Emirates not seeking additional Manila flights
MANILA, Philippines – Dubai-based Emirate Airlines has countered the complaint made by national flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc (PAL) and budget airline Cebu Air Inc (Cebu Pacific) that it is mounting excessive flights between Manila and Abu Dhabi.
In a statement released Tuesday, December 2, Emirates said “it is not seeking additional flights to Manila over and above its current operations.”
“Our third daily flight on the Dubai-Manila route was implemented in January 2013 and has since become an integral service which is extremely popular with travelers,” Emirates said.
The airline also pointed out that it would continue to abide by the rules and regulation of the government-run Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).
“Emirates has always developed its services to the Philippines in a progressive and measured way, in line with market demand and authorizations granted by the Philippine authorities. We of course fully respect the CAB and abide by its rules and procedures,” the airline added.
Emirates said it has offered travel options for 850,000 Filipinos living and working in Dubai, adding that this number is expected to increase with the nnews jobs to be generated by Expo 2020 and related aviation projects there.
Cebu Pacific Air and PAL have said Emirates should not be granted an increase in service capacity at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), citing Executive Order No. 29.
Under EO No. 29, foreign carriers can increase their capacities in all the country’s airports except at NAIA.
“We believe that the grant of these unwarranted extra flights to Middle Eastern carriers distorts competition and undermines the investments of Philippine air carriers in building a truly competitive air route to the UAE (United Arab Emirates),” PAL and Cebu Pacific said.
Both airlines are referring to CAB’s decision to grant Emirates until December 26 to operate 7 weekly flights between Dubai and Manila.
The carriers also accused Emirates of violating Republic Act 776 also known as the Civil Aeronautics Act of the Philippines for allegedly selling tickets for the Dubai-Manila-Dubai routes until October 2015 without CAB’s approval.
The CAB is set to hear the case on December 11.
In October, CAB declined Emirates’ petition to use the unutilized frequency of PAL until March 2015, but Emirates filed an appeal and is now pending before the CAB.
To date, Emirates and Etihad Airways have 14 flight entitlements per week; PAL has 14; PAL Express and Cebu Pacific have 7 each.
The Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) concluded air talks in September 2012, thus doubling the flight entitlements between thw two countries to 28 per week from 14 per week. – Rappler.com