Low-cost airlines take wing

David Kaufman
May 05, 2009

First they landed in the U.S.A., then in Europe. Now low-cost airlines are premiering or expanding throughout the world—from Abu Dhabi to Zanzibar.

• Tiger Airways (www.tigerairways.com), Singapore Airlines' no-frills subsidiary, will launch in the second half of this year. Routes and prices have yet to be determined.

• Lion Air (www.lionair.co.id), a new low-cost Indonesian carrier, flies domestically and to Vietnam and Malaysia. Fares start at $20.*

• Air Paradise International (www.airparadise.co.id) flies from Bali to Australia and South Korea. The Bali-to-Perth route starts at $460, round-trip. Flights to Adelaide begin this month.

• AirAsia (www.airasia.com), based in Malaysia, is expanding with a Thai spin-off and flights to Indonesia. Sample fare: $15 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

• Pacific Blue (www.flypacificblue.com), an affiliate of Richard Branson's successful Australia-based Virgin Blue, began flying between Australia and New Zealand in January. Fares will start at $145 for the Brisbane-to-Christchurch route.

• Jetstar (www.jetstar.com.au), Qantas's discount carrier, will debut this May. Routes and prices have yet to be determined.

• Air Arabia (www.airarabia.com), based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, has added eight new destinations including Alexandria, Egypt; Colombo, Sri Lanka; and Isfahan, Iran. Fares from $27.

• MenaJet (www.menajet.com) will be in service by April, flying from Sharjah to Lebanon, among other places. Prices are to be announced.

• Gulf Traveller (www.gulftraveller.com), a recently launched subsidiary of Gulf Air, has one-class "premium economy" flights from Abu Dhabi to destinations such as India, Kenya, Pakistan, and Zanzibar.

• 1Time will launch in South Africa early this year with service on the busy Johannesburg-Cape Town and Johannesburg-Durban routes.

• Air Polonia (www.airpolonia.com) took wing in December with Warsaw-London flights starting at $36.

• SkyEurope (www.skyeurope.com) now links Bratislava with London, Berlin, Milan, and Zurich; it also flies from Budapest to major Western European cities. Fares start at $30.

*All fares quoted are for one-way travel, unless otherwise noted.

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