Seair launches 3 daily Cebu-Manila flights-A A +A
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
SOUTH East Asian Airlines (Seair) launched Tuesday its three daily flights for the Cebu-Manila-Cebu route using its 144-seater Airbus A319 aircraft.
Seaair co-founder and president Nikos Gitsis said this was part of the airline’s expansion to seven cities nationwide, including Iloilo, Bacolod, Kalibo in Aklan, Tacloban in Northern Leyte, Davao and Puerto Princesa in Palawan.
Retired Philippine Air Force commanding general Adelberto Yap, Seair vice president for operations, said the company has five Airbus aircraft with two more arriving towards the end of 2012 or early 2013.
Seair is also in exploratory talks with local government units and business communities in Cebu to promote its operations and develop business relations.
Passengers of the inaugural trip that arrived in the Mactan Cebu International Airport at 2:15 Tuesday were charged only P1 per ticket. Tickets on regular trips will cost P500 to P600 which is still the cheaper in the Philippines.
“Cebu is one of the most important destinations in the country and its central location makes it a major gateway to the islands in the Visayas region. Our presence here means an increase in trade and tourism in the region, as well as job generation” said Seair chief operations officer Patrick Tan in a statement.
With the addition of three daily flights to Cebu, 300,000 arrivals are expected every year, translating to the 300 direct and indirect jobs, Seair said.
Seair recently changed its operations from that of a leisure airline to a low-cost budget airline with a fleet consisting of three Airbus 320s and two A 319s.
Yap said the three Airbus 320s are based at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga and fly from Clark to Singapore, Hongkong, Bangkok, Kota Kinabalu and Kalibo.
“The change in business model can only enhance our passenger experience of short and safe flights from one island destination to another. The new Airbus planes are more spacious and can accommodate up to 180 people with generous leg room. In comparison with other airlines servicing the same destinations, Seair offers the lowest fares in the market,” Tan said.
Gitsis, on the other hand, said that as the second longest-running airline in the country, Seair has helped develop some of the major destinations in the country, including Boracay, Batanes and northern Palawan.
Seair said it was also the first to introduce the online and e-ticketing system in 2006. It recently became the first Tiger Airways partner airline in the Asia Pacific region.
“Our partnership with Tiger Airways will help us realize our vision of becoming one of the biggest airlines in the country. In the pipelines are flights connecting Cebu and other parts of the country and the Southeast Asian region,” Tan said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 02, 2012.