A new airline alliance emerged overnight, as eight airline CEOs gathered in Singapore to announce the founding of the world’s largest alliance of low-cost airlines. Dubbed the Value Alliance, its eight founding members are all rapidly expanding airlines across Asia: Cebu Pacific (which is based in the Philippines), Jeju Air (South Korea), Nok Air (Thailand), NokScoot, Tigerair Singapore, Tigerair Australia, Vanilla Air (Japan), and Scoot, (also Singapore). In 2015, these airlines collectively served more than 47 million travelers. Together they now provide access to more than a third of the world, or 160 destinations from 17 hubs, with 174 aircraft. Unified by this alliance, the websites of the eight airlines will become one-stop shops, offering more destinations, more routing options, and greater convenience for travelers seeking affordable airfares in Asia and Australia.
The big three existing airline alliances—Oneworld, Star Alliance, and SkyTeam—are all the domains of full-service carriers like British Airways, Lufthansa, and Delta, with large international networks and amenities like airline lounges and complimentary meals on select routes. The Value Alliance aims to present an alternative, catering to a growing segment of travelers who care less about the niceties and more about the bottom line, yet aren’t completely willing to sacrifice convenience.
As it stands, flying on a budget airline sometimes feels like going rogue. Often these airlines are point-to-point carriers that levy a stack of additional fees, meaning connecting on one itinerary isn’t always easy, and especially not when it comes to using two different airlines to get where you’re going. Let’s say, for example, that you’ve traveled all the way to Singapore and want to explore a bit more of Southeast Asia while you’re in the region. You’ve heard good things about Chiang Mai, but how to get there easily and affordably? Now, the Value Alliance would make this easier. For example, say you’re flying Scoot from Singapore to Bangkok (from $55 one-way), and fellow alliance member Nok Air from Bangkok to Chiang Mai (from $35 one-way). This plan, plus all extra options such as baggage charges and onboard meal selections, can finally now exist as one itinerary, booked on one website, and paid for in one charge.
The Value Alliance hopes to recruit more member airlines as it expands its network.