Low-fare Airlines Take Asia by Storm

Eight new carriers are the region's latest flying tigers.

Jetting around Asia is getting easier -- and cheaper -- thanks to a flood of low-fare airlines. USA TODAY's Gene Sloan profiles eight of the region's newest flying tigers.

Kingfisher Airlines

Launched: 2005

Aircraft: 11

Background: Backed by the UB Group, one of India's largest conglomerates, the fast-growing airline mimics JetBlue with upscale amenities, including personal video screens at every seat.

Hub: Mumbai, India

Serves: India (Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Jaipur and more).

Sample fare: Delhi to Mumbai, $195 one way.

On the Web: flykingfisher.com


Launched: 2005

Aircraft: Six

Background: Indian backers hope to tap soaring demand for domestic flights in India -- growing more than 25% a year. The airline just confirmed an order for 10 more Boeing 737s.

Hub: New Delhi

Serves: India (Bangalore, Mumbai, Goa, Kolkata and more).

Sample fare: Mumbai to Bangalore, $36 one way.

On the Web: spicejet.com

Jetstar Asia Airways

Launched: 2004

Aircraft: Four

Background: An Asian offshoot of Jetstar, the low-cost domestic Australian airline owned by Qantas.

Hub: Singapore

Serves: Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar).

Sample fare: Singapore to Hong Kong, $74 one way.

On the Web: jetstarasia.com


Launched: 2004

Aircraft: Four

Background: Jetstar Asia took over the year-old start-up in July, but it continues to operate separately, with a focus on Indonesia.

Hub: Singapore

Serves: Thailand, Indonesia.

Sample fare: Singapore to Jakarta, $49 one way.

On the Web: valuair.com

Tiger Airways

Launched: 2004

Aircraft: Six

Background: A joint venture between Singapore Airlines, Ryanair founder Tony Ryan and former America West CEO William Franke.

Hub: Singapore

Serves: Australia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines.

Sample fare: Singapore to Guangzhou, China, $31 one way.

On the Web: tigerairways.com

Nok Air

Launched: 2004

Aircraft: Two

Background: A low-cost spinoff of Thai Airways.

Hub: Bangkok

Serves: Thailand (Chiang Mai, Phuket, Udon Thani, Hat Yai, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang).

Sample fare: Bangkok to Chiang Mai, $27 one way.

On the Web: www.nokair.co.th


Launched: 2002

Aircraft: 39

Background: A relaunch of an Asian carrier that failed in 2001, expanding at a blistering pace.

Hubs: Kuala Lumpur and Senai, Malaysia; Bangkok; Jakarta, Indonesia.

Serves: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, China, Singapore.

Sample fare: Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta, $34 one way.

On the Web: airasia.com


Launched: 2003

Aircraft: 13

Background: A low-fare offshoot of Orient Thai, which has operated as a charter airline in the region since the 1990s.

Hub: Bangkok

Serves: Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Surat Thani).

Sample fare: Bangkok to Phuket, $42 one way.

On the Web: fly12go.com

News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.

We Recommend