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SEAIR mulls PNG flights

MANILA, Philippines - Low-cost carrier South East Asian Airline (SEAIR) Inc. is planning to offer flights from Clark and Manila to Papua New Guinea.

In a notice posted on the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) website, the agency said SEAIR asked for “1,440 seat entitlements” to Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea.

The application, it said, covers four roundtrip flights from Clark and Manila each week. A total of 720 seats will be available per each point of origin. 

A hearing where the application will be evaluated is scheduled on June 27 at the CAB’s office in Pasay City.

At present, SEAIR, the country’s second oldest airline, flies from Clark to Singapore, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabulu in Malaysia and Bangkok in Thailand.

It likewise serves domestic routes from Clark and Manila to Boracay, as well as from Manila to Cebu, Tacloban, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Bacolod and Iloilo.

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Singapore’s budget carrier Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd., through its subsidiary Roar Aviation II Pte. Ltd., acquired a 40-percent stake in SEAIR for $2.5 million last year.

With the purchase of shares, Tiger has committed to support the working capital needs of SEAIR, including pre-existing liabilities, with shareholder loans of up to $40 million.

Data from the CAB showed that SEAIR’s international passenger volume reached 284,959 in 2012, up 35.3 percent from 210,670 in the previous year.

CAB data also showed that the airline’s domestic passenger volume surged by 155 percent to 317,897 last year from 124,468 in 2011.

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