MANILA – Philippine carriers are bucking a government plan to review its air agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) executive director Carmelo Arcilla said the Philippines is mulling fresh air talks with the UAE, confirming Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon Jimenez’s recent statements that the air panel was preparing for discussions with its Emirates counterpart.
“We are just hearing out the oppositions from the local airlines,” Arcilla said.
Both Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific see no need for a new round of air talks, citing unused capacity.
“Given the significant increase in capacity over the past year, CEB believes that a new round of air talks with the UAE should not be held until all available Manila-UAE entitlements are fully utilized by Philippine carriers who are ready willing and capable of operating routes to UAE, including CEB,” JR Mantaring, officer-in-charge of Cebu Air Inc. said in a text message.
A PAL official said pretty much the same thing, adding that the government should guard against overcapacity in the Manila-UAE route.
The Philippine-UAE air agreement provides for a maximum of 14 weekly frequencies for the Emirates Airlines, which has been pressing for fresh air talks after it failed to secure an extension of a third flight between Manila and Dubai amid opposition from PAL and Cebu Pacific.
Philippine data show over 700,000 Filipinos are working in the UAE.