SOUTHEAST Asian Airlines International (Seair-I) expects passenger demand to increase by 400 percent when the airline resumes its Boracay and Palawan destinations from April 16, signifying its confidence in the strong tourism appeal of these two leisure destinations.
“We expect demand and traffic on these routes to increase up to 300 percent to 400 percent over this initial offering and we are ready to expand our capacity accordingly,” Seair-I president Avelino Zapanta said.
The carrier said that under its new airline code XO, it will fly from Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampanga to Boracay via Caticlan and Puerto Princesa in Palawan regularly starting April 16.
The carrier also said it will focus on the original operations that made it the second longest-running airline in the country. Seair-I will specialize on niche destinations and charters to build successful boutique operations, including charter flights to Taiwan.
Since 2012, the company has been offering passenger charter flights to corporate clients in destinations such as Balesin, Palawan, Boracay and Vigan.
The airline now awaits Civil Aviation Board approval to operate charter flights to Taiwan. Other regional destinations will also be considered in time.
The airline has also established cargo interline agreements with fellow Clark locators Qatar Airways and Emirates. Daily cargo runs between Clark and Cebu are now operated using Seair-I’s B737-200s.
As the first airline locator in Clark, Seair-I said it is well-positioned to grow its boutique operations and to develop new holiday routes. Rather than directly compete with airlines working on established routes, Seair-I will complement air services with interlining agreements.
“We are negotiating traffic feeds to and from Qatar Airways, Asiana Airlines, Jin Air and Dragonair in Clark,” Zapanta said.
“We are looking to expand interline agreements with other airlines that are interested in expanding their reach through Clark. We will be capitalizing on our many years of experience in the industry—our brand recall and our network of loyal customers and travel agents,” he added.
Seair, or Southeast Asian Airlines Inc., was crucial to opening destinations such as Boracay, Batanes and northern Palawan to mainstream tourism when no other carrier was interested. The successful low-cost carrier was later purchased by Tiger Airways. Seair-I was formed after the acquisition to handle the domestic operations focusing on leisure destinations.
“We will re-establish our position as the nation’s premier leisure airline, connecting paradise to paradise and offering great value fares and superior passenger service,” Zapanta said.