Singapore Airlines to launch a new low-cost airline
Flying Singapore Airlines (SIA) just got cheaper.
The airline has announced plans to launch a new no-frills, low-fare airline operating widebody aircraft on medium- and long-haul routes.
The new subsidiary will begin operations next year and will be operated independently, while being managed separately from SIA.
Initial destinations singled out include China, India, Africa, the Middle East and America.
The new airlines is seen as direct threat to Australia's Jetstar and Malaysia's AirAsia X who have been in the market for a number of years, and offer flights to destinations such as Japan, Auckland and London.
The low-cost carrier will not directly compete with Singapore-based Tiger Airways -- of which SIA holds a 33 percent stake -- or wholly-owned subsidiary Silk Air, as both focus on short-haul routes.
"We are seeing a new market segment being created and this will provide another growth opportunity for the SIA Group," said SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong in a press release.
"As we have observed on short-haul routes within Asia, low-fare airlines help stimulate demand for travel and we expect this will prove true for longer flights."
While details of its routes, ticket prices and name has yet to be confirmed, Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes has suggested Singapore Airlines name it “Singapore X or Singapore Sling.”
Singapore Airlines is not the only airline to enter the low-cost game.
Thai Airways recently announced plans to launch its own low-cost airline in April 2012, and in February, All Nippon Airways announced plans to enter the Chinese budget airline market.
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