Seair to launch A320 Service

By Lenie Lectura

August 23, 2010

Southeast Asian Airlines (Seair) has informed the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) that it will revive a plan to lease Airbus aircraft from Singapore-based Tiger Airways to expand its fleet.

Seair has filed an application with the CAB in 2008 to lease two Airbus A320s from Tiger Airways.

“We already approved the lease of two Airbus [planes] way back in 2008 but because of the global slump, Seair’s expansion plan was shelved. Now, it is reviving the plan because the market is growing and many of [the country’s] airlines are looking at expanding,” said Carmelo Arcilla, CAB executive director, yesterday.

Last July, the airline purchased three Dornier 328 turbo-prop aircraft to be used to boost its operations in the growing markets of Batanes, Boracay and Romblon.

Seair president Avelino Zapanta earlier said the airline recorded a net loss for 2009 but vowed to do better this year.

“Although we have an operating income in 2009, we are still down in terms of bottom line last year. Everybody lost money, net income wise. In 2008, we faced fuel crisis which have impacted our profitability. In terms of operating income, we were able to do positively unlike in 2008 we were not even able to do a positive operating income,” said Zapanta.

This year, Seair is looking at improving [its performance], said Zapanta. “In terms of profitability, we will try to break even this year,” he said.

Seair transported 132,416 passengers as of end-June this year. Its load factor in the first six months of the year reached 79 percent.

Earlier, Tiger partnered with TripleStar Travel and Tours to be its general sales agent in the Philippines in a bid to entice more travelers to take the budget airline.

TripleStar was created and spun off two years ago out of Seair tour desk services. It introduced the popular Leisure Escape Packages of the airliner.

As Tiger Airways’ agent, TripleStar will market seats to Filipino travelers and businesses.

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