UAE gets 7 PH flights weekly
THE PHILIPPINES restored the seven weekly flights of United Arab Emirates (UAE) carriers in air talks that ended late Friday night in Manila, a member of the local panel said.
“The Philippines agreed to restore seven weekly frequencies to UAE. Currently, they have 28 weekly frequencies split between Emirates and Etihad Airways,” Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) director Jose Victor I. Luciano said in a phone interview.
With the latest Philippines-UAE air talks done, Luciano said it is possible for Emirates to seek the restoration of the seven weekly flights it lost in 2014. But it is up to UAE to allocate the frequencies, he said.
“Our talks are between countries [only] … The UAE will decide how to allocate the frequencies,” he said.
Emirates used to have these extra seven flights via code sharing with national carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL). It only now has 14 weekly flights. Etihad, meanwhile, has the same number of weekly flights.
The negotiators considered the high load factor of UAE airlines, which use Boeing 777 airplanes that can carry 430 passengers. Tourism promotion and flight options for 850,000 Filipinos in Dubai were also considered.
To address local airlines’ concerns the flight entitlements will drive out competition, Luciano said the Philippine panel imposed several conditions.
The additional flights will only be implemented beginning March 2016 to allow local airlines “traction,” Luciano said.
Philippine carriers will also be able to exercise their fifth freedom rights. This means they can unload passengers in a UAE hub such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, pick up new passengers, and then take them to another territory except Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Local carriers can also claim their fifth freedom rights for United Kingdom hubs, except flights there should not exceed 14 per week.
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