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Give us PAL’s flying rights to M.East, Cebu Pacific urges CAB

Rappler.com
Cebu Pacific urges the Philippine aviation body to award to them the flight entitlements to at least 2 Middle East destinations that were previously granted to rival PAL

MANILA, Philippines – Gokongwei-owned Cebu Pacific is urging the Philippine aviation body to award to them the flight entitlements to at least 2 Middle East destinations that were previously granted to rival Philippine Airlines (PAL).

Budget carrier Cebu Pacific, which has announced plans to mount long haul flights to the Middle East, has asked the Civil Aviation Board (CAB) to recall half of the 14 flight entitlements awarded to PAL to fly to United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Cebu Pacific is also eyeing for PAL’s Saudi Arabia entitlements.

These flight entitlements were concluded in bilateral air talks with these countries. It is up to each government to choose which local airlines it would award the agreed flights.

PAL code-sharing
 
Cebu Pacific argued that since PAL is no longer mounting direct flights there then the CAB might as well reallocate these to airlines in need of entitlements.
 
But PAL president Jaime Baustista had argued that the Lucio Tan-led carrier flies to those destinations via a code share agreement with foreign airlines.
 
“We can fly there if we want however we thought at this time that it’s better to code share with others. I think they can’t take it away because of the code share agreement we have,” the PAL official said when sought for comment.
 
PAL flies 14 times a week to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, 8 times a week to Bahrain, and 7 times a week to Doha, Qatar.

The carrier stopped its direct flights to UAE in 1998. PAL also cancelled its Manila-Riyadh route in March 2011.
 
Air talks

The CAB, for its part, said it would be difficult to comment on Cebu Pacific’s complaint now, citing a contract inked with PAL and with a foreign airline.
 
“We are having air talks with United Arab Emirates this year so the issue may be overtaken by this,” said CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla. He did not say when the negotiations would take place.
 
“When you say that it’s not being used it is complicated because it’s under code share and a subject matter involving a contract between two private entities. If it’s really not being used then we can take it away as we have done before in other complaints. But if it’s under code share then that is another question. It is not that easy when something is a subject matter of a contract,” commented Arcilla. – Rappler.com