Valuair: Asia’s Forgotten Airline

In the late 2000s, Valuair was a popular low-cost carrier based in Singapore. The airline launched in 2004, with services to Thailand and Hong Kong. The airline was also very unique, compared to other budget airlines in the area such as Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia, as every flight ticket included a baggage allowance of 20kg, in-flight meals and a large seat pitch.


What was Valuair’s plan?

The airline started to expand and grow rapidly, with many services to Indonesia,  China, Thailand, Hong Kong and China. Some notable destinations include Xiamen, Chengdu, Perth, Denpasar and many more. The airline had many ambitious plans, including expansion with wide-body aircraft like the Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 at the time, and more flights to Australia and Northeast Asia.

Valuair A320 landing
Asia’s forgotten airline – Valuair had many ambitious plans | Wikimedia Commons

Why did the brand disappear?

However, just a year later, in July 2005, the brand slowly started to disappear. The brand was only seen on flights to Indonesia, before completely disappearing in the 2010s.

Due to rising fuel prices, lack of funding and fierce competition, the airline merged with Jetstar Asia, to form the Orange Star group, which recently got a new CEO. However, the airline would not disappear completely. The 1-year-old airline would continue to operate its respective routes, with the Valuair brand. The airline started to slowly incorporate itself into Jetstar Asia. From 2006 to 2014, the airline only operated flights to Indonesia.

Valuair Airbus A320
Valuair was bought over by Jetstar Asia | Wikimedia Commons


What happened in the end?

On 26 October 2014, the final Valuair flight landed from Jakarta at Changi Airport Terminal 1, marking the end for the low-cost carrier. All routes were taken over by Jetstar Asia. The hot meals and 20kg checked-in baggage were no more.


Today, all of Valuair’s routes have been taken over by Jetstar Asia. While the service may be the opposite of the Valuair brand, something is better than nothing.

Did you fly with Valuair during its brief heyday? Let us know in the comments!

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Sohail Sawlani
Sohail Sawlani
Aviation Reporter - Sohail is an avid aviation enthusiast and having been a previous Editorial Intern, is now an Aviation Reporter with Travel Radar. With a passion for Commercial Aviation and the machines behind the operations, he regularly contributes to the News & Analysis sections at Travel Radar. Outside of TR, he can be found on the Twitter realm as 'Planeopedia', posting about all things aviation!


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