Seair Threatened By Tiger Air-Cebu Pacific Alliance

The President of Seair International has written a letter to the Civil Aeronautics Board claiming that the airline is "threatened" by the new Cebu Pacific-Tigerair alliance. Seair was planning to re-launch flights as a boutique regional carrier between Manila and Caticlan but may defer the re-launch in light of the new competitive partnership.

dornier 328
Image Source: Lakbay Pilipinas
According to Avelino Zapanta, Seair International President, the airline may not be able to proceed with its plans given the changing competitive environment. "We are planning to launch scheduled operation within the year, possibly as early as February, on a borrowed slot from Tigerair Philippines," said Zapanta. "But we are likely to lose it in March or even earlier if Cebu Pacific-Tigerair decides to take it back."

As a result of the looming threat, Zapanta has requested that the Civil Aeronautics Board issue Seair one or two daily round trip slots in Manila in order to support its scheduled services to Caticlan. The airline is also planning to fly to Batanes, Busuanga, Tablas, Baler, and Marinduque. The airline currently uses a Dornier 328 aircraft for its flight operations.

Meanwhile, Tigerair President Olive Ramos reaffirmed that the airline would take back the slot if it is needed. "We have an understanding with Seair International that if we need that slot, we are going to get it," said Ramos. "We are getting into the summer and we see a lot of expansion projects with Cebu Pacific."

In January, Cebu Pacific announced its new strategic alliance with Tiger Airways Holdings of Singapore that saw Cebu Pacific acquire 100 percent of Tigerair Philippines. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of February or March. 

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