Royal Air Philippines
Manila, Philippines — Young homegrown carrier Royal Air Philippines is now offering daily commercial flights for as low as Php686.00 inclusive of 10 kg baggage to and from major hubs in Central Visayas. The new routes will link Cebu to Manila, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Cagayan, and Caticlan.
The start-up company, which started as a chartered carrier in 2002, forayed into commercial operations in December 2018 and is currently offering flights to Caticlan and Puerto Princesa from Clark.
Its CEO Ed Novillas related the affordability their fares to their locator status in the area. “We enjoy the privilege in Clark, which means we are basically tax-free. Our importations for aircraft parts, aircraft equipment are tax free. That’s why if you’re going to ask, ‘Is your rate competitive?’ I can only say yes because we translated those incentives to the fares so we can go with the lower fare.”
Apart from free in-flight entertainment through its partner provider, Singapore-based Sapphire, Royal Air also provides free inflight snacks to their guests. “We just give a cupcake and bottled water for free. That’s the basic thing that we have,” he added.
Continuing, “We might be a new player in the industry, but that does not stop us from giving our customers a quality service on par with what they get from big airlines.”
Currently, Royal Air operates 3 97-seater British Aerospace (BAe) AVRO 146 RJ-100 with at least 3 subleased Airbus A319 arriving in the next few months, which it plans to deploy for flights to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In addition, it is also setting sights on flying commercially to Tagbilaran, San Vicente, Lal-lo and Macau as they currently offer charter flights from Lal-lo to Macau via Tuguegarao, mostly catering to Chinese tourists.
“We have a (Civil Aeronautics Board)-approved CPCN (Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity) that’s good for five years. So we can operate domestic and international, scheduled and non-scheduled flights. That’s good until 2023,” Novillas said.
He added, “We know in the commercial operations it takes a while to be noticed by people. In the airline business, it’s hard to make money in a year. So we’re banking in the charters in the evening or red-eye flights to fuel the operations.”