The Philippine unit of Southeast Asia’s largest budget airline has sought the permission of the Civil Aeronautics Board to fly to the United States.
Philippines Air Asia Inc., in a petition filed with the CAB, requested for a designation and allocation of entitlements under the Philippines-United States of America Air Transport Agreement.
Air Asia Philippines in the same petition asked the CAB to revoke the designation of Air Philippines as the official carrier to the US.
“The allocation of entitlements to the US is not a problem because it’s unlimited, but the designation as official Philippine carrier is limited,” Camerlo Arcilla, executive director of CAB, said.
He said the number of airlines allowed to be designated as official carrier to the US was only three, prompting Air Asia Philippines to seek the the revocation of Air Philippines’ designation to the US.
Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific are currently designated as official Philippine carrier to the US.
Arcilla said Air Philippines was not utilizing its permit to fly to the US.
He added Air Asia Philippines planned to fly to US territories such as Guam and Saipan, and not the US mainland.
Air Asia Philippines earlier announced plans to expand its fleet from 23 to 50 aircraft within the next three years and increase revenues from P30 billion this year to P50 billion in the same period.
The airline has planned to conduct an initial public offering by November or December this year to raise $200 million to fund expansion.
The airline operates several flights to and from Manila, Davao, Cebu, Kalibo, Caticlan (Boracay), Tacloban, Tagbilaran (Bohol), Puerto Princesa (Palawan), Clark and Iloilo in the Philippines.
It operates international flights to and from Shanghai, Taipei, Incheon (Seoul), Hong Kong, Macau, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Guangzhou, Vietnam, Shenzhen, Kaohshing, Bali, Shenzhen, Indonesia, Singapore and soon Japan.
F&S Holdings, owned by Rep. Michael Romero and his wife Sheila earlier acquired 28.8-percent shares in AirAsia Inc., bringing their total equity to 44.4 percent from just 15.7 percent.
The company acquired the 13-percent share and 15.7-percent stocks of AAI from Ambassador Alfredo Yao and Maan Hontiveros, respectively.