Emirates: We’re not in talks with PAL

Dubai-headquartered legacy carrier Emirates, which has a code-sharing agreement with Philippine Airlines, denies it is in talks with PAL for any form of strategic investment

NOT INTERESTED. Dubai-based Emirates says it is not keen on investing in Philippine Ailrines (PAL). Photo courtesy of Emirates

MANILA, Philippines – Dubai-headquartered legacy carrier Emirates denied it is in talks with full-service carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) for any deal. 

In a statement on Monday, July 8, Emirates said it is not interested in acquiring the 51% stake of tycoon Lucio Tan in PAL. 

“There have been no talks with PAL regarding any form of strategic investment,” Emirates said, responding to a news report by Inquirer citing a source that named Emirates and Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) mulling a possible partnership in PAL.

In a July 8 disclosure, San Miguel Corp, which owns 49% of PAL, also denied it is in a deal discussion with Emirates, but confirmed there have been preliminary talks with ANA.  

Read: San Miguel, ANA in talks over PAL

“Emirates is currently operating a codeshare with Philippine Airlines on the three daily flights between Dubai and Manila operated by Emirates,” the Dubai-based airline added in the statement. 

Codesharing is a commercial agreement between two carriers wherein one effectively “rents” the regulatory entitlement of the other to fly a certain route. In this case, Emirates “rents” the Manila-Dubai allocation of PAL from the Philippine government then markets and sells the plane seats of Emirates.     

“Emirates has been operating flights to Manila since 1990 and has increased its flight frequency on the route to its current triple daily, non-stop service. In response to increased demand and for the comfort of our customers, Emirates will begin daily, non-stop flights to Clark International Airport starting October 1,” it added.

Read: How Emirates’ Clark flights influence PH strategy

Clark airport is about 100 kilometers away from the current main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in capital Manila. 

For sale

The Tans previously announced they were looking to sell a 51% stake in PAL.

Michael Tan, son of the tycoon and president and holding firm LT Group, said PAL was a “non-core” business and it was not “strategic to our long-term plan.”

LT Group is involved in consumer-related businesses such as tobacco and beer and liquor manufacturing through Fortune Tobacco Corp., Asia Brewery Inc. and Tanduay Distillers; real estate through Eton Properties Philippines Inc.; and banking through Philippine National Bank.

San Miguel and PAL Holdings president Ramon Ang had previously said the conglomerate preferred a profitable and well-known airline as strategic partner in PAL when the Tan family finally exits the airline. – Rappler.com

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