Deals to launch new budget airlines in Asia

New airlines to pop up in Bangkok and Taiwan



Nok Air and Scoot have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a new low-cost airline to be based in Bangkok, it was revealed yesterday. On the same day, Tigerair signed a joint-venture agreement with China Airlines to establish a new Taiwan-based budget carrier.

The Bangkok-based airline will be named NokScoot and based at the city’s Don Mueang International Airport. It will operate widebody aircraft on medium and long-haul international routes.

Nok, which is 39% owned by Thai Airways but which pursues a largely independent path, will have a 51% stake while Scoot, a Singapore Airlines subsidiary, will have 49%. The initial investment will be THB 2 billion (€45.27 million). More details will be announced later.

“It has always been Nok’s goal to offer Thais more choice and more value, of which this venture is yet another example,” said Nok Air CEO Patee Sarasin.

Added Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson: “Thailand is Asia’s premier tourist destination and logical hub for Scoot to expand to.”

Tigerair, meanwhile – like Scoot, a low-cost carrier based in Singapore – has announced that it is set to extend its footprint in Northeast Asia through the signing of its deal with China Airlines to establish Tigerair Taiwan.

Tigerair will hold a 10% stake in the new carrier, which will have a paid-up capital of NTD 2 billion (€49 million).

The airline will operate under the Tigerair brand utilising Tigerair’s website as its main sales and distribution platform. It will be managed as a standalone entity, with separate board and management team.

“The new JV will allow us to extend our presence into the new, untapped markets of Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. There is vast potential for growth in these markets and also areas of synergy to be explored between the two airlines. With an established partner in China Airlines, we are confident of building a strong and sustainable budget carrier,” Tigerair Group CEO Koay Peng Yen said.

China Airlines Chairman Sun Hung-Hsiang: “China Airlines’ knowledge of the Taiwan market coupled with Tigerair’s expertise in the no-frills sector should stimulate demand in the civil aviation market here. We look forward to ushering in a new era for the local aviation industry, and creating Taiwan’s number-one budget carrier.”

TTG Nordic

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