Cebu Pacific, Tigerair seek more flight seats for Macau route
MANILA, Philippines - Budget airline Cebu Pacific and unit Tigerair Philippines are seeking additional seats for flights between Manila and Macau, according to documents from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).
In separate applications with CAB, Cebu Pacific asked for additional 1,162 weekly seats, while Tigerair sought an additional 1,260 seats for flights to Macau from Manila.
Cebu Pacific is now awaiting congressional approval of its $15-million acquisition of Tigerair after getting the nod of CAB.The Gokongwei-led airline spent $7 million to acquire the 40% stake of Tiger Airways Singapore Pte Ltd in the Philippine unit, and $8 million for the 60% stake held by Filipino businessmen.
Cebu Pacific is also 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 A320s, 30 A321neos and two Airbus A330s between this year and 2021.
On July 11, AirAsia Zest, jointly owned by AirAsia Philippines and Zest Airways, asked CAB for additional 720 weekly seats for the Manila-Macau route.
Air service agreement with Macau
Presently, there are air services among Macau, Manila, and Clark. The Manila services are operated by AirAsia Zest, Cebu Pacific Air, and Philippine Airlines with a total of 19 frequencies per week. The Clark services are operated by Cebu Pacific Air with 4 frequencies per week, the Civil Aviation Authority of Macau (CAA) said.
The Philippines pursued another round of air talks with Macau to amend the air pact signed last year as it is set to become a gateway to Hong Kong, as well as other cities in China.
The Philippines and Macau inked a new air service agreement raising seat entitlements between the two countries by 56% to 7,020 per week from the current 4,500, CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla announced in June.
In case all 7,020 weekly seats become fully utilized by the carriers, the new agreement contains a provisional clause that will automatically raise the weekly seat entitlements to 10,000 seats without need for further negotiation, Arcilla said.
Other air talks
The country signed air service agreements with France in January, Singapore in February, New Zealand in March, and Myanmar and Canada in May.
In 2013, the Philippines signed agreements with Japan, Macau, Brazil, Australia, Israel, and Italy.
Air talks with Malaysia scheduled April 3 and 4 were called off as authorities in Kuala Lumpur were preoccupied with the search for the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
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 will be opened to more foreign traffic.
The new air agreements will help address the country’s target of attracting 10 million tourists by 2016. – Rappler.com