PAL, Etihad Airways increase Manila-Abu Dhabi flights
MANILA, Philippines – Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Etihad Airways announced more codeshare flights as part of their landmark partnership agreement, the airlines announced Wednesday, July 9.
The partnership is strategic because of the market it serves: the overseas Filipino workers and pilgrims, PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said.
PAL, jointly owned by taipan Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC), is expected to benefit a lot from the partnership, Ang added.
"This new agreement is one of the ways by which PAL hopes to further build its global network," Ang stressed.
Initially, the airline partners will place their respective “PR” and “EY” codes on each other’s Manila-Abu Dhabi flights to operate a combined 19 weekly flights between the two capitals.
Etihad Airways will also place its “EY” code on PAL flights from Manila to 20 destinations throughout the Philippines in the first phase, increasing this to 28 within the year.
Currently, PAL flies 5 times a week to Abu Dhabi using Airbus A330, while Etihad has two daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Manila using a Boeing 777.
PAL and Etihad first entered into a code share agreement for the Manila-Abu Dhabi route in October 2010.
PAL also has current code shared flights with Cathay Pacific (Cebu-Hongkong), Gulf Air (Manila-Bahrain), Emirates (Manila-Dubai), Malaysia Airlines (Manila-Kuala Lumpur), and PAL Express (domestic).
In April, the airlines signed an agreement covering codeshare flights, loyalty programs, airport lounges, joint sales and marketing programs, a Philippines domestic air pass, cargo, and the coordination of airport operations to provide a better guest experience at their Abu Dhabi and Manila hubs.
By harmonizing their products, PAL and Etihad Airways offer their passengers wider and better travel options all over the world while boosting economic activity for both the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates through trade and tourism, Ang said.
The broad scope of the commercial agreement reflected the strength of the relationship between the airlines and the close ties between the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines, Etihad Airways President James Hogan said.
"The Philippines is a very important market for Etihad Airways," Hogan said and added the airline has a 90% load factor for its flights to the country. – Rappler.com
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