Published: Thursday February 6, 2014 MYT 6:00:00 AM
Updated: Thursday January 30, 2014 MYT 3:48:25 PM

More LCCs compete for air supremacy

It looks like a good year for budget air travel as airlines in the region try to dominate the LCC market.

MALAYSIAN and Indonesian travellers can look forward to huge savings and promotional offers on airfares as local airlines lead the charge to rule Southeast Asia’s Low Cost Carrier (LCC) market.

“Malaysia appears to be edging ahead with Air Asia and its six regional carriers that operate under the Air Asia brand, each of which are among the ten largest individual LCCs in the Asia Pacific,” said Dean Wicks, Wego’s chief flights officer.

“Air Asia currently owns 520 aircraft (including orders) and are currently the largest. However, they’re about to be overtaken in fleet number by Indonesian operated Lion Air who have 721 aircraft (including orders),” he added.

Dean Wicks, Wego's chief flights officer weighs in on the record boom in Asia's LCC sector.
Dean Wicks, Wego's chief flights officer weighs in on the record boom in Asia's LCC sector.

Wicks also note that while Lion Air is well known in Indonesia’s domestic market, the carrier will require a huge investment commitment to grow its brand awareness and gain comparative market share in Air Asia’s well established regions.

He added that airlines are now expanding fast via an affiliate model, and full and partial subsidiary models.

“Air Asia has done this so well with their six regional brands and now Lion Air is following the same path. The latest kid on the block in Malaysia is Malindo Air which recently integrated with Wego through our distribution platform,” Wicks revealed.

Malindo Air has big plans for Malaysia, with the airline already beginning its expansion announcing a host of destinations competing head to head with Air Asia.

“Malindo currently owns 12 aircraft and plan to expand to 100 over the next decade. Matching Air Asia’s routes, the carrier is adding two strategic services from Kuala Lumpur to Ahmedabad and Chittagong. With a population in Bangladesh in excess of 150 million and no LCC service, you can imagine how popular this route will be,” Wicks said.

Adding to the record number of Asia Pacific LCCs with a combined fleet at this time of almost 1,000 aircraft (with more than 1,500 additional aircraft on order), Singapore’s Scoot are joining Thailand’s LCC, Nok Air. And Tigerair has announced a joint venture with China Airlines to launch Tigerair Taiwan.

The Philippines largest LCC, Cebu Pacific just last week acquired Tigerair Philippines and VietJetAir are in discussions with affiliates in Thailand and Malaysia, all following Air Asia’s affiliate model.

“Ten additional LCCs will launch during 2014 and with the planned expansion and additional aircraft by existing players, competition for South East Asian skies is about to become intense,” observed Wicks.

“All of which is very good news for the tourism and aviation industry in every region, and most of all, exciting times for the traveller as airlines battle it out to have you secure a seat on their new aircraft,” he said.

Wego is a travel search engine based in Singapore. The site currently displays more than 30 individual Asian LCC partnerships options.

Tags / Keywords: Travel, Lifestyle, low cost carriers, Malaysia, Indonesia, Air Asia, Lion Air, Malindo Air


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