Asia’s Budget Carriers to Link Up?

You may have read any numbers of stories lately touting the incredible expansion of budget carriers in Southeast Asia.  You may also have wondered how in the world any all of these companies could possibly survive flying from Bangkok to Singapore (or wherever) with such vicious competition.  Well, it turns out that was a good question.  Singapore’s Valuair and QANTAS’ Jetstar Asia are looking at a possible link-up, ranging from a codeshare to a full merger.  In the same week, Singapore Airlines’ Tiger Airways announced that it would not break even this year and is searching for an alliance partner.  Look for a merger or two in this market in the next year…but this won’t head off new airlines from coming in thinking they can do better.  It’s a free for all in Southeast Asia, and it’s being echoed by a massive, virtually overnight, change in the Indian airline industry as well, as new budget carriers snap up new aircraft (including Kingfisher Airlines’ order for 5 A380s).  Kingfisher, meanwhile is a brewery.  And you thought Hooters Air was a bizarre name.

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