Clark airport wants UAE flights back
The head of Clark International Airport joined domestic carriers Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air in urging the Philippines to deny the United Arab Emirates additional flight entitlements.
Emigdio Tanjuatco III, president and chief executive of the state-run Clark International Airport Authority, said the talks, which could result in an increase in the number of flights between the UAE and Manila, “is already detrimental to the country’s aviation industry.” The talks will be held on Aug. 27 and 28.
The official also said the Philippine Air Panel should instead “appeal to UAE carriers to consider putting up flights in airports outside Metro Manila, particularly at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga.”
Clark Airport continues to struggle in terms of passenger traffic, as its distance from Metro Manila has prevented it from luring large carriers.
The current talks, fiercely contested by PAL and Cebu Pacific, would also benefit Dubai-based Emirates, which is seeking a third daily flight between Dubai and Manila.
Emirates Airlines had daily flights from the Clark airport to Dubai until it pulled out in 2013, a move that contributed to the decrease of passengers at the international airport in Pampanga, CIAC said.
“We are happy that both PAL and Cebu Pacific have that position. Hopefully, the air panel will take into consideration the position of the local carriers,” Tanjuatco said.
In a joint statement on August 25, PAL and Cebu Pacific urged “the Philippine government to resist any and all pressure to grant unfair disadvantage to the airlines of the UAE in the form of unjustified and unnecessary disruptive additional rights to serve Manila.”
Emirates, in a separate statement on Wednesday, said the added capacity would be helpful to Filipinos working and traveling overseas.
“The upcoming bilateral talks and the restoration of Emirates’ third daily flight are all in the best interest of the Philippine economy, tourism as well as that of millions of Filipino travelers,” said Barry Brown, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president for commercial operations in the Far East & Australasia region.
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