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Budget Airlines in Southeast Asia

Updated on February 29, 2016

Why travel by land when you can fly for cheap?

Traveling in Southeast Asia is can be an amazing experience, not just for the stunning sites, friendly people, and delicious food, but also for the sheer affordability of getting from place to place. As any visitor to the region knows, getting around by bus, train or car can cost next to nothing but the distances can be long and arduous and the modes of travel may not always be the most comfortable. So why not fly? Luckily, there are now a plethora of cheap regional airlines that can get you to your destination quickly, most of which have easy-to-use websites where you can book and pay for flights with little to no hassle. And with stiff competition and regular sales promotions, flights can often cost the same as or less than ground transportation.

Budget Airlines

The following is a list of budget airlines that fly in Southeast Asia.

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AirAsia

Award winning AirAsia is one of Southeast Asia's top budget airlines due to it's rock bottom fares, excellent service, superb safety record and wide range of flight destinations across Asia and beyond. Flights can be booked online or through one of their numerous sales offices in participating countries. Often offering the lowest prices when compared with other regional airlines, AirAsia also holds regular promos and sales, where flights can occasionally be had for as low as US$1.00.


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Jetstar Asia

Jetstar is another popular choice for cheap flights within the Southeast Asian subcontinent and beyond. As an offshoot of Qantas, Jetstar offers a scaled down version of Qantas' trusted and quality service for a fraction of the price. Flights can be booked online through their website or by calling a sales agent in any of the 14 countries they service.

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Tiger Airways

Based in Singapore, Tiger Airways offers dirt cheap flights to eight different countries in Asia and various cities in Australia. Like most budget airlines in Southeast Asia, the airline cuts down on customer costs by offering basic, no frills flights and charging extra for amenities like snacks, drinks, extra baggage and seat selection. Flights can be booked online or through an agent.

Bangkok Airways

Although a bit on the higher side of the budget airline price scale, Bangkok Airways still offers cheaper flights than many of the major carriers. The self-proclaimed 'boutique' airline offers flights throughout Thailand as well as Cambodia, China, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Singapore and India. Unlike other discount airlines, Bangkok Airways has a guest lounge in it's hub at Suvarnabhumi International Airport where guests can enjoy complimentary reading material, snacks and drinks, and an in-flight meal service is included in the price of a ticket.

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Nok Air

For domestic flights within Thailand it doesn't get much cheaper than the quirky and colourful Nok Air. Flights can be booked online, or via the iphone or ipod touch app, which allows travelers to check flights, book tickets, and select seats via their apple device. For paid and confirmed Nok Air flights, the app can even be used as an E-boarding pass at the airport.


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Orient Thai Airlines

Orient Thai Airlines also services domestic routes to select Thai cities. Fares are very competitive and with added promotions such as free 20kg of luggage, free seat selection and complimentary beverages and snacks on board, this airline is a worthy contender on the Thai budget airline scene.

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Lion Air

Indonesian airline Lion Air flies to 36 destinations in Indonesia, Singpore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Flights are cheap as chips and can be booked online or through a sales agent via telephone or at travel agencies across Southeast Asia.

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Batavia Air

Based in Jakarta, Batavia Air services mainly Indonesian destinations, although they also offer flights to select cities in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. Bookings can be made through their website in English or Bahasa Indonesian or via a call center.

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Merpati Nusantara Airlines

Merpati Nusantara Airlines services domestic destinations in Indonesia that many other Indonesian carriers do not, and often at extremely discounted prices. Flights can be booked online via their website or at the majority of Indonesian travel agencies.

Cebu Pacific Air

The Philippine's foremost discount carrier, Cebu Pacific Air offers flights to 34 cities within the Philippines as well as 11 Asian countries including Brunei Darussalam, South Korea and Vietnam. Fares are extremely reasonable and service is top notch for a budget airline with complimentary in-flight beverages and snacks.

Southeast Asian Airlines

Another Philippines cheapie, SEAIR flies to destinations nationwide as well as Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. SEAIR recently went into partnership with Tiger Airways, meaning that visitors to the SEAIR site may be redirected to the Tiger Airways site.

Useful magazines on budget travel

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    • Mikkun profile image

      Joe Gibson 2 years ago from Philippines

      I recommend Air Asia and Tiger Air. Their service is good despite being cheap in the market. I have known Cebu Pacific in ages, and I can say that they are also doing well in the past decade.

    • limph3215 profile image

      limph3215 5 years ago from Malaysia

      Great info. I am only familiar with a few like AirAsia, Jetstar, Tiger Airway and Lion Air. Thanks for your hub.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Useful hub! Now I know what airlines I can take in having an Asian tour. Thanks for sharing.