Quantcast
Latest Stories

AirPhil eyes flights to Kuwait

Budget carrier seen to acquire wide-bodied aircraft

By

Low-cost carrier AirPhil Express has bared plans to start long-haul operations to the Middle East, going head-to-head with industry leader Cebu Pacific.

Documents from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed Air Philippines Corp., operator of AirPhil Express, had asked for flight entitlements for the Manila-Kuwait route.

There are an estimated three million Filipinos living in the Middle East.

AirPhil Express plans to mount three flights a week using wide-body Airbus A330 planes. AirPhil Express currently operates only narrow-body Airbus A320 jets.

The company has yet to say whether it will acquire planes capable of long-haul flights.

AirPhil Express is seeking entitlements in accordance with the confidential memorandum of agreement signed between the governments of the Philippines and Kuwait in February 2009.

Current international points of AirPhil Express include Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

AirPhil Express is the sister company of Philippine Airlines (PAL), which also plans to relaunch flights to the Middle East as the firm buys more planes. Other routes in PAL’s network include points in Brazil, Russia, Italy and France.

Kuwait will be the airline’s only long-haul flight destination. The company’s application follows the recent announcement by Gokongwei-led Cebu Pacific to start flights to Dubai starting October this year.

Cebu Pacific said it was also working to secure approvals to start flights to Saudi Arabia, among other points in the Middle East, where millions of Filipinos live and work.

There is currently no Filipino airline with flights to the Middle East.

Last week, CAB documents also showed AirPhil Express was planning direct flights from Zamboanga to Sandakan, a popular eco-tourism destination and one of the largest cities in Sabah.

The Zamboanga-Sandakan flights will be the only international service out of the Zamboanga International Airport, Mindanao’s third-busiest airport after Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

Latest government data showed that the company’s international passenger business slumped slightly to 104,820 passengers in the first three quarters of 2012 from 107,235 in the same period the year before.

This came despite the growth in total international air traffic to the country to 12.56 million in the nine-month period, up from 11.69 million the previous year.

PAL remained the market leader with 3.07 million international passengers in January to September 2012, up from 2.99 million 12 months prior.

Cebu Pacific, for its part, ended September of 2012 with 2.03 million passengers, up from 1.82 million in January to September of 2011.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Air Transport , Airline , Airphil Express , Kuwait , Middle East , Philippines

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SX25MTOCGB4NCGNX7HZ43QCQV4 Stead

    It’s about time to have Philippine carrier back to the middle east region. OFW’s in these region are at the mercy of high-flying-altitudinous airfares of the local airlines in the regions since we don’t have any airlines we can call our own.

  • jmc49

    This will help to all OFW in middle east. right now airfare from middle east to philippines too expenssive. as cebu pacific say it will reduce 40% from current airfare. Good news for OFW.

  • GaggerAlert

    Competition at last… now the consumers would be happy they (cebu pac and PAL) would slug it out with competitive prices.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Banks allowed to use ‘cloud’
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace