LCCs. Why go everywhere except KUL?

Old Oct 2, 04, 8:26 pm
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LCCs. Why go everywhere except KUL?

With the numerous number of LCCs competing in SQ's domain, it is sad to see the price of far flung destinations like Krabi, Bangkok, Phuket, HK, Perth etc to go down to ridculously low prices when the best place to beat out the competitor and earn some real mulahs is to fly to KUL/PEN/BKI/KCH.

The SIN/KUL/SIN route has got to be the most underserved and overpriced route from Singapore. I'm talking about direct SIN-KUL flights and not the Air Asia equivalent of flying via JHB here, ok?

Even irregular airlines that serve SIN-KUL, notably JAL with the single daily roundtrip are as high as S$230 return! Other even less regular airlines fly at the oddest times of the day and are even less reliable... INDIAN AIRLINES and SRI LANKAN. Prices may only be $10 less than JAL! Okay.. yes there is the logic that one can get oneway to KUL and buy the return from KUL... but where are the LCCs? Surely if one can sell SIN-BKK for S$169 return, that it would even be justifiable to offer something similar for SIN-KUL instead of the astronomical roundtrip return economy airfare of something over S$300 now.

Then there's the other destination... PEN! Up until last year, SQ and MH both operated two flights a day each. Then MH stupidly dropped out of the picture, prompting SQ to be the only carrier serving twice to three times daily with jammed packed 777-200s! Of course being the only airline serving direct routes, SQ could charge as high as S$320 return. (Yes, the SIN-PEN return fare was just marginally lowed than a SIN-KUL return!). MH finally decided to put back one flight sometime in the past 3 months! They're slightly cheaper.. but they're on a 737!

KCH and BKI are totally underserved as well. MH is the only carrier flying direct from SIN and they're charging well over S$550 for a return in coach!

We want LCCs covering these places too instead of dumping more seats to Thailand!


Last edited by Guy Betsy; Oct 2, 04 at 8:32 pm
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Old Oct 2, 04, 11:50 pm
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Rest assured, Air Asia & co would love to fly direct between Malaysia and Singapore, but the reason they can't is (of course) politics. Unlike Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia do not have an open-skies agreement, so except for the occasional non-threatening fifth freedom flight SQ and MH have a legally enforced monopoly.
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Old Oct 5, 04, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Guy Betsy

KCH and BKI are totally underserved as well. MH is the only carrier flying direct from SIN and they're charging well over S$550 for a return in coach!

I would be delighted to see SQ restart flights to BKI, even if they just put Silkair A320's on the route.

I have seen on another forum that they are rumoured to be considering it. However, the problems allegedly are they would be (and previously were) only allowed 3 flights a week and someone also claims some crazy notion that a only a certain percentage (30% if I remember correct) can be Malaysian Nationals .

On a related note I think there will shortly be LCC/alternative flights to SGN from SIN judging from a conversation I overheard in the Hilton in SIN recently .
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Old Oct 5, 04, 8:11 pm
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Wink

There is already an LCC on the SGN route; They fly under the code GA, serve meals, provide real tickets and boarding cards, fly daily and they are having a bonanza on the route
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Old Oct 6, 04, 12:23 am
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Originally Posted by miles4all
There is already an LCC on the SGN route; They fly under the code GA, serve meals, provide real tickets and boarding cards, fly daily and they are having a bonanza on the route
That's true, but their bonanza may have a little competition soon. The strange thing about it is the discussion was of a codeshare on the route, which is rather unusual for LCC's.
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Old Oct 7, 04, 1:37 am
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Guy Betsy.. are you the aviation expert in this report...!!! Your timing is uncanny!


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Golden route for all?

New warmth could open Singapore-KL route to budget carriers

Thursday October 7, 2004

Tay Tsen-Waye
[email protected]

LONG accepted by the aviation industry as a no-fly zone for airlines other than national carriers Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Malaysia Airlines (MAS), the lucrative, high-volume Singapore to Kuala Lumpur (KL) route is now within the sights of budget airlines.

On Tuesday, during a visit to KL, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke candidly about enhancing ties and exploring new opportunities with Malaysia.

The aviation sector was cited as one area that would benefit from increased cooperation between the two countries.

Said Mr Lee: "There is opportunity for the industry and for the two countries, because the more linkages between the two countries, the greater the benefits for tourism and business."

Although no details were forthcoming, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi added that his government would allow the countries' airlines to talk to each other and find ways and means to collaborate.

And by pledging to expand aviation ties, a new optimism, albeit a cautious one, is resurfacing in the fledgling low-cost carrier (LCC) market.

It is no secret that Singapore-based LCCs have been eyeing Malaysia as a destination, with KL being one of the most sought after spots.Newest budget entrant, SIA-affiliate Tiger Airways, which started daily flights to Bangkok, Hat Yai and Phuket last month, has said it would be interested in Malaysia as part of its expansion plans.

First off the low-frills mark in May, Valuair has referred to Malaysian destinations as "real hot routes". The airline said it is keen to fly to KL, Penang, and cities in east Malaysia.

But industry players note that it would be futile for new airlines to apply for air rights between Singapore and Malaysia, given the "protectionist" air service agreement between the two countries.

While no one really knows, most assume that SIA and MAS own all existing air rights and hence, no LCC "dares to" or "talks about" applying for one, said a source.

Managing director at Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation Peter Harbison agrees that airlines assume they would be "turned down".

"I'm not quite sure which side Singapore or Malaysia has the greater reluctance (to open up the skies) to other airlines. Certainly, it's a very good route for both SIA and MAS," Mr Harbison said.

Indeed, the KL to Singapore route is the fourth busiest in the region with 1.9 million passengers. And considering that return fares from Singapore on SIA can cost more than $300, the question is not when, but why either carrier would want to relinquish its monopoly.

"What it tends to be is that the airlines make strong representations to their respective governments to keep the route to themselves, because it's obviously lucrative," said Mr Harbison. "Any route today in the world where you've only got one or two carriers operating with nobody else allowed is going to be attractive."

"It's an ideal route for LCCs. One, it's a point-to-point, and the other is that it's also a connecting route for passengers who want to go onwards from Singapore or KL to Europe or Asia," he added.

While industry observers welcome more airlines to ply the Singapore-KL path, they say it is too early to tell if Mr Lee's comments necessarily equate to a green light being given any time soon.

"I'm not sure a political statement like this would lead to more flights by other airlines," said Mr Nicholas Ionides, regional managing editor of the Flight Group. "But Singapore and Malaysia have clearly realised that LCCs contribute to and are good for the economy."

Said a Valuair spokesman: "We're happy to note that talks are underway to boost air cooperation between the two countries. Any enhanced cooperation will boost tourism in the two countries."

If the Singapore-KL route is thrown open to LCCs, Mr Wong Soon Hwa, chairman of the Singapore chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, says SIA and MAS would need to reduce the number of daily flights to and from the Malaysian capital to remain viable.

"There are lots of flights now, but they are not fully utilised throughout the day," he said. "If SIA wants to increase the load factor, it can always look at creative pricing, like making fares during the non-peak times of the day cheaper."
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Old Oct 7, 04, 3:29 am
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Originally Posted by Alawyer
Guy Betsy.. are you the aviation expert in this report...!!! Your timing is uncanny!
....
I'm just being the intuitive that I am!
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