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Asian low-cost carriers spread wings beyond the region

SINGAPORE -- Low-cost airlines in Asia are increasingly looking to fly beyond their familiar home regions. Scoot, the budget carrier under Singapore Airlines group, announced it would start a Singapore-Athens service in June 2017, while Malaysia's AirAsia X is planning to re-start flights to London, while expanding its route network in Middle East. While the price competition on Asia's short-haul routes continues, the low price of oil has made the business model of "long-haul low-cost carriers" viable, at least for now.

Scoot's new Singapore to Athens direct link is its first to Europe and the longest route that has been flown by a low-cost carrier, the company said. Parent Singapore Airlines ditched its route to the Greek capital in 2012 with the country going through an economic downturn. However, the group believes leisure demand is strong enough for the route to work for its low-cost wing.

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