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Rex's Lim continues to turn conventional wisdom on its head

Lim Kim Hai, Executive Chairman

of Regional Express (Rex), CAPA's Regional Airline of the Year, continued to

make a case for "moving 180 degrees away from conventional airline wisdom."

Celebrating the fact that his airline defies the accepted norm that a carrier must be large to make significant profits, he noted that Rex is, "in a sector that's not sexy, not glamorous, a fact that helps keep the threat of new entrants low."

A speaker who frequently states that the key to his carrier's success is that is it "run like a business, not like an airline", Mr Lim pointed to other areas in which bigger is definitely not better. Relying on a fleet of – no longer in production – Saab 340s, he says that he will keep the aircraft operational for another 10 years and will not seek to grow his average aircraft size to lower unit costs.

"The key to our success is our frequency, which allows us to attract business people and keep yields high," he notes, adding that one of his best markets is home to 15,000 people, but the small size of his aircraft allows Rex to serve it a remarkable eight times each day. "We're in a sweet spot right where we are," he says. "To get bigger would be a mistake."

Aviation Outlook Summit 2008 is the fourth meeting of the Centre's annual review of the Asia Pacific and Middle East airline industry and its future prospects. This year's gathering is focused on the need for Asian industry participants to play a leadership role in the events that continue to shape the global aviation sector, especially as the region begins to generate the largest share of world traffic.

Aviation leaders from all segments of the industry have assembled in Singapore to discuss and debate how the regional sector can proactively assert itself in such vital fields as the environment, liberalisation and the necessary evolution of the aviation business model, for both full-service and low cost airlines.

The event's organiser, the Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, is the region's leading independent air transport research and analysis group. With offices in New Delhi, Singapore, Geneva, Vancouver and the UK, the Centre is the consensus authority on matters related to all elements of Asia Pacific airlines and airports.

For information on Centre products and services, visit the web site at centreforaviation.com.