Wednesday, 28 April 2010

SEAIR expects to outpace local airline sector in sales growth

Jessica Anne D. Hermosa

SOUTHEAST Asian Airlines, Inc. (SEAIR) expects both passenger volume and sales to grow by a fifth this year, a recovery from the economic downturn in 2009, an executive said.

New routes and an uptick in demand should drive growth, SEAIR Vice-President for Commercial Affairs Patrick Tan told BusinessWorld in a chance interview.

“Performance in the first quarter was the best since 2007. We expect at least 20% growth in [passenger volume] and revenue in 2010,” Mr. Tan said.

This increase will be higher than the industry average, he claimed, as the carrier serves a niche market of luxury leisure travellers.

The projection is upbeat as the airline is coming from a low base in 2009 when the industry felt the full force of the global economic downturn which first hit in late 2008, Mr. Tan said without elaborating.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines, for instance, is expected to report a net loss for the fiscal year that ended March 31. Cebu Pacific, meanwhile, has projected a 15% growth in passengers to 10 million for 2010 after recording a 30% increase last year.

SEAIR’s launch of three more routes within the year will also boost sales, Mr. Tan said, declining to specify the additional destinations.

Already, SEAIR covers 13 domestic destinations including Boracay island gateway Caticlan, which accounts for the bulk of sales, and Batanes, which enjoys fast-growing demand, Mr. Tan said. The other local destinations are Manila, Clark, El Nido, Baler, Tablas, Busuanga, Borongan, Taytay, Zamboanga, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi.

SEAIR also flies one international route to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

The airline has been in operation since 1995 and claims to have flown almost three million passengers.

1 comment:

  1. Well, then we can expect a lot from them, right?

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