Southeast Asia is a market ideally suited to regional aircraft and regional aviation, says Lim Kim Hai, chairman of Australia’s Regional Express (Rex) who also happens to be Singaporean.

“I see there are opportunities in many areas in Southeast Asia. Regional aircraft doesn’t need the extensive investment in airport infrastructure (that larger aircraft require). Regional aircraft can go into smaller airports,” says Lim.

He says: “There are many isolated areas that could do with a regional air service.”

When asked which specific areas in Southeast Asia he sees good opportunity, he says he can see there are opportunities to develop regional air services in Borneo, because the island is shared by three different countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

He says turboprop aircraft would be useful for linking Singapore to destinations in neighbouring Sumatra.

And thinks services linking Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam have never been fully developed.

He also explains that though there are many trunk routes in the Philippines, there are still many smaller airports there that have no or very few air services.