Asia is in the forefront of the low-cost long-haul race at the moment with a number of startups on the horizon. One of these is Viva Macau, which says it plans to inaugurate “Simply different” services this summer to an international network across Asia, Australasia, the Middle East and Europe with a fleet of twin-engined widebody aircraft.
To begin with, Viva Macau will lease either Airbus A330-200s or Boeing 767s, before expanding its fleet to 12-15 aircraft by 2010. It will also wet-lease aircraft from other airlines in the region. Viva Macau hopes to break even in the first or second year of its operation, according to chief executive Andrew Pyne.
Carriers operating from Macau airport pay lower fees than they would at other airports in the region, especially in neighbouring Hong Kong, he adds, and anticipates the lower airport fees, the relatively lower salaries in Macau and a high aircraft utilisation rate will enable Viva Macau to achieve costs 40% lower than those of established Asian carriers such as Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines.
The topic of low-cost long-haul has been aired for some time, with other examples appearing or planned such as Canada’s Zoom, Hong Kong’s Oasis, due to start services from June, and Australia’s Jetstar. Read also our comment on the subject, as well as the views of Emirates’ Tim Clark.