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The Big Story

Asia's airline wars: The great profit squeeze in the sky

Competition from budget upstarts and Chinese carriers is hitting flag carriers

MAYUKO TANI, CK TAN and NIKKI SUN, Nikkei staff writers | China

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG -- On Jan. 3, Singapore Airlines shocked its customers with a plan to charge up to 50 Singapore dollars ($37) just to use a credit card to book its cheapest seats. The reaction was swift and furious. "Disgraceful money grab," wrote one of the many angry customers who took to the internet to vent.

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