The Airline: SEAir

Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAir), Inc. operating as SEAir is an airline based in Pampanga, the Philippines. It operates domestic services and its main base is Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila, with hubs at Godofredo P. Ramos Airport, Malay, Aklan.

The airline was established in 1995 and started operations on the same year. Its franchise however, was granted by Congress of the Philippines only on May 13, 2009 through Republic Act No. 9517.
The airline received its corporate registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 25 March 1995 mainly to operate aircraft leasing, chartering and few domestic scheduled flights. In May 1995, the airline was registered with the Clark Special Economic Zone to operate services in the Clark-Manila-Subic area and to tourist destinations throughout Luzon and the Visayas regions. It has had continual route expansion and opened a hub in Zamboanga City in 2002.
Seair is majority-owned by local investors - 60% by the Lopezes, 10% by Nikos Gitsis and Iren Dornier at 30%. Iren Dornier is a German pilot and entrepreneur, the grandson of German flying pioneer Claudius Dornier.

On 29 September 2006, a deal was announced in which Singapore-based Tiger Airways will enter a commercial and operational tie-up with SEAIR from February 2007, involving the leasing of two planes in Tiger Airways colours to SEAIR, who will operate the Tiger Airways' planes with SEAIR's pilots and crew, but will be marketed and sold via Tiger Airways website. The deal does not include shareholding transactions. The tie-up was finally approved in 2008 after protest from 4 other Philippine airlines. However, due to the unfavorable operating environment, the plan was put into hiatus. Tiger and SEAir revisited the partnership plan in 2010 and it was officially launched on 16 Dec 2010.
On March, 2008, SEAIR competitor, Asian Spirit was sold for around 1 Billion Philippine Peso's. Juice king (owner of Zest-o juices) and banker Alfredo M. Yao completed the takeover of flag carrier Asian Spirit Inc. (ASI), and has shown interest in a merger with SEAIR, where Asian Spirit and SEAIR merge operations under one company and one airline. The New Owners of Asian Spirit, famous for its beverage products under the Zesto group, is apparently eyeing for a majority 60 percent stake in SEAIR.

On 16 December 2010, Tiger Airways enter the Philippines market by proxy, without setting up an airlines in Philippines. Instead, Tiger goes into partnership with SEAir, whereby Tiger will lease aircraft to SEAir, and SEAir will operate the aircraft in SEAir's livery, using SEAir's pilot and cabin crew. Seats on the flight operated by SEAir using aircraft leased from Tiger will be sold and marketed by Tiger for SEAir. Shortly after SEAir and Tiger launch the partnership, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Zest Airways, and Air Philippines sent a letter of protest to the Department of Transportation and Communications claming the partnership between SEAir and Tiger is illegal and requested the authorities to stop flights operating under the partnership. The Tiger-SEAir Partnership began with international flights from Clark to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau. It was then expanded to domestic destination from Manila(NAIA) to Davao and Cebu (slated to launch in July 2011). However, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) ordered the sales of the domestic flight under the partnership to be suspended on 20 May 2011, after receiving complaints from Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Since the ban from CAB have been lifted in Oct 2011, the planned domestic flight (between Manila(NAIA) to Davao and Cebu) is schedule to start in May 2012.
In February 2011, Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd, parent of Tiger Airways, purchase 32.5% shares of SEAir Inc. They intend to increase the shares to 40%.

In December 2011, CAB approved SEAir's application to form SEAir International. SEAir International will fly domestic and long-haul international route. It will be a full-service airline focusing on leisure destinations. SEAir will continue to collaborate with Tiger Airways to offer low-cost no-frill service


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