Tiger Airways buys 40% of SEAir
MANILA, Philippines—Singapore budget airline Tiger Airways has paid $7 million for a 40 percent stake in low-cost Philippine carrier South East Asian Airlines, SEAir said Thursday.
Tiger bought out previous foreign investors in a cash deal that should boost the fortunes of tiny SEAir, the Philippine firm’s chief operating officer, Patrick Tan, said.
The stake is the maximum any foreign airline can take under the Philippines’ constitution.
Tan added that after the purchase, SEAir would sell seats on its flights through the Tiger website.
SEAir operates seven aircraft, including two Airbus A319 planes leased from Tiger that the Filipino carrier uses to serve Singapore, Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu and Bangkok.
It also flies five propeller aircraft to tourist destinations in the Philippines.
After the Tiger deal, SEAir plans to lease two A320 planes from European manufacturer Airbus, initially for domestic routes, Tan said.
In the past five years, airline traffic in the Philippines has surged dramatically, largely due to cheaper fares offered by budget carriers such as SEAir and Cebu Pacific, according to industry leaders.
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