SilkAir Winning Asia’s Low-Cost Carrier Wars

Despite the rise of regional airlines aimed at budget-minded travelers, SilkAir, one of Southeast Asia’s original low-cost carriers, remains at the top of the game. Even with competition coming from the likes of Bangkok Airways and AirAsia and with high fuel prices, SilkAir managed to post a profit for the last quarter.

Perhaps SilkAir’s lineage has something to do with its success. It is wholly owned by Singapore Airlines, which is consistently rated as one of the world’s best carriers. Aside from the in-flight services and amenities that come from being associated with a high quality brand, SilkAir often carriers Singapore Airlines customers on shorter, regional flights.

The main competition comes from AirAsia. It flies many of the same routes (Singapore to Phuket, for example). However, unlike SilkAir, it has no sugar daddy to feed it passengers and give it a reputation for quality. SilkAir also code-shares with Malaysia Airlines and Garuda and flies to cities in insular Southeast Asia as well as vacation hot-spots.But, the best reason to fly SilkAir: the in-flight meal of Hainanese chicken rice is nearly as good as you’d get in a Singapore hawker center.