Cebu Pacific, Tigerair Philippines seek flights to Myanmar

Cebu Pacific Air, the Philippines' leading low-cost carrier, seeks to expand its reach by establishing flights to Myanmar following successful air talks on May 20th. Tigerair Philippines has also expressed interest in operating flights to the Southeast Asian nation.

An Airbus A330 of Cebu Pacific preparing for take-off at Davao International Airport. Photo by Manuel Nierra II.

Both airlines have applied to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) for permission to fly a combined total of 2,520 weekly seats to Yangon. Additionally, Cebu Pacific aims to become the Philippines' leading carrier to Myanmar.

While awaiting Congressional approval, the low-cost carrier hopes to finalize its 100% acquisition of Tigerair Philippines. This $15 million deal would solidify the largest budget airline network between the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

The expansion is in line with the new air services agreement between the Philippines and Myanmar, signed on May 20th. The agreement allows Philippine carriers to operate 3,780 seats per week, or three daily flights, between Manila and other points in Myanmar. The air pact also grants unlimited air traffic rights between all points in the Philippines (except Manila).

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla stated:

Myanmar is a rapidly growing economy of about 60 million people, with a potential for the development of direct connectivity with the Philippines.

Philippine Airlines is also considering flights to Myanmar as part of its international expansion plans. In separate news, Ramon Ang reports that his airline is beginning to show strong financial performance following re-fleeting and modernization initiatives.

The Philippines has significantly expanded its air services this year, signing agreements with France, Singapore, New Zealand, and Canada. Cebu Pacific Air has announced plans to launch flights to Canada, joining Philippine Airlines in serving that route.