AK wont be flying to SIN
anytime soon, nor will Valuair, Tiger & Jetstar to KUL
. Both governments are extremely protective of their flagship carriers to allow other airlines to get a slice of the market. Singaporean govt wont even allow Air Asia to operate direct shuttle busses between Johor Bahru & downtown Singapore like MH does, let alone fly directly to SIN. Air Asia can fly SIN-BKK because that sector is operated by Thai Air Asia. However, things will change in the next 3-4 years when the open sky agreement between the two countries materialise.
Air Mauritius & Royal Nepal also fly between KUL
but only Sri Lankan (5x), Air India (3x) and JAL (7x weekly) have traffic rights.
Malaysia Airlines & Singapore Airlines fare :-
Y return is RM
444 (S$ 194). Stand-by fare is RM
167 (S$ 73) single.
Y return is S$ 304 (RM 698). Stand-by fare is S$ 115 (RM 264) single.
All excluding tax. You'll notice that everything ex-KUL is much cheaper than ex-SIN due to currency exchange. Standard Y fare single SIN-KUL actually costs slightly more than KUL-SIN first class single
The stand-by fares can only be purchased at the airport. JL, UL & AI flights are usually cheaper than MH/SQ Y fare.
Compare this with KUL
-Johor Bahru. Y return is RM
282 (S$ 123), excl taxes. MH
shutte bus to downtown Singapore costs extra. Air Asia charges as low as RM
4.99 single, excl taxes.
Extracts from The Sunday Star (17 Oct 2004):
THE much-awaited open skies agreement to facilitate more traffic rights between Malaysia and Singapore will materialise over the next few years before 2008, but not immediately, said Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy. This is due to the fact that it would take some time for both countries to enhance their air services before deciding to totally open up the air traffic between them, he said in an interview.
Asean countries have agreed that restrictions on the number of flights that airlines can operate between capitals will be lifted by 2008, as part of a move towards a limited “open skies” framework by 2015.
Chan said theGovernment is now willing to review the bilateral air services agreement between the two countries. The last time the 32-year old agreement was reviewed was in 1980. The pact gives Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA) virtual monopoly over flights between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. This has resulted in the emergence of restricted competition on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore sector leading to both MAS and SIA operating eight out of 10 flights a day, or 154 out of the 184 flights a week.
However, this situation may change eventually as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong recently expressed interest to open up the routes to boost tourism and business traffic.
This has led to a meeting to be scheduled for next month between Chan and his counterpart from Singapore, Yeo Cheow Tong, to discuss the opening up of the sector. He believed that the decision to enhance air links between the two neighbours would ultimately lead to an “open skies” policy as it would not jeopardise the local aviation industry.
But he said the government would take into consideration the interests of the local aviation industry when negotiations start next month. Yeo had said that discussions on expanding the air links were “long overdue and there was much catching up to do.” For example, the number of flights in the Kuala Lumpur to Singapore sector (184) had fallen behind other sectors, as there are now 188 flights between Singapore and Hong Kong, and 380 between Singapore and Bangkok.
Once the review on the bilateral air rights between the two countries starts, the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route is likely to receive immediate attention while other routes between the two countries are also expected to be discussed.
The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route has been considered one of the Asia’s most protected and fourth busiest, which saw more than 1.9 million passengers on the sector between April 2002 and March last year, according to figures from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
Some industry observers believe that by giving more traffic rights to the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore route, its fare could be reduced drastically and spur more flights. With competition from low cost carriers (LCCs), the number of passengers could also increase as more people could choose to travel by air. Currently, the two national carriers charge about RM700 for a confirmed roundtrip ticket on the KL
-Singapore sector. But with more traffic rights, the fare is likely to come down.
Some LCCs have indicated their intention to grab opportunities on the sector once the “open skies” policy is implemented. For example, Tiger Airways’ chief executive officer Patrick Gan had said that Malaysia has many attractive destinations for budget travellers and the airline is looking forward to have an opportunity to fly to Malaysia. Valuair’s chief executive officer Sim Kay Wee said an “open skies” agreement between Malaysia and Singapore would be appealing to the company as it is keen on flying to Kuala Lumpur, Penang and towns in Sabah and Sarawak.
Countries such as Thailand and China have agreed earlier this year to unlimited direct flights while Hong Kong also has similar pacts with Thailand and Malaysia. –Bernama
[Edited 2004-11-07 18:42:45]