said S&P's aviation editor Shukor Yusof.

'The incumbents like SIA, the Indian national carriers, Air Sahara and Jet Airways could drop prices before these upstarts get into the market,' he added.

Airfares between Singapore and India currently average $800, depending on the season - the same as a return ticket from Singapore to London or Auckland, which are much farther.

The new routes are particularly good news for Jetstar Asia, which has been struggling somewhat after it failed to get lucrative routes to Indonesia and southern China.

'We have only been verbally informed so far, but this is excellent news for us,' said an elated Mr Ryan. 'Bangalore is a very popular destination.'

Tiger's Mr Davis seemed equally pleased despite not securing rights to Hyderabad or Bangalore.

'This is excellent news which is especially welcomed on our first anniversary,' he said. 'Kolkata is a perfect fit into the Tiger Airways network expansion strategy.'

Earlier in the day, during a press conference to take stock of Tiger Airways' first year of operation, Mr Davis revealed that the budget carrier had flown 500,000 passengers during its first year, and would carry three million passengers in its second year.

He declined to reveal financial numbers, but hinted that the airline had yet to show a profit.

'This is an expensive business and we are still in the heavy investment phase,' he said. 'One cannot expect to make profit in the first year.'

Mr Davis said his airline was managing the fuel issue well by lowering its overall costs.

'The higher oil price is creating a bigger differentiation between traditional and low-cost airlines,' he said. 'While fares on traditional airlines go up with fuel surcharges, we can offer the same low fares with our lower cost base.'

Tiger had earlier said it would not impose a fuel surcharge, preferring to rely on yield management instead. On the other hand, Jetstar Asia has imposed fuel surcharges.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 04:40 AM   #1077
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Sept 24, 2005
NEWS ANALYSIS
Best to fly as two separate carriers - for now

By Karamjit Kaur
Transport Correspondent

ONE airline gives you food and a comfortable flight with more legroom. The other gives you cheaper fares but less space to stretch your legs and no food or drinks - unless you pay extra.

So what do passengers get if these two airlines merge, as Valuair and Jetstar Asia have done?

When the dust settles - and this could take six months or longer - what could emerge is an airline that resembles SilkAir, a carrier that has defied everyone's predictions and survived the budget aviation revolution.

According to sources, Jetstar will likely retrofit its planes and take away some seats so that passengers get more legroom. Mr Ken Ryan, chief executive officer of both Jetstar and the new merged company, Orange Star, told The Straits Times yesterday that this was a possibility.

It is also been said that the merged airline will partner Qantas and offer 'inter-line' facilities, to cater to passengers who fly on more than one airline to reach their destinations.

So, for example, a passenger could fly Qantas from Sydney to Singapore, then transfer to a Jetstar aircraft and travel on to Hong Kong without having to check in again.

SilkAir has a similar 'inter-line' arrangement with parent company Singapore Airlines.

'We are actively exploring this option,' Mr Ryan said. 'But we will do it only if it's in the best interests of Jetstar and Qantas.'

A tie-up with Qantas, which is pumping more than $50 million into Orange Star, is a strong possibility now that Mr Ryan has confirmed that Jetstar will not use the new low-cost terminal being built at Changi.

The terminal, he said, does not offer the company any significant benefits.

The fact is, Jetstar cannot use the new terminal if it wants to carry Qantas passengers because there is no facility to transfer luggage from the budget terminal to the main terminals.

If Jetstar is to carry Qantas passengers, it also makes sense for the airline to upgrade its level of service, because a passenger used to the frills that come with a full-service carrier may not be too thrilled when he suddenly has to go without food or legroom.

In the end, it makes sense that Jetstar and Valuair will become one. 'Ideally, we would like to have a single model. We are looking into this,' Mr Ryan said.

The first step was taken yesterday when Valuair pilots were offered the same contracts as their Jetstar counterparts. Cabin crew and other employees will also be told of their new terms of employment from next week.

But while the plan is to eventually fly under one name - likely to be Jetstar Asia - total consolidation takes time. For now, it makes sense to operate as two separate carriers.

Valuair already has a foothold in Indonesia and will continue to expand its services there. By the end of next month, it will be flying three times a day to Jakarta, once a day to Surabaya, and four times a week to Bali.

Meanwhile, it will drop Perth and suspend flights to Xiamen and Chengdu in China.

This will leave Jetstar to concentrate on India and other markets. It will soon start flying five times a week to Bangalore and will up its Kolkata service from three to four flights a week.

It is a strategy that makes itself, really. Valuair has the rights to fly to Indonesia and Jetstar does not, because in March the Indonesian government imposed a blanket ban on low-cost foreign carriers flying to key cities to protect its own airlines.

So how soon a single airline will take to the skies depends not only on how fast Valuair and Jetstar can consolidate their businesses, but also how long it takes for the governments in the region - particularly the Indonesians and Chinese - to be comfortable with the merged entity.

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Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old September 24th, 2005, 08:33 AM   #1078
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Sept 24, 2005
Valuair pilots face $2,000 pay cut if they opt to stay
More than 30 are offered new terms by merged firm

By Arthur Poon

VALUAIR pilots were yesterday offered a stark choice by their new bosses: Take a $2,000 pay cut, or leave.

The low-cost airline's pilots and crew have been in limbo since it was announced two months ago that Valuair and Jetstar would be merging under a single holding company, Orange Star. Many believed they would lose their jobs. Some staff even resigned.

Yesterday, more than 30 Valuair pilots were summoned to Jetstar's office at Changi Terminal 1 for a meeting with Mr Ken Ryan, chief executive officer of Jetstar and Orange Star, to find out what terms they would be offered.

When they emerged 1 1/2 hours later, there were many dejected faces.

'Jetstar had better start looking for new pilots,' said one.

Most declined to comment on their new contractual terms, but one unhappy pilot said: 'We are staring essentially at a pay cut.'

He said ex-Valuair captains and first officers who fly an average of 70 hours a month will take home $2,000 less if they join Jetstar, even though they may still be flying planes under the Valuair banner.

The Straits Times understands that a Jetstar captain takes home $10,000 in basic pay. Pilots who fly more than the stipulated minimum of 55 hours a month receive $235 an hour overtime. First officers earn about 60 per cent of a captain's pay. Both get 30 days of annual leave.

Jetstar pilots are also paid an unspecified lump sum in medical and dental benefits, while Valuair pilots get $50 for dental and co-pay 20 per cent of their medical expenses.

After the meeting, five Valuair pilots were seen huddled at Changi's Starbucks Coffee outlet, poring through their contracts.

Earlier, Mr Ryan stressed that the new contract is no different from those offered to Jetstar pilots, although he declined to reveal the terms.

'We want to treat all people equally and fairly, with the same terms and conditions, and not show favour to any group of individuals,' he said. 'What we are offering to Valuair pilots is what Jetstar pilots have since Day 1.'

But that did little to lift the gloom. 'It is cold comfort to know we get the same treatment as our Jetstar counterparts,' one Valuair pilot said. They have about one week to consider the offer.

Asked if he expects the pilots to take up the new package, Mr Ryan said: 'If they choose to go, it's unfortunate but it's their choice. We aren't forcing people out, we want them to stay.'

Valuair's 80 crew members will find out next week what terms they will be offered. Another 70 support staff are still not sure of their fate.

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Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #1079
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Business Times - 29 Sep 2005

Jetstar Asia may be doing a SilkAir in the region

Qantas has applied for code-share arrangements with Jetstar: report

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Is Jetstar Asia evolving into a regional carrier for Qantas, just as Silkair is for Singapore Airlines?

That is the question many in the aviation sector are asking, amid reports that the Australian national carrier has applied for code-share arrangements with its Singapore-based budget carrier.

Australian media reports yesterday said Qantas has applied to the International Air Services Commission to start code-share arrangements with Jetstar Asia to India and Thailand.

This would enable Qantas passengers on mainline flights in Singapore to transfer seamlessly to Jet star Asia's thrice-weekly Singapore-Kolkata-Singapore services.

The Qantas application said the proposed code-share flights will carry traffic between India and Australia, as well as passengers stopping over in Singapore.

In Thailand, Qantas plans to code-share on Jet star Asia's services to Phuket and some services to Bangkok.

The move comes just months after Qantas pumped in more than S$50 million to recapitalise Jet star Asia and take over discount carrier Valuair, placing them under the Orange Star umbrella in Singapore. Qantas owns 44.5 per cent of the merged entity, which analysts expect to eventually operate as a single pan-Asian airline. Valuair and Jetstar last week announced several potential lucrative new routes to populous destinations in India and Indonesia.

But earlier this week, Jetstar Asia's chief executive Ken Ryan denied that Jetstar Asia is evolving into a Silkair-like regional operator for Qantas.

'Qantas is our major shareholder and an important partner, and from time to time, we will do certain things with Qantas,' he told BT. 'But that does not mean we are moving away from our low-cost model.'

Still, it is hard to see how a full-service, long-haul carrier like Qantas can code-share with a no-frills budget carrier like Jetstar Asia unless the latter modifies its business model and charges higher fares.

Australian media reports yesterday cited Qantas officials in Sydney as saying the code-shares are on routes that Qantas does not fly in its own right and has no intention of flying. They said the code-shares will allow Qantas to extend its network and give customers more options.

'This shows an ability for Qantas to interact with a partially-owned entity that has a network offering that is complementary to what Qantas offers, operated under a brand that Qantas supports,' said Qantas chief financial officer Peter Gregg.

Meanwhile, Jetstar Asia's rival Tiger Airways claims it is Singapore's sole surviving low-cost carrier.

'What the code-sharing arrangement means is that Jetstar Asia will effectively cease to operate independently as a low-cost carrier,' said Tony Davis, chief executive of the Singapore Airlines' associate. 'It will become the regional services arm of Qantas in Asia.'

Mr Davis said the latest reports show that Qantas aims to extend its reach into the regional aviation market via the 'back door'.

He noted that Qantas had increased its fares to Perth since Valuair - which it took over - stopped flying to Perth.

Mr Davis insisted that his airline will stick with the low-cost carrier model.

Tiger Airways, which is 49 per cent owned by SIA, now flies to 10 cities in six countries.

It secured rights to operate three flights a week to Kolkata in India recently, and will start flights to Krabi in southern Thailand early next month.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 05:25 AM   #1080
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Sept 30, 2005
Tiger claims to be sole low-cost carrier left here

By Karamjit Kaur
Transport Correspondent

AND then there was one...at least that is what Tiger Airways believes.

Tiger chief executive officer Tony Davis sparked a war of words by declaring on Wednesday that the Singapore Airlines-backed carrier is Singapore's sole remaining low-cost airline, following Qantas' decision to codeshare with its subsidiary Jetstar Asia.

Jetstar was quick to hit back. Its chief executive officer, Mr Ken Ryan, told The Straits Times on the same day: 'We are and will remain a low-fare carrier. But we will also take advantage of additional opportunities that may come our way...'

And codesharing with Qantas, said Mr Ryan, is 'a good business opportunity'.

Codesharing is a common practice by airlines to expand coverage and flight frequency without having to put in additional resources of their own.

The Qantas-Jetstar deal, for example, means that with a single Qantas ticket, a passenger flying from Sydney to Kolkata can take a Qantas 747 to Singapore, then transfer to a Jetstar plane to fly from Singapore to India, without having to check in again.

Since Qantas' only India service flies to Mumbai, and Jet- star does not fly to Australia, the deal benefits both airlines.

However, Mr Ryan stressed that the deal, which must first be approved by Australia's International Air Services Commission, will have no bearing on the principle on which Jetstar was founded - to offer low fares and good service.

Tiger's Mr Davis disagreed. In his statement, he said the arrangement with Qantas means Jetstar will 'effectively cease to operate independently as a low-cost carrier. It will become the regional services arm of Qantas in Asia'.

This, coupled with the recent Valuair-Jetstar merger, leaves Tiger as Singapore's only surviving low-cost carrier, he declared.

He also described the codeshare move as a 'backdoor' way for Qantas to enter the Singapore and regional aviation market, and suggested it will lead to higher fares.

Mr Ryan said he was amused by Mr Davis' comments.

'I am impressed that Tony is able to predict our fares. He can claim whatever he wants but at the end of the day, it's the travelling public that will judge us based on our fares and level of service. We are confident they will continue to support Jetstar.

'I am fascinated that Tony is more interested in our business than his own.'

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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