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Blurred lines between low-cost and full-service carriers

When Singapore's first budget airline started in 2004, it stood on the opposite end of the spectrum from full-service carriers. More than a decade later, the gap has narrowed considerably.

A random check for a Singapore-Bangkok return flight in early July shows that the lowest fare for Singapore Airlines (SIA) is about $250. A ticket on Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia - with food and baggage check-in - costs about the same.

Just 10 years ago, SIA was charging more than $400 for a 45-minute Singapore-Kuala Lumpur return flight.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2018, with the headline 'Blurred lines between low-cost and full-service'. Print Edition | Subscribe