Philippine carrier Seair has shelved plans to operate Airbus A320s on domestic and international routes.

Seair had been aiming to add its first A320 in late March but the airline's director, Nick Gitsis, says it has put its A320 plans on hold because of the global economic situation.

"We want to sit it out and wait for the recovery," he says, without giving a new time-frame.

Seair announced in September 2006 it would be operating A320s from Clark in the Philippines to domestic and international destinations.

Singapore was to be its first international destination so it could link up with Singapore's Tiger Airways, which was planning to lease it the first two A320s.

The change in plan means Seair is now focused on its domestic turboprop business.

Gitsis says on 17 May Seair will be launching a twice-weekly service from Manila to El Nido in the southern Philippines using Let 410s.

He also says next month it plans to launch a service from Manila to the central Philippines island of Masbate, which has a privately-owned airport that is being upgraded.

A resort company controls the airport and until now the only airline operating there regularly has been charter airline Island Transvoyager which operates Dornier 228s, says Gitsis.

Seair operates a fleet of six Let 410s, three of which it is trying to sell, and it has four Dornier 328s and is looking to acquire two more, adds Gitsis.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news