Merlion statue in Singapore
Debate on the hiring of foreign workers in Singapore continues REUTERS

Travelers in Asia and those traveling to Asia can now look forward to low-cost trips as new budget carriers are planned by Malaysia and Thailand.

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that it will start its budget flights Firefly, which would be cheaper than AirAsia that dominates the budget airlines industry in Asia.

Thai Airways also announced about the launch of its new low-cost carrier Thai Tiger in May 2011, the time when tourism in the region will be at its peak during the summer season.

According to aviation industry experts, low-cost carrier market is set to expand in Asia as that in Europe and the US. Given the fact that Asia-Pacific region has shown fastest recovery in tourism post economic crisis, recording 14 percent growth in international arrivals through August 2010, the growth in low-fare airlines would only boost the arrivals.

Southwest Airlines in the US pioneered the concept of low-cost airlines that was subsequently followed by Europe. These no-frills airlines offer less comfort in terms of food, baggage services, priority boarding facility and more. Though the concept provided chance to middle-class families the privilege of flying worldwide, a few airlines have been criticized for misusing the concept by showing only low ticket fare and not the “hidden cost” to travelers.