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Philippines’ ‘Category 2’ status losses reach P66.3B



Forgone tourism revenues as a result of the country’s being placed on Category 2 status by the United States Federal Aviation Administration have reached more than P66.3 billion over the past two years, prompting local travel agencies to appeal to the government to do something about the situation.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Philippine Travel Agencies Association president Aileen Clemente said the country’s Category 2 status, which prevents local carriers from expanding their flights to the US, has stunted tourism growth.

Ms. Clemente said American tourists accounted for 17 percent, or about 600,000, of arrivals last year. These excluded visitors from Guam. American tourists usually stayed an average of 18 days in the country, each spending P2,600 a day.

Had local carriers been allowed to expand their services to the US, she said the country would have gotten an additional 1.4 million American tourists from 2009 to the present. This only considered Philippine Airlines’ possible addition of 42 new flights a week and excluded those flights that rival Cebu Pacific Air could have operated.

With the Category 2 status in force, PAL is limited to flying 33 times a week to various destinations in the US, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Guam, and Las Vegas via Vancouver.

“(The US) is already an established market that we believe has more room for expansion. We did not just lose a substantial number of tourists from the US over the last two years. The government also lost the opportunity to provide jobs to 150,000 of our countrymen,” Clemente noted.

The US FAA downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 safety status in January 2008, effectively banning local carriers from expanding their operations in the US.—Abigail L. Ho


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Tags: Air Transport , Air Travel , aviation , Category 2 , losses , Tourism

  • Anonymous

    lousy kasi ang PAL, doon nag inspection FAA, and they found out that our national carrier ay incompetent daw in terms of machineries and manpower, including dito ang skills ng piloto..

    • Anonymous

      it’s not PAL that the FAA rated. it’s how the former Air Transportation
      Office worked and supervised the industry. they found out that the
      government is incapable of supervising the industry. that’s the reason
      why they created the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to
      replace the ATO.
      But until now, it seems that the results are unsatisfactory.

  • Maharoka Hayabusa

    whats the reason for the downgrade?

    • Anonymous

      few years ago FAA conducted inspection and evaluation, and they found out na incompetent ang national carrier natin, that is PAL

      • Anonymous

        it’s not PAL that the FAA rated. it’s how the former Air Transportation Office worked and supervised the industry. they found out that the government is incapable of supervising the industry. that’s the reason why they created the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to replace the ATO.
        But until now, it seems that the results are unsatisfactory.

  • Maharoka Hayabusa

    can someone explain why we were downgraded to CAT2?

  • http://twitter.com/kintoy K Enriquez

    thank you GMA for the Cat 2

    • Anonymous

      so pinoy! blame everything on the sitting president. :-) is this the quality of your reasoning?

      it’s not GMA that the FAA rated. it’s how the former Air Transportation
      Office worked and supervised the industry. they found out that the
      government is incapable of supervising the industry. that’s the reason
      why they created the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to
      replace the ATO.
      But until now, it seems that the results are unsatisfactory.

  • http://twitter.com/toothpastesales be honest

    Yes but then the DOT Secretary raises heaven and earth to praise himself of ” Open Sky policy “. haha.



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