Tiger Airways increases flight to Clark Field airport,
BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT
May 20, 2005: Singapore's budget carrier Tiger Airways Pte is to increase its total number of flights to the Philippines to five a week from the present three a week by June 6 and to 10 a week by July, to meet an increase in number of passengers travelling between the two countries.
The airline is planning to increase its Singapore-Clark-Singapore flights due to a high-load factor of around 90 per cent. This prompted travel agencies and tourists to request for more flights between Clark Field airport, a former US air base converted into a commercial airport, and Changi International Airport in Singapore.
Tiger Airways Chief Executive Officer Tony Davis said the airline's flights to the Philippines were already fully booked until June. It had commenced operations to Clark Field, 80 km north of Manila, on April 5, 2005.
Flight tickets for a one-way trip for dates between July 1 to August 31 were selling as low as S$14.98, excluding taxes and other charges. A one-way flight ticket to Manila on Philippine Airlines costs S$310 and on Singapore Airlines, it will cost S$480.
Over one lakh Filipinos reside in Singapore and Changi Airport is also a hub for Filipinos working in other countries in Asia, West Asia and Europe.
Additionally, Tiger Airways has also decided to increase flights to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in the Philippines to five times a week from the present three, starting June.
This would also help the citizens of the Philippines to get easier and cheaper air travel facilities. At present, there are three international airlines that have regular flights to DMIA - South Korea's Asiana Airlines (five times a week), Malaysia's Air Asia Berhad (twice daily flights to and from Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur) and Hong Kong's CR Airways (three times a week) - the former Crown Colony.
Earlier, Tiger Airways had introduced rock bottom promotional flight fares by launching commercial flights from Singapore to Bangkok at a round-trip fare of only S$2.
This is claimed as the lowest ticket fare of any airline in the region. The S$2 return tickets will be available for the first week starting September 15, when the carrier would fly to Bangkok from September 15 three times daily, to Hat Yai from September 22 and to Phuket from September 29 once a day for S$2.
One-third of the seats on Tiger Airways' flights would be available for S$2 during the first week, while ticket fares for the rest of the seats will be between S$14 and S$48.
Despite this, Tiger Airways' tickets seem to be the cheapest on offer. Valuair, Tiger's rival, offers flight tickets to Bangkok ranging from S$138 to S$230. Tickets to Phuket cost between S$138 and S$371 on SilkAir, and cost between S$159 and S$458 to Hat Yai on Thai Airways.
Tiger Airways, a venture between Singapore Airline (it holds 49 per cent stake in the carrier) and the founder of Irish discount airline Ryanair, will be the second low-budget airline to fly from Singapore's Changi Airport.
Tiger Airways operates four Airbus A320 aircraft serving nine routes in Southeast Asia. The carrier had started operations in September 2004.
BY OUR AVIATION CORRESPONDENT