Philippines' Interisland Airlines seeks MD-80

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Philippine carrier Interisland Airlines wants to launch international services and has been seeking to buy a Boeing MD-80-series aircraft.

VP Isagani Laluna says the carrier wishes to buy an MD-80-series aircraft, preferably an MD-83 because this type has extra range.

“We would probably want it in one-class configuration,” he says.

For the past six months Interisland has been searching for a suitable aircraft and it was originally eyeing services from the Philippines to South Korea but Laluna says at this stage it seems unlikely the carrier will launch services to South Korea.

There is a shortage of traffic rights available and the South Korean authorities appear reluctant to grant landing permits to Philippine carriers, he says.

South Korea is one of the major sources of tourists to the Philippines and in recent months two other Philippine carriers – Asian Spirit and TransGlobal Airways – have disclosed plans to launch services on the Philippines-South Korea sector using MD-80-series aircraft.

Asian Spirit already has its first MD-82 and is aiming to launch services on 28 March once it receives its landing permit from the South Koreans.

Interisland Airlines is a small carrier that only operates one 38-seat Yakovlev Yak-40 trijet on domestic routes and has never operated scheduled services internationally.

It also has a second Yak-40 but this aircraft is undergoing repairs because last November it skidded off the runway in Caticlan resulting in damage to the landing gear.

According to Interisland’s website the airline has one to two flights per day from Manila to Caticlan and a twice-weekly service from Manila to Tablas, plus it is available for charters.