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Friday, August 13, 2010

Thai Airways and Singapore's Tiger to form budget carrier

Singapore's budget carrier Tiger Airways and Thai Airways will jointly launch a low-cost airline that is expected to start operations next year, they said in statement on Monday.

Thai Tiger Airways will fly domestic and international flights from Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, starting in the first quarter of 2011, the statement said.

Thai Airways and another Thai entity will hold 51 percent in the airline with the remaining 49 percent under Tiger Airways.

No details were given on the investment cost for the new budget carrier but the two partners will be holding a media conference call later Monday after signing the memorandum of understanding.

Thai Airways said the venture would allow it to beef up its presence in the fast-growing budget travel market in Asia.

"With its disciplined approach to the low-cost model, Tiger Airways has proven that it has the right approach to competing effectively in the growing low fare travel market in Asia," said Thai Airways president Piyasvasti Amranand.

"We believe that this move will provide revenue opportunities for Thai (Airways) and allow Thai (Airways) to be more competitive in the region with the anticipated growth in the low cost market... which we expect will lead to growth in air travel in the Asian market."

Tiger Airways, partly owned by national carrier Singapore Airlines, has rapidly expanded its route network in the Asia Pacific region since establishing operations in 2004.

The carrier flies to 37 destinations in 11 countries and has a fleet of 19 Airbus A320s, with plans to expand to 68 planes by December 2015.

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