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NEWS UPDATES 13 September 2009

Philippines private carrier to spend $10m to set up base in Subic

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A private airline Pacific Pearl Airways offering domestic and foreign chartered flights is spending $10 million to set up its home base at the Subic Bay International Airport (SBIA), the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

The airline aims to start operating out of SBIA in December this year, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator Armand Arreza said in a phone interview. Arreza signed the memorandum of agreement last week with PPA president Kristoffer Jimenez.

Pearl Pacific is set to start operations with two Boeing 737-200 aircraft capable of seating 114 passengers for international flights, and turboprop aircraft for initial domestic flights from Subic to Boracay, Bohol, Cebu and Davao.

Local flight destinations will expand as the company establishes its presence in the local airline industry, according to Pearl Pacific’s Jimenez.

Jimenez said that the airline would be offering competitive rates without sacrificing quality service costs. He said this was made possible by tax incentives and other perks offered by the free port.

Jimenez added that Pearl Pacific would eliminate stopover hassles with its direct flights, enabling passengers to gain more savings and more quality holidays as it significantly cuts travel lag time.

Pearl Pacific also plans to fly to other destinations like Taiwan.

Jimenez noted that Subic has a “very strategic location.” “A lot of tourists come here—foreigners and locals alike. It is also a booming place in terms of businesses,” he said.

Pearl Pacific was established in September 2006 and is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, with necessary permits from the Philippine Civil Aeronautics Board and the Air Transportation Office.

“[Pearl Pacific is] just waiting for approvals from abroad. They want to fly to Taiwan and are awaiting government permits for that,” Arreza said.

Arreza said the investment proved that Subic was still an investment attraction despite the current global crisis.


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