In a move that will add pressure to the Asian low fares market, two Singapore International Airlines (SIA) subsidaries have announced joint ventures.
Nok Air (Thailand) and Scoot (Singapore) have joined forces to form a new low cost airline: NokScoot. Nok Company secretary Panya Chutisiriwong revealed that the Nok Air Board approved the decision on December 16, 2013. The joint venture carrier will fly under the name NokScoot from the second half of 2014. It will fly medium- and long-haul routes from Bangkok’s Don Mueang international airport.
NokAir will own 51 per cent stake and Scoot will have 49 percent of NokScoot. Campbell Wilson, CEO of Scoot said: “In supporting Nok with Scoot’s experience in medium-haul widebody operations, we look forward to developing a new market segment and offering Thai consumers and travellers to Thailand more travel options.”
Nok Air have been operating domestic services since 2004. They are 39 percent owned by Thai Airways International. Nok means “Bird” in Thai -hence their logo. Their dominant corporate colour is yellow which in Thai culture means represents warmth and friendship. Skytrax give Nokair a three star rating. Customers give the carrier a 7.2 out of 10 rating. This video (in Thai) illustrates aspects of the company:
Scoot is a 100 percent subsidary of Singapore Airlines. Launched in 2012, they fly to five countries including Australia, China, Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. They also feature a prominent use of yellow in their logo: “gives a sense of motion, happiness, lightheartedness and youth, reflecting a casual, leisure-oriented vibe ” Scoot is rated a three star airline by Skytrax. Customers rate it 7/10 according to Skytrax.
Singapore”s 33 percent owned ultra budget carrier Tiger Airways Singapore Pte Ltd has joined with Taiwan-based China Airlines to set up Tigerair Taiwan. TigerAir will only own ten percent of the venture which will join Tigerair Singapore, Tigerair Australia, Tigerair Philippines and Tigerair Mandala (Indonesia). The group currently flies 50 destinations using 50 A320s. Tigerair Taiwan will connect Japan, South Korea and second-tier cities of China and aims to be proftitable within three years.
Tigerair have also announced an interline agreement with Indian budget carrier SpiceJet to allow passengers to connect to each other’s flights. Tigerair passengers will be able to connect at Hyerabad to spicejet’s 14 Indian destinations (and vice versa).
SIA is clearly showing it is wanting to protect its Asian position against Air Asia and Jetstar growth.