Tigerair 'may exit' Philippine market

Tigerair 'may exit' Philippine market

SINGAPORE - Singapore budget carrier Tigerair could give up its 40 per cent stake in its Philippine affiliate, said a key official from the country's civil aviation authority in Manila.

Cebu Air, the country's biggest low-cost carrier, is reportedly keen to take over Tigerair Philippines, said Mr Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board.

Media reports in the Philippines on Friday quoted him as saying that the matter is being evaluated by the authorities.

"We are looking at its effect on routes, traffic and slots," he said, according to reports. A decision could be made later this month, he added.

In a statement to the Singapore Exchange, Tigerair confirmed it is in talks on a proposed transaction involving Tigerair Philippines.

No definitive agreement has been made and the company will make appropriate announcements if there are key developments.

Tigerair did not say who it is talking to and what the talks are about.

The Singapore budget carrier entered the Philippine market in 2006 when it announced a commercial tie-up with what was then called SEAir. Tigerair went on to take a 40 per cent stake in the carrier which was later renamed Tigerair Philippines.

The remaining 60 per cent stake is owned by Filipino shareholders led by Tomas B. Lopez.

Mr Brendan Sobie, a Singapore-based analyst with aviation think-tank Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, said Tigerair Philippines has not had much success since its launch.

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