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We’ll be honest—we have a hard time keeping up with all the new low cost carriers that continue to pop up each and every month. This week brings another one, so we’re definitely going to need to make some flash cards or something to study. That way we can remember where they fly, what they’re called, and what their livery looks like.
Anyway, enough about us, as the news is all about Nok Air and Scoot. These two carriers are teaming up to set up a new budget airline, and the plan is for the new airline to do its thing with a base over in Bangkok. Each carrier is going to throw around $60 million in cash to set things up, as the new venture will be known as NokScoot.
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If you've made it through all of the alliteration in that title, we are excited to bring the news of a new airline based in Thailand. The fresh-faced carrier is a mixture of Thai and Japanese travel companies and will bring a 'New Dynamic Force' in chartered tour groups between the two countries.
Capitalizing on the country's leisure market, the airline will be based in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport and flying their two Boeing 767s from the Thai capital to Tokyo Narita and Osaka. Each of the planes will be equipped with both the cushy seats of business class and the cheaper seats of economy.
As the old saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens. Ever since Malev, the national carrier of Hungary, met its fate in February of 2012, there has been a hole in aviation to fill. Fortunately for traveling Hungarians, Wizz Air and Ryanair have picked up some of the flying from the central European country, but a full-service airline is missing.
Flying out of the country's capital, Budapest, Sólyom Hungarian Airways plans to pick up where Malev left off. Thanks to the savvy sense of a few Hungarian businessmen and the deep pockets of some Middle East investors, business class (not to mention economy class) air travel can, once again, become a reality in and out of Hungary.
Your future vacation to the Greek Isles just got a little bit easier, as it looks like a new carrier has its sights on non-stop flights in and out of Greece. Sure there are seasonal non-stops for when the weather is warmer, but year-round options just aren’t available. That might not be the case for much longer thanks to this new airline with a new vision.
SkyGreece Airlines is based out of Canada—not Greece—and they're looking to link Athens with both Canada and the United States sooner than later. Obviously there’s still plenty to do before the flying fun begins, but if all goes according to plan they’re thinking planes will take to the air as soon as May of 2013. Nonstop options will depart and arrive from spots like Toronto and Montreal, as well as New York and Chicago.
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Hey look! There's fun new airline stuff happening up in the Canada, too! Today, Air Canada makes the announcement that they're proceeding with the launch of a low-cost carrier little brother airline, to be called Air Canada rouge, a name decided through a Facebook contest. Yes, that "R" is lowercase, but we're going to uppercase it from here on out to save our sanity.
Beginning July 1, 2013, Air Canada Rouge will jet from Toronto to a variety of international destinations, some never before serviced by Air Canada itself. We're talking Venice, Edinburgh and Athens from $949 roundtrip, Cuba from $538 (roundtrip) and Jamaica, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic from $269 (one-way). These are the introductory, yay-we-will-fly-soon fares to get you all hot and bothered, and they're good for booking on aircanada.com and aircanadavacations.com until December 25, 2011.
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We’ve been watching the deal with FastJet for quite some time, as the start-up looks to bring the cheap low cost carrier model across Africa. The initial idea was proposed by Sir Stelios of Easyjet fame and, about a year after we heard of this new venture, it’s almost time for the carrier to finally hit the skies.
As part of their plan to get up in the air as quickly as possible, FastJet kind of gobbled up another regional airline—Fly540—as this gave them some easy access to rights to fly to spots like Angola, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania. With that kind of paperwork in place it was time to pick a spot to start, and it sounds like they’re going to begin with Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The head honcho over at FastJet is eager to expand to more countries, but it sounds like his carrier plans to stay firmly planted in Africa.
Just like a ninja and what seems like overnight, a new airline popped up in Thailand. We now introduce your to U Airlines, flying out of Bangkok both domestically and internationally. They're specialty seems to be pumpkin colored planes and offering up cheap fares while still preserving a premium service model.
A little back-story: in April of this year, a very wealthy Thai business man, with beginnings in cable TV, branched out to fill a void in the aviation market by slashing prices and not cutting any type of service. You'll find two cabins of service aboard the bright planes, all at what the airline calls 'reasonable' fares. Honestly, it sounds a little scary because that word is subjective.
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For what feels like forever, we've been talking about Singapore's newest long-haul, low-cost carrier, Scoot. Finally, just last week the day came for our flight reservations and we got our butts in the seats to experience the so-called "Scootitude."
The basics: Offering a no-frills service model that brings passengers from international cities to the Southeast Asian metropolis of Singapore, Scoot is the low cost little bro of Singapore Airlines. We flew from the Gold Coast, Australia (OOL) on up to SIN and back, snagging tickets for basic economy at $88 AUD. For an 8-hour flight from Australia to Singapore, that is basically $11 per hour. Our return flight was in ScootBiz for $388 AUD.
Last time we spoke about Thai Airways' newest little budget carrier, THAI Smile, it was little more than a twinkle in their eye. Well, the time has come to welcome these new airplanes to the skies with, well, a smile.
The LCC has been doing it's thing since the beginning of July, flying between Bangkok and Macau. Thai Smile Airbus A320s take off and land twice daily so there are a few options if you are traveling between the cities. A typical roundtrip flight will put you back around $224, with the option for Smile Plus, business class, at around $425.
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Indonesia has just gotten even more accessible for travel to their tropical paradise. With the introduction of a premium subsidiary, Lion Air will try to go head-to-head with the national flag carrier, Garuda. Batik Air is planning to get their birds in the sky by March of next year.
Usually, we see premium airlines creating low-cost offshoots, but this the exact opposite. Lion Air is the low-cost carrier while Batik will be the one with higher ticker prices and, to go with it, high levels of service. It's to be based out of Jakarta, flying to South and East Asian destinations and Australia.
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New airline alert! Well kind of, as this carrier has been around before and is just now coming off a pretty long hiatus. Palestinian Airlines used to do its thing around the region, but it stopped all that back in 2005. Now, once again, they’ve got the planes and people ready to re-launch the airline. Thus, Palestinian Airlines is back and in business.
The carrier is starting of small with only like two flights per week, and only a couple of airplanes to their name. They’ll be using Fokker 50s to do their flying, as the plan is to connect Egypt and Jordan with Gazathough they’re really doing their thing to and from El Arish International Airport in Egypt. Obviously they’re taking off with a pretty small fleet and a pretty small plan, but hey it’s a start.
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Baltia Air Lines is the newest option bringing travelers from the Big Apple to St. Petersburg, Russia. Okay so they aren't the only ones running this route, but the website claims that they're America's newest option on it..
Have we confused you yet? Yes, this is an American carrier flying non-stop from JFK to St. Petersburg. Well, they arent flying...yet. There are still some things to iron out, but the hardest steps are completed and the planes are eager to get in the sky. Airport space has been obtained and headquarters have been leased, there's just no passengers with boarding passes.