Cebu Pacific, Tigerair seek flights to Myanmar
MANILA, Philippines - Budget airline Cebu Air Inc (Cebu Pacific) and unit Tiger Airways Philippines are seeking approval from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to launch flights to Myanmar.
Cebu Pacific and Tigerair Philippines filed their respective applications, following the recently concluded Air Services Agreement entered into by the governments of the Philippines and Myanmar.
Cebu Pacific is seeking 1,260 weekly seats for flights between Manila and Yangon.
In a filing with the CAB, the Gokongwei-led low-cost carrier is applying for designation as an official Philippine carrier and allocation of entitlements to Myanmar.
On the other hand, Tigerair Philippines also filed a separate application with CAB seeking 1,260 weekly seats for the Manila-Yangon route.
Cebu Pacific is now seeking congressional approval after getting the nod of the CAB for the $15-million transaction to the 100% acquisition of Tigerair Philippines on February 14.
The budget airline is spending $7 million to acquire the 40% share of Tiger Airways Singapore Pte Ltd and $8 million for the 60% owned by Filipino businessmen in Tigerair Philippines.
Cebu Pacific is in the middle of a $4-billion refleeting program involving the acquisition of about 50 Airbus aircraft. It is scheduled to take delivery of 11 more Airbus A320, 30 A321neo, and two Airbus A330 aircraft between this year and 2021.
The low-cost carrier now operates a fleet of 52 aircraft consisting of 10 Airbus A319, 30 A320, four A330, and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft.
The Philippines and Myanmar signed a new air pact updating the old agreement signed in 1979, allowing the designated airlines of each country a total of 3,780 seats per week or about 3 flights per day for each country between Manila and points in Myanmar, CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla said.
In addition, both the Philippines and Myanmar agreed on unlimited traffic rights between all points in the Philippines, except Manila and all points in Myanmar.
“Myanmar is a rapidly growing economy of about 60 million people, with a potential for the development of direct connectivity with the Philippines,” Arcilla said.
So far, the Philippines has signed a total of 5 air agreements this year after successfully concluding negotiations with France in January, Singapore in February, New Zealand in March, and Myanmar and Canada in May.
Air talks with Malaysia scheduled April 3 and April 4 were called off as authorities in Kuala Lumpur were preoccupied with the search of the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Last year, the Philippines signed new air agreements with Japan, Macau, Brazil, Australia, Israel, and Italy.
The Aquino administration is pursuing air talks as part of its open skies policy. Under Executive Order No. 29, airports other than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport would be opened to more foreign traffic.
The new air agreements are in line with the country’s target to lure 10 million tourists by 2016. – Rappler.com