Sat, Sep 27, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Nation’s premier low-cost carrier launches service

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

A Tigerair Taiwan Airbus A320 takes off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on its inaugural flight to Singapore yesterday.

Photo: EPA

Tigerair Taiwan (台灣虎航) launched its maiden flight from Taipei to Singapore yesterday morning, making it the first Taiwanese low-cost carrier (LCC) to launch a service, turning a new page for the nation’s aviation industry.

The airline, a joint venture between Taiwan’s China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) and Tiger Airways Pte of Singapore, used its new 180-seat Airbus SAS 320 aircraft for the maiden flight, which, along with the return flight, was almost full, the company said in a statement.

Some passengers enjoyed the first flight to Singapore priced at NT$888 (US$29.3) for a one-way ticket.

Tigerair Taiwan said it offers 10,000 such one-way tickets.

Following the offer of daily flights to Singapore, the budget carrier is to begin its second and third regular routes — to Thailand’s Bangkok and Chiang Mai — in mid-November, with another round of promotional campaigning to begin soon.

Last month, Tigerair Taiwan chief executive officer Yue Kwan (關栩) said the carrier might launch new flights to Japan and South Korea next year, aiming to break even during its second year of operations.

Another low-cost carrier, V Air (威航), part of the TransAsia Airways Group (復興航空集團), is scheduled to start its service in November at the earliest, with an inaugural flight from Taipei to Bangkok.

According to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), the number of passengers traveling in and out of Taiwan on budget airlines has climbed almost 800 percent, from 260,000 in 2009 to 2.32 million last year.

In the first eight months of this year, budget airlines serving routes to and from Taiwan carried 2.12 million passengers, accounting for 7.24 percent of the total, the CAA said.

Additional reporting by CNA

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