Singaporean low-cost airline Scoot is scheduled to debut in Taiwan today, becoming the 10th budget carrier in the market.
The inaugural flight will depart from Singapore at 1:05am and arrive in Taipei at 5:40am. The Singapore-Taipei service will operate every Tuesday and on weekends until Oct. 28. After that, daily flight services will be offered until March 30 next year.
Another Singaporean low-cost carrier, Tiger Airways, currently operates in Taiwan, while Peach Aviation of Japan is set to launch services next month.
Budget airlines have burgeoned in Taiwan in the three years since Jetstar Asia launched a Taipei route in 2004, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said.
Budget airlines now take up about 3 percent of the market share in Taiwan and hold great potential for growth, a CAA study showed.
The real market they are eying is the one across the Taiwan Strait and they are likely to enter into partnerships with Taiwanese carriers, the CAA said.
During a recent visit to Taiwan, senior executives of Malaysia’s Air Asia expressed great interest in investing in the country, CAA Director-General Jean Shen (沈啟) said.
If foreign budget airlines enter into joint ventures with local carriers, the new companies will be permitted to operate flights from Taiwan to destinations in China that are open only to Taiwanese and Chinese airlines, Shen said.
The CAA is optimistic about low-cost carrier services because they can help boost the country’s economy and tourism, Shen said.