United Airlines To Expand Market Share In The Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – United Airlines is looking at growing its market share in the Philippines as it is carefully studying other possible destinations from Manila including San Francisco.

United Airlines Philippines country manager Maria Concepcion Perdon said in a press conference that the airline is looking at growing its four-percent market share in the Philippines.

“Right now we have a four-percent market share and we hope to grow it. The Philippines is a very important market for United that is why we have been here for 30 years,” Perdon said.

The airline flies to Guam and Koror in Palau 13 times a week using a Boeing 737 aircraft.

“The Manila-Guam route has been profitable for us. There are many Filipinos living in Guam,” Perdon said.

According to her, United Airlines has a load factor of 80 percent for its operations in the Philippines.

She explained that United Airlines is looking at getting the share of Hawaiian Airlines that stopped servicing the Manila-Honolulu route a few years ago.

United Airlines vice president for sales in Atlantic and Pacific Jake Cefolia told reporters that the airline is studying opportunities in the Philippines including the possibility of flying to other destinations in the US including San Francisco.

“The Manila-San Francisco route is always on the drawing board,” Cefolia said.

He pointed out that the airline is looking at growing its businesses in the market where it has presence below the gross domestic product (GDP) growth to avoid overcapacity.

“We intend to keep the capacity growth between the level of GDP growth in the markets that we serve because we want to keep from a situation wherein there is more supply than demand,” he added.

According to Cefolia, the airline would have to carefully study opportunities in the Philippines.

“There is a tremendous among of demand, sometimes it seems insatiable demand in Manila. It is the highest volume market between Asia and the US. However, it is also an incredibly price sensitive market,” he said.

Cefolia said the airline is in the middle of a refleeting program and is scheduled to take the delivery of 34 brand new Boeing aircraft including the B787-9 Dreamliner as well as 50 new Embraer 175 aircraft.

Source: Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star


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