SIA's long-haul low-fare carrier to start in April

SINGAPORE Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:11am EDT

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore Airlines (SIA.L) (SIAL.SI), the world's second-largest carrier by market value, is expected to start its new budget long-haul carrier in April with one Boeing (BA.N) 777-200 aircraft, the Straits Times reported on Tuesday.

The number of aircraft operated by the new airline will be expanded to four within three months and to a total of 14 Boeing passenger jets, with a capacity to carry around 400 passengers each, by the middle of 2016.

The success of the new budget carrier could give SIA a new growth engine and an ability to compete with rising competition from other budget carriers such as AirAsia (AIRA.KL) and JetStar, a unit of Qantas (QAN.AX).

SIA officials were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Harry Suhartono; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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