Which Budget Airline is Best in Singapore?


Singapore, a global aviation hub, offers numerous options for travellers seeking budget airlines. With multiple low-cost carriers operating in the region, travellers can enjoy affordable airfare without compromising on comfort and efficiency. This article aims to shed light on the best budget airline in Singapore by comparing the top contenders in the market, their major destinations, and the overall experience they provide for passengers on a tight budget.

Budget airlines have redefined the way people travel, making it accessible for a broader population. In Singapore, these airlines have become increasingly popular, catering to various segments of travellers – from holiday-goers to business travellers. Some of the prominent budget airlines operating out of Singapore include Scoot, Jetstar, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, and Lion Air. A comparative analysis of these airlines will assist passengers in making well-informed decisions when booking their flights.

Each budget airline targets a specific market niche, distinguishing itself in terms of pricing, services, destination coverage, and customer experience. Understanding the differences between these airlines is crucial for travellers to choose the most suitable airline based on their travel preferences.

Key Takeaways

  • Singapore hosts several budget airlines catering to different travel needs
  • A comparative analysis helps passengers make informed decisions
  • Consider pricing, services, and destinations when choosing a budget airline

Defining Budget Airlines

Budget airlines, also known as low-cost carriers or low-cost airlines, are airlines that offer affordable flights with lower fares compared to traditional carriers. These airlines are able to achieve those lower prices by cutting costs, with strategies such as operating from secondary airports, implementing minimal in-flight services, and charging customers for additional amenities.

In Singapore, there are several budget airlines that cater to the travel needs of both locals and tourists. These airlines are subsidiaries of larger companies or independently operated carriers that have come up with innovative ways to save on costs.

Some of the prominent budget airlines operating in Singapore include:

  • Scoot: A subsidiary of Singapore Airlines launched in 2012, Scoot offers low-cost flights primarily in the Asia-Pacific region and has a strong presence in Singapore’s Changi Airport.
  • Jetstar: Jetstar Asia Airways, a joint venture between Qantas and Singaporean companies, operates from Singapore as its main hub, offering affordable flights to various destinations across Asia and Australia.
  • AirAsia: Headquartered in Malaysia, AirAsia has expanded its operations to include a dedicated Singapore-based branch, providing travellers with low-cost flights to various cities throughout Southeast Asia and beyond.
  • Cebu Pacific: Based in the Philippines, Cebu Pacific is another low-cost airline that operates from Singapore, offering flights to several destinations within the Philippines and across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Lion Air: Lion Air, an Indonesian-based carrier, serves the Singapore market with budget flights to Indonesia and other cities in Southeast Asia.

These budget airlines attract customers with their competitive fares and no-frills approach to flying. By understanding the defining aspects of budget airlines and the key players in Singapore’s market, travellers can make informed decisions when choosing affordable flights for their next adventure.

Top Budget Airlines in Singapore

Singapore is home to several budget airlines, offering affordable travel options to numerous destinations. Among the top contenders in this category are Scoot, Jetstar Asia, AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, and Lion Air.


Scoot is a subsidiary of the well-regarded Singapore Airlines, which was established in 2012. Merging with Tiger Airways in July 2017, Scoot provides a range of low-cost travel options to various cities across Asia, Australia, and Europe. Known for its spacious seating and excellent customer service, Scoot has consistently received positive feedback from travellers.

Jetstar Asia is another popular budget airline headquartered in Singapore. As a part of the Jetstar Group, Jetstar Asia operates flights to many destinations throughout Asia and the Pacific. With competitive fares and a focus on quality service, Jetstar Asia maintains a strong presence in the region’s budget airline market.

AirAsia is a Malaysian low-cost airline that also services Singapore, connecting the city-state to a vast network of destinations across Asia and Australia. Offering affordable flights with good in-flight amenities, AirAsia has received numerous accolades, including the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline award multiple times.

Cebu Pacific is a Philippine low-cost carrier with a hub at Singapore’s Changi Airport. It operates flights to several destinations, primarily within the Philippines and the greater Asian region. With its affordable rates and diverse range of destinations, Cebu Pacific is a popular option for travellers seeking budget-friendly flights in and out of Singapore.

Lastly, Lion Air is an Indonesian low-cost airline that also services Singapore. It is known for its extensive network of destinations across Indonesia, as well as other Asian regions. Lion Air offers competitive fares and a wide variety of flight options, catering to budget-conscious travellers.


In summary, there are several budget airlines that operate in Singapore, providing an array of affordable travel options for passengers. These carriers, including Scoot, Jetstar Asia, AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, and Lion Air, each contribute to a competitive and diverse budget airline market in the region.

Comparative Analysis

In Singapore, there are several popular budget airlines such as Jetstar, Scoot, and Air Asia, offering diverse travel experiences. This analysis weighs the various factors influencing the choice of the best budget airline while maintaining a confident, knowledgeable, neutral, and clear tone.

Jetstar is an established budget airline in Singapore, with a reputation for competitive pricing and decent quality of service. Their passengers enjoy a comfortable travel experience with adequate legroom, making their flights a pleasant experience even for taller travellers. Jetstar also provides various promotions and special offers, making it a popular choice for budget-savvy travellers. While catering to multiple destinations within the Asia-Pacific region, the airline’s network is slightly limited compared to its competitors.

Scoot is a subsidiary of the prestigious Singapore Airlines and has grown since its merger with Tiger Airways in 2017. The airline distinguishes itself with its vibrant and youthful identity, reflected in its brightly coloured planes and the catchy names of its cabins. Scoot offers a comparable legroom experience to Jetstar, ensuring comfort during travel. Although their promotions and deals are less frequent and typically more modest, the airline boasts a more expansive network covering various locations across Asia.

Air Asia, another well-recognised budget airline, is headquartered in Malaysia and provides an extensive range of destinations, including both domestic routes within Malaysia and international routes throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Despite their abundant offerings, they often have limited legroom, which may be an important consideration for some travellers. In terms of promotions and discounts, Air Asia frequently runs exciting campaigns, attracting passengers who prioritise cost-saving alongside a broad selection of destinations.


Taking into account legroom, promotions, and destinations, Jetstar, Scoot, and Air Asia all have their unique selling points and cater to different preferences among travellers.

Major Destinations

When it comes to budget airlines in Singapore, travellers have a variety of options as there are five major players: Scoot, Jetstar, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, and Lion Air. These airlines offer affordable flights to numerous destinations across Southeast Asia and beyond.

Some of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia with direct flights from Singapore by these budget airlines include:

  • Bali, Indonesia
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Manila and Cebu, Philippines
  • Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Penang and Langkawi, Malaysia
  • Yangon, Myanmar
  • Siem Reap, Cambodia

Apart from Southeast Asia, these low-cost carriers also connect Singapore to major cities in China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan:

  • Hong Kong
  • Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, China
  • Tokyo, Osaka, and Sapporo, Japan
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Taipei, Taiwan

Moreover, budget airlines from Singapore grant access to several destinations in Australia such as:

  • Brisbane
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney
  • Gold Coast

Noteworthy Indian cities that these budget carriers offer are:

  • Delhi
  • Mumbai
  • Chennai
  • Hyderabad
  • Jaipur

Lastly, budget airlines from Singapore extend connections to other locations outside Asia like:

  • Athens, Greece
  • Male, Maldives

While covering various destinations across Southeast Asia and beyond, the leading budget airlines in Singapore offer various routes to cater to travellers’ demands. Passengers can benefit from these low-cost options for their trips, allowing them to explore various cities without breaking the bank.

Airline’s Home Base

Singapore is home to a few budget airlines providing affordable travel options for locals and tourists alike. Operating out of the well-renowned Changi Airport, these airlines offer destinations across Asia and beyond, competing to be the best option for budget-conscious travellers.

Scoot is one of the prominent players in the Singaporean low-cost airline market. As a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, which launched in 2012 and later merged with Tiger Airways in 2017, it has established a strong presence in the region. Scoot’s fleet comprises modern aircraft, with a focus on providing a pleasant travel experience without breaking the bank.

Jetstar Asia is another popular choice for budget travellers in Singapore. Launched in 2004, Jetstar Asia is a part of the larger Jetstar Group, an Australian low-cost airline that operates a strong network across the Asia-Pacific region. Jetstar Asia has been consistently recognised for its dedication to providing budget-friendly airfares and reliable customer service.

AirAsia, originally from Malaysia, serves the Singaporean market with affordable flights throughout Southeast Asia and up to countries like India, Japan, and Australia. This low-cost carrier has grown significantly since its inception and has won numerous awards, showcasing its commitment to providing cost-effective air travel.

Cebu Pacific, a Philippine budget airline, offers an alternative option for travellers flying in and out of Singapore. With a solid regional network, Cebu Pacific provides a decent choice for Filipino passengers and those looking to explore the Philippines on a budget.

Lastly, Lion Air from Indonesia completes the line-up of budget airlines operating at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Lion Air offers a wide range of destinations within Indonesia and beyond, catering to travellers who seek affordable flight options when exploring this diverse country.

Each airline has its strengths in terms of routes, frequency, and pricing, but they all contribute to making Singapore’s Changi Airport an excellent home base for affordable air travel.

SG Arrival Card

The SG Arrival Card is an essential requirement for foreign visitors entering Singapore. This card serves as an electronic version of the traditional paper-based disembarkation and embarkation card. Travellers need to submit their trip information prior to arrival in Singapore, ensuring a smoother immigration process.

Before heading to Singapore, visitors must submit their SG Arrival Card within three days prior to their planned arrival date. For instance, if a traveller plans to arrive in Singapore on 30 June, they can only submit their declaration from 28 June onwards. Completing the SG Arrival Card is a relatively straightforward process, taking approximately three to ten minutes to fill out, and it is free of charge.

The information required on the Singapore Arrival Card includes personal details, travel document information, flight details, and the visitor’s intended address in Singapore. It is crucial that travellers provide accurate information on the form, as any discrepancies may lead to delays or other issues during the immigration process.

In addition to submitting the SG Arrival Card, foreign visitors must also meet other entry requirements, such as possessing a valid return or onward ticket and demonstrating sufficient funds to cover their stay in Singapore. By adhering to these requirements, travellers can enjoy a seamless and hassle-free arrival experience in Singapore.

Regardless of the chosen budget airline, visitors travelling to Singapore should ensure that they complete and submit the SG Arrival Card in a timely manner. This proactive approach will help to streamline the immigration process and set the stage for a successful and enjoyable trip to this vibrant city-state.

Which Budget Airline is Best in Singapore? – Final Thoughts

In Singapore, there are five prominent budget airlines: Scoot, Jetstar, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, and Lion Air. The choice of the best budget airline depends on factors such as affordability, comfort, and variety of destinations they serve.

Scoot, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, is a popular choice given its merger with Tiger Airways and a wide range of destinations across Asia and Australia. With its connection to Singapore Airlines, passengers can expect a certain level of quality and service on Scoot flights.

Jetstar is another favourite among travellers for its widespread network, connecting Singapore to various destinations in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific. As a subsidiary of Qantas, Jetstar inherits quality standards from Australia’s flagship airline while maintaining competitive prices.

Air Asia stands out for its attractive promotions and frequent discounts, making it a go-to airline for budget travellers. The airline connects Singapore to many destinations in Asia, with a strong emphasis on Southeast Asia. However, it’s essential to consider the potential trade-off in comfort and service for lower prices.

Cebu Pacific is a budget airline from the Philippines that offers flights between Singapore and various destinations in the Philippines and Asia. It’s known for its affordable fares and friendly customer service, making it a suitable choice for those travelling to and from the Philippines.

Lion Air, an Indonesian airline, provides low-cost flights primarily within Indonesia and some neighbouring Southeast Asian countries. While its network is not as extensive as the other budget airlines, it serves as an affordable option for travellers specifically visiting Indonesia.

In summary, selecting the best budget airline in Singapore depends on individual preferences, budgets, and destinations. Each airline offers unique features and services. Ultimately, the choice boils down to passengers prioritising their travel needs and finding the right balance between cost, comfort, and convenience.

Which Budget Airline is Best in Singapore? – Frequently Asked Questions

Which low-cost carrier offers the best value in Singapore?

Scoot and Jetstar are considered the best value budget airlines in Singapore. Both airlines offer affordable fares, and their main base is in Singapore. However, the best value is subjective and may vary depending on individual preferences and specific flight needs.

How do Scoot and Jetstar compare in terms of service and affordability?

Scoot and Jetstar have similar service and affordability offerings. Both airlines provide competitive fares and operate from Singapore Changi Airport. Service-wise, both airlines strive to maintain high standards. However, customer experiences may differ based on individual preferences, staff, and routes.

What are the top airlines for cheap flights within Singapore?

The top budget airlines for cheap flights within Singapore include Scoot, Jetstar, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, and Lion Air. These airlines offer affordable fares for flights to and from Singapore Changi Airport, catering to budget-conscious travellers.

Is Air Asia a reliable budget airline choice for Singapore?

Yes, Air Asia is a reliable budget airline choice for Singapore. Air Asia offers affordable airfares and connects Singapore to various destinations in the Asia Pacific region. Despite being a low-cost carrier, Air Asia has received awards for its service and is known for providing a satisfactory flying experience for its passengers.

Which is the most popular budget airline operating in Singapore?

Scoot and Jetstar are the most popular budget airlines operating in Singapore, as both offer affordable fares and world-class service. They are favoured by local travellers and have established a strong presence in the region.

Are there any notable safety concerns with Singapore’s low-cost carriers?

Singapore’s low-cost carriers generally have good safety records. However, it is crucial to research individual airlines to determine their specific safety rankings and practices. Most budget airlines prioritise safety and comply with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards, offering peace of mind for travellers flying with these carriers.

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Shaan Nicol

Join a Kiwi expat who's navigated Singapore since 1992 on a journey through the city's hidden gems and vibrant culture at bestofsingapore.co. From the best chili crab spots to innovative architecture, discover what makes Singapore a global hub through the eyes of both a local and an outsider.

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