More flights from Changi

August 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Related Interests

New destinations coming up as well in run-up to Natas travel fair.

Jetstar Asia will beef up its fleet and fly twice daily to Phuket, while Tiger Airways says it will announce more good deals soon. -- ST FILE PHOTO

Jetstar Asia will beef up its fleet and fly twice daily to Phuket, while Tiger Airways says it will announce more good deals soon. -- ST FILE PHOTO

THOSE looking to scratch the itch to travel will be glad to know that Changi Airport will offer more flights out and new destinations in the coming months. Jetstar Asia, for instance, is embarking on its most aggressive expansion programme yet. It has announced plans to add three more aircraft to its current fleet of seven planes in the next 12 months. The airline will welcome its eighth aircraft in December, which will fly twice daily to Phuket in Thailand from Dec 15. Another two jets will come by May. Jetstar, which now flies seven times a week to Manila, will also bump this up to 10 services from Oct 25. To mark the launch of its Singapore-Phuket service, the airline will offer a limited number of one-way tickets at $8 for selected travel dates from January to May. With taxes and other charges included, the return fare will be about $120. Online bookings can be made between 9am and 8pm on Thursday.

Its rival Tiger Airways is also planning to raise its number of flights out of Singapore, as is Indonesian carrier Garuda. All this bodes well for Changi Airport, now served by 86 carriers operating more than 4,780 flights to-and-fro weekly, and also for the travel industry. Both were hit by the global recession and more recently, the H1N1 flu virus. With signs that the financial crisis could be bottoming out and the public is now less worried about the flu, the industry is hoping for a business upturn. Even low-cost carriers like Jetstar and Tiger have been hit in their takings because of market pressure to lower fares, despite having attracted travellers ditching full-service airlines and those going for cheaper regional getaways. Jetstar’s chief executive officer Chong Phit Lian told The Straits Times: ‘In the end though, it is the consumer who benefits and that is a good thing.’ News of the extra flights and comes in the run-up to the bargains galore at the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas) fair from Aug 28 to 30. Holidays 2009, to be held at the Singapore Expo, will feature 1,000 booths and 165 exhibitors over 20,000 sq m of space – about the same scale as last year’s event. Natas chief executive officer Robert Khoo said the flu pandemic had done its bit to make Singaporeans drop or delay their travel plans in the last few months, so he expected ‘pent-up demand’ for travel at the coming fair.

By Karamjit Kaur, Aviation Correspondent
Aug 20, 2009

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