PH airlines vie for add'l Japan flights
MANILA, Philippines - After Japan and the Philippines successfully negotiated the increase in flights between their destinations, Philippine carriers are scrambling for a share of the additional flights.
Both countries agreed to increase the maximum flight frequencies for the airlines of each country to 400 per week, based on the recently concluded air talks in Tokyo last September 11. The maximum used to be 119 flights per week.
The agreement also included flying rights between the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Haneda Airport, Tokyo's second major gateway, involving 14 flights per week. Both countries also agreed that the traffic between airports outside congested Manila and Haneda are unlimited.
Based on the petition filed before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), the following local carriers filed their request for a total of 231 flight entitlements.
1. PAL Group
Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and its unit PAL Express, both jointly owned by taipan Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation, asked for a total of 65 coefficients or return flights, equivalent to 130 flights to and from points in Japan.
PAL is looking at flying the following routes:
- Manila-Narita, 14x a week starting October 27
- Manila-Haneda, 14x a week starting March 2014
PAL Express also asked for the following:
- Manila-Haneda, 14x a week
- Manila-Narita, 7x a week
- Cebu-Narita, 7x a week
2. Cebu Pacific
Cebu Pacific of tycoon John L. Gokongwei Jr. is set to mount flights to 9 major cities in Japan via Manila and Cebu starting February 2014.
It asked for the following:
- Manila-Haneda, 7x a week flights starting February 2014
- Manila-Narita, 7x a week starting February 2014
- Manila-Nagoya, 3x a week, June 2014
- Manila-Fukuoka, 7x a week, April 2014
- Cebu-Narita, 7x a week, October 2014
- Cebu-Kansai, 7x a week, October 2014
- Cebu-Nagoya, 7x a week, December 2014
- Manila-Hiroshima, 7x a week, October 2014
- Manila-Sapporo, 7x a week, October 2014
- Manila-Okinawa, 7x a week, May 2014
- Manila-Ibaraki, 7x a week, October 2014
3. AirAsia Zest
The partners Zest Air and AirAsia Philippines asked for 32 coefficients, broken down as follows:
- Manila-Narita, 7x a week
- Manila-Osaka, 7x a week
- Manila-Nagoya, 7x a week
- Kalibo-Nagoya, 3x a week
- Kalibo-Osaka, 4x a week
- Cebu-Osaka, 4x a week
4. SEAir, the partner of Tiger Airways
SEAir wants to utilize 56 coefficients.
- It asked for:
- Manila-Osaka, 7 coefficients
- Clark-Narita, 7 coefficients
- Clark-Osaka, 7 coefficients
- Kalibo-Narita, 7 coefficients
- Manila-Narita, 14 coefficients
- Cebu-Narita, 14 coefficients
The applications of the carriers will be heard by the CAB on September 24.
Foreign tourist arrivals from Japan fell 2% from 2006 to 2011, Cebu Pacific said earlier said, attributing it to the lack of additional seat entitlements.
"This is a major breakthrough, especially that Japan is a major and 3rd biggest tourism market for the Philippines, and also since the last talks was held in 2008, and the current Philippine entitlements are almost fully utilized
This is one of most liberal increases that we have concluded so far, made possible by the current liberal aviation policies of both the Philippines and Japan," said CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla.
Arcilla added that the expansion of traffic rights will further support growth and expansion of the Philippines-Japan market.
"Currently, PAL and Cebu Pac operate to Japan. Other Philippine carriers are expected to enter the market. For Japan, both JAL (Japan Airlines) and ANA (All Nippon Airways) operate to the Philippines," said the CAB official. - Rappler.com