In 2012 an air charter company that ferried tourist travelers between Manila and Batanes was granted an air operator’s license to upgrade itself into a formal domestic commercial airline. Thus, Magnum Air Inc. became known as SKYJET Airlines, a “boutique” local air carrier providing quick links from their hub at the NAIA to top island destinations such as Batanes, Camiguin and Palawan (two airports). SKYJET has even attempted to open an overseas route connecting to Taiwan in 2014, but cancelled following aircraft anomalies on the maiden flight before it could depart. Five years later the airline is ready to go international again, armed with a franchise signed by the President.
The Manila Bulletin reports that Magnum Air SKYJET Inc. now has a new domestic and international air transport franchise good to last for 25 years, courtesy of President Rodrigo Duterte. Malacañang confirmed the signing of Republic Act 11410 regarding the SKYJET license back during August 22, although the Palace only released the information during the previous week. This gives SKYJET new approval for operating flights within the Philippines as well as international connections. The RA 11410 also sets down regulations for the airline to follow, regarding pricing and stock ownership.
As such, the Republic Act compels SKYJET to maintain “just and reasonable” prices for passenger tickets, as well as mail and freight transportation, all of which will then be placed under review by the Civil Aeronautics Board and other air travel-pertinent government agencies. In return, the airline has the right to utilize airport terminals and airfields, build and maintain their own stations for direction-finding and wireless telegraphy, and get issued radio wavelengths for airline communication.
One other stipulation in RA 11410 regarding the SKYJET Airlines license is that it must also offer a minimum 30% from its outstanding capital stock for shareholders. This is in accordance with a provision in the 1987 Constitution; as an airline, SKYJET is considered a public utility. Thus like all companies providing public utility services the carrier must have public participation in its company operations, as embodied by the shareholders. The stock must be offered at a Philippine-based securities and exchange commission within five years from when the new franchise is dated to take effect. Finally, SKYJET now has clearance from the government to enter into transportation contracts with them, such as ferrying the President or ranking government officials plus their accompanying delegations to anywhere in the country or overseas.
President Dino Reyes-Chua of SKYJET is pleased with the signing of their 25-year franchise, stating that this will enable their airline to pursue its plans toward fleet expansion and the opening of new domestic and international destinations in the future.
Image courtesy of Philippine Star