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Sep 25, 2008
Tiger offers 50,000 free seats
By Karamjit Kaur, Aviation Correspondent
TRAVELLERS can look forward to more low fares when the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur market is throw open to competition in December.

In the lead-up to total liberalisaton, Tiger Airways announced on Thursday that it has received the all-clear to operate five daily flights between the two cities.

To celebrate, the low-cost carrier which now has just one daily flight, is offering 50,000 free seats.

Travellers will still have to pay taxes and other surcharges that come to about $120 for a round trip.

The seats are already opened for booking.

Jetstar Asia which also operates a daily Singapore-KL flight and Malaysia's AirAsia which has two flights a day are also expected to announce capacity increases soon.

The opening of the market follows years of domination by Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines on the route.

In February, governments on both sides decided to allow low-cost carriers to operate the route but with restrictions on capacity.

The deal then, was that the market would be fully liberalised in December.

Tiger's managing director in Singapore Rosalynn Tay said of the full market opening: 'This is a huge milestone in Asian low fare aviation.

'I would like to congratulate the forward thinking of the Singapore and Malaysian governments and aviation authorities in their progression of a liberalisation agenda that benefits both economies.....The customer is the big winner here.'

The opening of the Singapore-KL market is part of a bigger plan for liberalisation of Asean skies.

Also from December, carriers from the 10 Asean member countries will be free to operate as many flights as they wish from their capital cities to any other capital city within the grouping.

The long-term agenda is for a Single Aviation Market by 2015 which will allow carriers to criss-cross the region without any restrictions on where they can land and take-off, and how many people they can carry.

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