US flying shipmaker scouts for PH partners

Published November 4, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

New Jersey-based WIGCRAFT, Inc. USA is now scouting for a potential partner in the Philippines for its planned Southeast Asian expansion.

WIGCRAFT is the developer of the WIG Flying Ship, a water transport system that has a speed of an aircraft and can take off and land either on water or on ground.

The company is looking to expand in Southeast Asia and has zeroed in on the Philippines as its manufacturing hub for the region.

“We want Philippines to be the manufacturing hub for WIGCRAFT for Southeast Asia,” Gerry Catapang, vice president for sales and marketing for WIGCRAFT, said in an interview.

Catapang said this would be very strategic for the Philippines since the country also deals with issues on maritime  security, smuggling, and expensive but slow inter-island water transport.
If the WIG Flying Ship would be built here, it could also be distributed locally, a move that would solve some of the aforementioned problems, Catapang said.
A 12-seat WIG would be sold at $2.6 million each, while a 40 seat WIG costs $10 million each.
“WIGCRAFT Flying Ship is a relatively close to the speed of an aircraft but the cost to operate and maintain is just less than half of an aircraft,” Catapang said.
What the company particularly wants is to have local partners that would make it easy for the company to set up a manufacturing plant here, particularly in Subic or Batangas.
“Finding the business visionaries to invest in a manufacturing plant in the Philippines would provide jobs and opportunities to  our fellow Filipinos”, Catapang said.

Despite his intensified war on drugs, which are being illegally shipped from and to the country, President Rodrigo Duterte admitted last year that the country does not have the equipment to protect and monitor its coastline.

Catapang believes that the flying ship that his company manufactures would be an ideal investment for the Philippine government.

The company has a manufacturing plant in Oregon and an assembly plant is in New Jersey.