Philippine regulators take issue with Seair's new domestic flights

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Philippine regulators have ordered Seair to stop selling flights on two new domestic routes that it had planned to launch under a partner airline programme with Singapore's Tiger Airways.

This follows opposition from four other Philippine carriers, who had accused Seair of violating cabotage restrictions. Seair, which launched a partnership with Tiger in November 2010, had planned to begin Manila-Cebu and Manila-Davao flights in early July.

It was selling the flights through Tiger's online booking system, but has since stopped sales to comply with the order from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), said Seair's president Avelino Zapanta.

"We hope for the board to resolve this and make a decision in the next 30 days," he added.

Philippine Airlines, Airphil Express, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air were the airlines behind the joint opposition.

Zapanta said Seair had not violated any local laws and added that he is optimistic that the board will make a decision in the airline's favour.

Tiger announced in February that it plans to acquire a 32.5% stake in Seair, which is already operating aircraft leased from Tiger. Zapanta said the order issued by the CAB is not expected to have an effect on the planned acquisition.