MANILA, Philippines – Low-cost carrier Tiger Airways Philippines, a unit of Singapore’s Tiger Airways, is undertaking a massive re-fleeting program as it initially intends to triple its revenues and increase its market share in the local aviation industry starting this year.
Tiger Airways Philippines president and chief executive officer Olive Ramos said in a press conference yesterday that the budget airline intends to beef up its existing fleet of five aircraft to 25 within the next three to five years.
Ramos said the airline would acquire at least three to four aircraft per year over the next three to five years as it intends to increase its flights to existing destinations and mount flights to more destinations.
She pointed out that the airline would lease the additional aircraft as part of its existing model instead of acquiring new aircraft.
“It is normally our business practice to lease aircraft rather than be trapped in huge investments,” she added.
Tiger Airways Philippines has an existing fleet of three Airbus A320s with a seating capacity of 180 and two A319s with a capacity of 140 or about 10 to 20 seats less than competitors to offer passengers more leg room.
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Funds for the re-fleeting program, she explained, would come from internally-generated funds.
The additional aircraft would be used mainly for regional as well as domestic routes.
This year, Ramos said the airline has earmarked $15 million for its working capital.
She revealed that the company sees its revenues tripling to P5 billion this year compared to last year due to the increasing number of airline passengers as shown by data from the Department of Tourism.
“Tiger Airways Philippines plans to increase its revenue forecast to P5 billion for 2013. This is three times higher than 2012. We are confident this growth can be supported by the bullish tourism targets of the DOT and the increasing number of travelers from wider segments of the society,” Ramos said.
She explained that this would translate to a higher market share of about five percent this year from three percent last year in the low cost carrier segment.
“Everybody wants to achieve profitability but we don’t want to sacrifice the safety and comfort of our passengers,” she said.
Tiger Airways Philippines currently flies to Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong as well as local destinations including Clark, Laoag, Bacolod, Kalibo, Cebu, Iloilo, Tacloban, and Puerto Princesa.
Tiger Airways Philippines maintains hubs in Clark International Airport and Terminal 4 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Tiger Airways Philippines is set to become the first and only carrier to service the Kalibo to Singapore route on July 16 flying every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday beginning July 18, 2013.
For his part, Tiger Airways Philippines vice president for commercial Joey Laurente said the airline got the green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last June 1.
Laurente clarified that Tiger Airways Philippines is a separate entity from Southeast Asian Airlines (Seair).
In August last year, Tiger Airways through wholly-owned subsidiary Roar Aviation II Pte Ltd acquired a 40-percent stake in SEAIR for a total consideration of $2.5 million. The investment in Seair is Tiger’s second joint venture after it acquired a 33-percent stake in Mandala Airlines in Indonesia.
Laurente said the other 60 percent of Tiger Airways Philippines is owned by a group of Filipino businessmen.