Budget air travel catching on in China|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com

Budget carriers in China are gaining growing accpetance among passengers, quietly altering the landscape of China\’s air travel market.

The growing popularity of budget airlines has spawned a number of dedicated airports in Asia, such as the LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) situated south of Kuala Lumpur. The airport looks more like a bus terminal than an airport, without luxury goods stores, VIP lounges or the other usual outlets and facilities seen at larger airports.

Guangzhou\’s 21st Century Business Review noted that low-cost air travel is catching on in Asia, attracting growing numbers of passengers, especially young people who complain of high air fares and aren\’t overly concerned with service standards. Air Asia, a Malaysian budget carrier, is enjoying booming business in the Chinese market.

\”Even during the period when the SARS epidemic was ravaging Asia, we still saw a high level of demand,\” remarked Siegtraund The Siew Foong, chief commercial officer of Air Asia. Tony Fernandes, Air Asia founder and CEO, said the low-price strategy is effective and enjoys extensive demand in Asia.

A PR official from Air Asia said the airline formulates quarterly marketing plans three to six months in advance, which incorporate weekly marketing drives as well as various incentives tied to the passenger load of flights. Some 20 budget airlines including Air Asia, Tiger Air, Lion Air and Cebu Pacific have become popular names on China\’s travel websites in recent years. Twelve of these are less than 15 years old.

21st Century Business Review noted that more and more passengers have used budget airlines to fly to destinations in Southeast Asia, which has become the major destination for overseas travel for Chinese tourists.

via Budget air travel catching on in China|Markets|Business|WantChinaTimes.com.

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