Monday, October 27, 2008

New Airline Starts up in Clark - "Spirit of Manila"

THE Ministry of Transportation and Communications of Taiwan has recognized new carrier Spirit of Manila Airlines (SMA) as the Philippine official carrier to operate international passenger services between the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga and Taiwan, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) announced.
This is after the Civil Aeronautics Board granted to the SMA the right to operate passenger services at 450 seats per week between the DMIA Clark and Taiwan.
The 450-seat allocation is the maximum seats allowed pursuant to Category II of the Amendment to the Agreement on the Exchange of Traffic Rights between Meco and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) signed on March 10, 2006.
Lee Long-Wen, director general of Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration, which operates under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, said since the capacity of Category II has been fully allocated to SMA, then they would recognize the carrier as the only airline of this category.
“Any additional airlines’ operation shall be subject to future consultations between Meco and Teco,” Lee said in a letter to Carmelo Arcilla, CAB executive director, dated October 17.
Lee was earlier informed by Arcilla of the CAB’s designation of SMA for the Category II slot.
Lee said Arcilla’s office should inform the airline company to apply for its operation permit according to the relevant regulations in Taiwan.
“We would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Spirit of Manila Airlines to commence services to Taiwan,” said Lee.
Spirit of Manila is the country’s newest airline and operates out of a 10-hectare property at the DMIA in Clark.
The Spirit of Manila Airlines Corp. (Spirit of Manila) is the latest Filipino-owned airline company offering scheduled international passenger services from Manila to key Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
It plans to fly to Bahrain, Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Johor Bahru, Kaohsiung, Macau, Osaka, Palau, Taipei, Mumbai, Karachi and the Gulf Region. The airline also offers budget fares and other affordable fare schemes to cater to the overseas Filipino workers market.
SMA acquired at DMIA a 10-hectare property to house its fleet of Boeing aircraft. Together with its technical and investment partners, the company will start soon the construction of large hangars for aircraft maintenance services to DMIA’s regional and international carriers, including the fabrication of airframe and component overhaul on some of the most widely used commercial aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region.
For its start-up operations, SMA will use its family fleet of Boeing 737/767-300ERs aircraft.

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