Asian Budget Carriers Share Booking Platform

May 16, 2016

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Eight Asian low-cost carriers including subsidiaries of Japan's ANA and Singapore Airlines have formed a landmark alliance allowing bookings across their platforms for the first time.

In a statement, the Value Alliance said passengers will be able to book over 160 destinations via the websites of ANA's Vanilla Air, SIA's Scoot and Tiger Airways, Virgin Australia's Tigerair Australia, Thailand's Nok Airlines and NokScoot, Cebu Pacific, and South Korea's Jeju Air.

The alliance, which excludes bigger budget carriers such as AirAsia, will increase the geographical reach of its members by using the strength of each partner's website in its home market, Campbell Wilson, chief executive of Scoot, told reporters in Singapore.

"We are doing this for our own strategic reasons," Wilson said, when asked if AirAsia and Jetstar were invited. "The fact that you don't see the others here speaks for itself."

Value Alliance also excludes Indonesia's Lion Air and India's IndiGo.

The goal, instead, is to bring together smaller airlines as an alternative to the AirAsia and Jetstar branded groups across the region, according to people in the industry.

In a single transaction, passengers can select seats, meals and baggage allowances across the websites.

But the cooperation will not be as extensive as full-service partnerships such as Star Alliance, oneworld and SkyTeam. Those feature extensive codesharing agreements, access to a network of airport lounges and the ability to redeem points on partner flights.

Deeper partnerships including cooperation across frequent flyer schemes, joint sales and marketing, and coordination on network and pricing requires regulatory approval, and are not on the cards, Wilson said.

(Reuters)