Staff Reporter

Tiger Airways to operate services to Singapore from October

Airline to set up shop at Cochin airport

3 services a week between Kochi and Singapore

KOCHI: Come this October and the air passengers from Kochi can fly to Singapore at low fares. Tiger Airways, the Singapore-based low-cost carrier, is about to set up shop at the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) at the onset of this year’s winter schedule. This will take the number of foreign carriers operating out of Kochi to 13.

The airline would start with three services in a week between Kochi and Singapore, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, Shriram Bharath, Managing Director of CIAL, said. As per schedule, the flight would arrive here at 10.55 p.m. and would depart for Singapore at 11.45 p.m.

The airline would deploy Airbus-320 aircraft for operating the service, and 180 seats would be on offer.

Being a budget carrier, it would be an all-economy class service.

Ticket fares would start from Rs.1,600 depending on the time of reserving the ticket, Mr. Bharath said.

The airline received approval from the Government of India to operate services linking Singapore with Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Chennai, Goa and Kolkata, he said.

Initially the airline planned to launch services from Kochi during July-August and sought a slot at 8 p.m. “As it was midway through the summer schedule, that slot was already filled,” he said.

Regarding the preparedness of the airport in terms of infrastructure to host more airlines, he said that the new parallel taxi track would go a long way in boosting the airport’s potential to handle more services. “Besides, construction of four new parking bays would be undertaken immediately after monsoon, taking the total number of bays to 14.”

He expected the arrival of new airlines to propel the Kochi airport as a big player in the global aviation scene.

“With more aircraft taking to the Indian skies the Maintenance-Repair-Overhaul facility the airport proposes to set up would be much in demand,” he said.

At present, only Silk Air operates in the Kochi-Singapore sector.

Asked about the scope for another airline in the sector, Mr. Bharath said that being a budget carrier Tiger Airways would be able to attract its own passenger base.

Moreover, Singapore is a main point offering connections to various other destinations.

Besides, the passengers could benefit from the budget carrier’s own services to various destinations in the Asia Pacific region. Tiger Airways, which is a major player in the region, started off in 2004 with a fleet of two aircraft operating in three routes. The airline now operates to 18 destinations.

The carrier has placed an order for additional 50 new Airbus A320 aircraft.