Tigerair and Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) have joined forces to create a major new force in the Philippine aviation market.
The Philippines’ largest LCC, CEB, has entered into a strategic alliance with Tigerair, which will see it take over the Singapore-based airline’s 40% stake in Tigerair Philippines – the Manila-based carrier formerly known a SEAir. The deal is reported to be worth US$7 million.
In addition, the two carriers will coordinate their schedules and cross-sell each other’s flights on both domestic and international routes, including those between the Philippines and Singapore.
The move forms part of Tigerair’s new strategy of forming regional alliances. Last month it joined forces with SpiceJet in India and China Airlines in Taiwan, adding to its existing presences in Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines.
“Tigerair and Cebu Pacific share a vision for both airlines to join forces and create the largest budget airline network between Asia and the Philippines. This partnership with Cebu Pacific is consistent with our asset-light strategy, and builds upon our other alliances,” said Tigerair’s Group CEO, Koay Peng Yen.
Tigerair Philippines will initially continue to operate under the Tigerair brand. The combination of CEB and Tigerair Philippines will form a new ‘super-LCC’ in the country, operating approximately 2,300 weekly flights with combined fleet of more than 50 aircraft. The flights of both airlines will be marketing and sold via the websites of both Tigerair and CEB.
CEB said that the new tie-up would help it expand into new “high-growth markets including Australia and India”, following the carrier’s long-haul launch to the Middle East last year.
“This strategic alliance will allow both Cebu Pacific and Tigerair to leverage our extensive networks spanning from North Asia, ASEAN, Australia, India, all the way to the Middle East,” said CEB’s president & CEO, Lance Gokongwei.
The new alliance follows last year’s merger between another two Philippine LCCs, Zest Air and AirAsia Philippines, which have now been renamed AirAsia Zest. It will also compete against national carrier Philippine Airlines and its low-cost unit, PAL Express.