Melburnians will be able to fly direct from Melbourne to Singapore for less than $300 when Scoot Airlines launches its new Tullamarine-to-Singapore service in November next year.
Scoot, a low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines founded in 2011, plans to run five flights a week, with a one-way trip costing $229 and a return priced at $460.
The carrier has managed to significantly undercut the market by modifying its planes to have less space between seats, so more passengers can be packed on board.
It also keeps its aircraft in the air for longer by flying at unsociable times. The Melbourne-to-Singapore flight will leave at 12.30pm and arrive at 5.30pm, while the Singapore-to-Melbourne leg departs Singapore after midnight and arrives in Melbourne at 11.20am.
At the airline's launch party at the Queen Victoria Market on Tuesday, Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson said regular fares would be 40 per cent cheaper on average than "legacy airlines".
"We are unashamedly no-frills," he said. "But we have proven cheap does not have to mean nasty."
Melbourne currently has six flights leaving to Singapore a day, but Mr Wilson is confident his company is not entering a saturated market.
Australia is the number one destination for Singapore students who fly abroad, and Scoot has been pleased with the 32 per cent jump in total arrivals from the island nation after it opened its Singapore-to-Sydney route.
"Really it was a case of when, not if," Mr Wilson said.
The airline plans to service the route with its fleet of luxury Boeing 787 Dreamliners, allowing it to offer customers in-flight Wi-Fi and powerpoints for each seat. Its business class offering claims to beat competitors' premium economy offerings at a lower price point, while it also offers a silent section only available to travellers over the age of 12.
From Singapore, travellers can connect to 71 other destinations on routes flown by Scoot's partner airlines.
Singapore Airlines already owns 40 per cent of budget carrier TigerAir. Tiger currently offers flights from Singapore to Perth, but does not have a direct flight to Melbourne.
It has signed a dollar-for-dollar marketing agreement with Tourism Victoria, meaning taxpayers will partly subsidise the cost of the airline's advertising campaign.
With Jamie Freed, AAP