Unveiled: World’s First Low Cost Carrier Alliance

HKExpress, Lucky Air, Urumqi Air and West Air have come together to form the world’s first low cost carrier alliance, with ambitions to revolutionize the air travel industry. The new U-FLY Alliance was formally announced in January 2016 by the 4 airlines and offers travellers 85 destinations with 168 city pairings at its inception.


Promising greater synergies and some of the lowest fares available in the Asia Pacific region, the fledgling alliance will be rolled out in stages over the coming year. First on the agenda is stronger operational cooperation and slot connections among its 4 founding members, with an official website, enhanced reservations system and airport procedures for streamlined transfers coming online.


While the concept emulates several features of the big 3 legacy alliances – Star Alliance, Oneworld and Skyteam, the carriers will largely keep to their low-cost business model. In return for lower fares and easier connections, passengers will not find benefits such as mileage accrual on member airlines, status recognition and reciprocal lounge access (although these may be added at a later date).


The U-FLY Alliance currently boasts a heavy north Asian presence, with all 4 founding members based in China (Hong Kong, Chongqing, Kunming and Urumqi). The grouping is looking to quickly grow beyond that geographical region and is in discussions to add more independent low cost carriers to its fold.


For more information, visit www.uflyalliance.com.

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