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Incheon Inks Deal to Build Budget Carrier with Tiger Airways

Tiger Airways, a low-fare airline partly-owned by Singapore Airlines, said on Nov.5 it will start a new Korean budget airline called Incheon Tiger Airways.

Incheon, a joint venture between Tiger and Korea's Incheon Metropolitan City, will fly from Korea to China, Japan, east Russia and Mongolia. 'We are poised to be in a strong position to tap on emerging travel trends in the region,' Tiger Airways Chief Executive Tony Davies said at a press briefing.

International travellers voted South Korea's Incheon the world's best airport for customer service, global body Airports Council International said earlier this year.

Flights are expected to start within the next 12 month.
Incheon Tiger Airways will start with five Airbus A320 planes and expects to fly on domestic routes as well as to destinations in Japan, China, Russia and Mongolia, said Mr Davis.

The new airline will be based at the major international airport in Incheon, about 40 kilometres west of Seoul, Mr Davis told a news briefing.

Tiger Aviation said it and Incheon city have signed a letter of cooperation to set up the carrier and were working to secure the traffic rights.

Mr Davis would not give the capitalisation for the joint venture, but said Tiger Aviation will own 49 percent, while Incheon city and other South Korean investors will hold 51 percent.

The Korea Times has reported that the joint venture will have 20 billion won (US$22 million, S$32 million) in capital.

'Today's announcement is a very, very important step forward for us. We think this is a very important part of our strategic development,' Mr Davis said, referring to Tiger Airways' ambition to be an Asian budget airline.

He said the establishment of a base in South Korea, 'really gives us a huge opportunity to bring our low fares and our business model to a very, very large population just within two hours flying time of Incheon.'

Tiger Airways, a low-fare carrier which is 49 percent owned by Singapore Airlines, also has a base in Melbourne outside of its Singapore hub.






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