13 Mar '11, 7am

Budget airlines open up Asia's skies to the masses: A decade ago, even some of Asia's wealthier

A decade ago, even some of Asia's wealthier people could face a long bumpy ride on a bus to visit family or take a break on the beach -- flying was simply too expensive. Not any more. The proliferation of low cost airlines across the region, particularly in Southeast Asia, has opened up air travel to the masses. Malaysia-based AirAsia, which launched in 2001, was one of the first airlines to rip open Asia's skies to the general public. "Suddenly, people who had never been on planes -- people who lived in villages and used to go on a 12-hour bus ride to see relatives -- suddenly they were flying," says planemaker Airbus's Asia communications director Sean Lee. "If the same thing happens in China , India and Indonesia, with their massive populations, imagine -- the potential is huge." So huge, in fact, that Airbus predicts that a third of all new planes will be sold into the...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/budget-airlines-open-asias-skies...

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