Philippines-Ethiopia Signed ASA


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Ethiopia have entered into an air services agreement covering flights between the two countries.

“The Philippines and Ethiopia signed yesterday in Manila an Air Services Agreement (ASA) that defined the aviation relationship and the exchange of traffic rights between the two countries,” Civil Aeronautics Board executive director Carmelo Arcilla said in a text message.

The agreement allows seven flights per week between Manila and Ethiopia and unlimited flights between Ethiopia and other airports in the Philippines except the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

The agreement likewise allows intermediate stops in Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, India and the Middle East.

Ethiopia initiated the move to hold air talks with the Philippines as it looks to expand in Asia.

Ethiopian Airlines currently has flights to Hong Kong, Beijing, Guanzhou, Shanghai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul.

Arcilla said that while the current traffic between the Philippines and Ethiopia is small, the ASA is expected to open new connectivities between the Philippines and Africa, including the Middle East, given Ethiopia’s location in North East Africa.

Ethiopia, which is the aviation hub in North East Africa, serves as a transit point for passengers from other African countries and the Middle East.

“The agreement therefore offers opportunities for the enhancement of our air connectivity and the development of our aviation network, especially that Africa is an emerging market and growth area,” Arcilla said.

Aside from Ethiopia, the Philippines has concluded air talks with France, Singapore, New Zealand, Myanmar, Canada, Macau and South Africa this year.

Last year, the Philippines signed air agreements with Japan, Macau, Brazil, Australia, Israel, and Italy.

Source: Louella Desiderio, Philippine Stat


Regulator Rules Against Extension of PAL’s Codeshare Agreement with Emirates

Image Source: Darryl Morrell,
Image Source: Darryl Morrell,

MANILA – Philippine Airlines (PAL) may stop selling tickets to Dubai after the regulator rejected its code sharing agreement with Emirates Airlines.

Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) legal division head Wyrlou Samodio today told reporters that its board last week denied the extension of the code sharing agreement between PAL and Emirates.

The decision stems from the Philippine flag carrier’s failure to use its entitlements to Dubai.

Under a codeshare agreement, the two airlines are sharing the same flight and a seat can be purchased on each airline’s designator and flight number, which is operated by only one of cooperating parties.

Samodio said CAB is willing to reallocate the Dubai flight entitlements assigned to PAL if another Philippine carrier wants to apply for those entitlements.

PAL maintains 21 weekly flights for this route under a codeshare arrangement after it stopped its direct flights to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1998. PAL Express flies six times a week.

Sought for comment, Jorenz Tanada, spokesperson of Cebu Pacific, said the airline requested CAB to disallow the extension of a codeshare agreement between PAL and Emirates.

“Said agreement involves frequencies between Manila and Dubai that are meant for operation by Philippine carriers and yet are currently operated by Emirates,” Tanada said.

The budget airline last year began long-haul flights between Manila and Dubai. Cebu Pacific uses its Airbus A300-330 aircraft for its first 9-hour direct flight.

At present, there are 700,000 Filipinos in the UAE, the fourth largest concentration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).


Source: Darwin G. Amojelar,

Flag Carrier Designation for Cebu Pacific To Canada; Regulator Approves Add’l Canada Flights for PAL


MANILA – The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has approved the request of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to add flights to Canada.

Wyrlou Samodio, CAB legal division head, said its board last week approved the application of PAL for an additional 7 weekly flights to Canada.

At present, PAL flies to and from Canada 7 times a week.

The flag carrier requested the additional seat entitlements due to the rising number of Filipino-Canadians who visit the Philippines and of Filipinos moving to Canada.

Samodio said the CAB board also approved the request of Cebu Pacific to be designated as official Philippine carrier to Canada.

“We have as yet no frequency allocations to Canada, even as we got designated as an official carrier,” Jorenz Tanada, spokesperson of Cebu Pacific, said in a text message. 

Tanada had said the Filipino community in Canada has grown significantly in the last 10 years. 

“We look forward to offering CEB’s low cost services to Filipinos in Canada and their families back home,” he said. 

The budget airline last yearbegan long-haul flights between Manila and Dubai. Cebu Pacific uses its Airbus A300-330 aircraft for its first 9-hour direct flight.

Last May, the Philippines and Canada agreed to amend their air service agreement (ASA), which was last revised in December 2008.

The new agreement increased the frequency entitlement for each side from 7 flights a week to14.

According Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, his county issued more than 47,000 visitor visas to Filipinos in 2013.

Nearly 30,000 Filipinos became permanent residents of Canada, making the Philippines the third top source-country for immigrants.

In addition, more than 650,000 Canadian residents can trace their ancestry to the Philippines. Data from the Department of Tourism show that visitors from Canada grew by 12.5 percent to 28,506 arrivals in the first two months of the year.


Source: Darwin G. Amojelar,

Saudi Arabian Airlines Applies To Operate in Philippines


SAUDI Arabian Airlines has asked the commercial air service regulator for permission to operate international scheduled passenger and cargo services, according to a filing with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

 Saudi Arabian Airlines applied for a foreign air carrier permit, the first step in a process that will ultimately require Presidential approval.

The CAB, meanwhile, said it is scheduled a hearing for Saudi Arabian Airlines’s application on Aug. 27.

Under Section 16 of Republic Act 776, the carrier is required to publish a notice of hearing at least once for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.

Saudi Arabian Airlines operates four Boeing 747 aircraft, 22 Boeing 777s, 12 Boeing 777-300 Extended Range models, 50 aircraft of various types from the Airbus A320 family, 12 Airbus A330-300s and 15 Embraer 170 regional aircraft.

The carrier flies to the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, India, Nigeria, Turkey, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Spain, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Egypt, Tunisia, Singapore, France, Sudan, Syria, Qatar, United States, Italy, German, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Algeria, Pakistan, Kenya, Malaysia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Maldives, Iran, Morocco, the Philippines, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, and Indonesia.

In 2012, the Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed to increase air services between the two countries to 21 flights per week from the current 10.

Source: Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz, BusinessWorld Online

Cebu Pacific Seeks More UAE Flights



MANILA, Philippines – Gokongwei-led budget carrier Cebu Pacific is seeking more flight entitlements to the United Arab Emirates.

Cebu Pacific filed a petition before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) seeking the reallocation of two unused weekly frequencies, which were previously allocated to Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL).

“Notice is hereby given that Cebu Pacific has filed with the CAB an application for reallocation of additional entitlements to UAE two unused weekly frequencies previously allocated to PAL in accordance to the existing Confidential Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of the Philippines and UAE in September 2012,” CAB said in a notice.

Cebu Pacific currently flies to Dubai, but it is looking to expand its long-haul operations. It will start flying to Kuwait on September 2 and Sydney, Australia on September 9.

Meanwhile, AirAsia said it will increase the number of flights between Kalibo and Kuala Lumpur to seven times a week starting October 23. AirAsia currently flies between Kalibo-KL four times a week.

“With this additional frequency, guests who are travelling on this route can connect to both Kuala Lumpur and Kalibo on a daily basis, and this will enable them to further take advantage of our vast route network, especially via Kuala Lumpur. Kalibo is a great gateway to Boracay, and we are proud to be the airline that offers the best connectivity to this paradise island from Malaysia with our daily flights,” Spencer Lee, AirAsia Berhad’s Head of Commercial, said.

AirAsia currently has twice daily flights from Kuala Lumpur to Manila, and three times a week flights from Kuala Lumpur to Cebu. It also has daily flights from Kota Kinabalu to Manila.



Tigerair & Cebu Pacific Seek More Flights To Macau


MANILA, Philippines – Budget airline Cebu Pacific and unit Tigerair Philippines are seeking additional seats for flights between Manila and Macau, according to documents from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

In separate applications with CAB, Cebu Pacific asked for additional 1,162 weekly seats, while Tigerair sought an additional 1,260 seats for flights to Macau from Manila.

Cebu Pacific is now awaiting congressional approval of its $15-million acquisition of Tigerair after getting the nod of CAB.The Gokongwei-led airline spent $7 million to acquire the 40% stake of Tiger Airways Singapore Pte Ltd in the Philippine unit, and $8 million for the 60% stake held by Filipino businessmen.

Cebu Pacific is also in the middle of a $4-billion refleeting program involving the acquisition of about 50 Airbus aircraft. It is scheduled to take delivery of 11 more Airbus A320s, 30 A321neos and two Airbus A330s between this year and 2021.

On July 11, AirAsia Zest, jointly owned by AirAsia Philippines and Zest Airways, asked CAB for additional 720 weekly seats for the Manila-Macau route.

Air Service Agreement with Macau

Presently, there are air services among Macau, Manila, and Clark. The Manila services are operated by AirAsia Zest, Cebu Pacific Air, and Philippine Airlines with a total of 19 frequencies per week. The Clark services are operated by Cebu Pacific Air with 4 frequencies per week, the Civil Aviation Authority of Macau (CAA) said.

The Philippines pursued another round of air talks with Macau to amend the air pact signed last year as it is set to become a gateway to Hong Kong, as well as other cities in China.


The Philippines and Macau inked a new air service agreement raising seat entitlements between the two countries by 56% to 7,020 per week from the current 4,500, CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla announced in June.

In case all 7,020 weekly seats become fully utilized by the carriers, the new agreement contains a provisional clause that will automatically raise the weekly seat entitlements to 10,000 seats without need for further negotiation, Arcilla said.

Other Air Talks

The country signed air service agreements with France in January, Singapore in February, New Zealand in March, and Myanmar and Canada in May.

In 2013, the Philippines signed agreements with Japan, Macau, Brazil, Australia, Israel, and Italy.

Air talks with Malaysia scheduled April 3 and 4 were called off as authorities in Kuala Lumpur were preoccupied with the search for the missing Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The Aquino administration is pursuing air talks as part of its open skies policy.

Under Executive Order No. 29, airports other than the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be opened to more foreign traffic.

The new air agreements will help address the country’s target of attracting 10 million tourists by 2016.


OPINION: NAIA Complex – So Much Space, Too Small Brains!

NAIA Terminal 3
NAIA Terminal 3

For quite sometime now the perennial debate on the NAIA congestion solicited solutions and proposal from all corners of the globe and yet we see airlines queing both on runways 06-24 and 13-31 like our airport is extremely busy, an insult to the likes of Heathrow, O’hare and HKIA among others.

The supposedly impressive President’s men are on top of the situation, educated abroad, social and civic seasoned leaders and it seemed their most common of common sense pulverized to kingdom come.

Issues such as perpendicular runways are a hindrance to maximum airport activity (take off and landings) is a complete blatant lie. Almost all, if not all, the busiest airports in the world have perpendicular runways and it was never pegged as a regressive factor to maximize airport utilization.

Runway 13-31 from NAIA 2 and the adjacent property of the former Nayong Pilipino can accommodate a parallel taxi way covering the whole stretch of NAIA 3 across. Both ends of 13-31 can still be extended to serve bigger aircraft types, sans politics, the structures of the general aviation alongside NAIA 4 must have not been allowed to expand and erect massive hangar structure instead should have been made a runway threshold.  

This can significantly resolve the congestion for aircraft lining up to take off at 13-31 and aircraft lining up to park at bay on either NAIA 3 or NAIA 4 (the terminal long overdue for demolition). Next is the vast land space of the Nayong Pilipino complex, it can either be an option for NAIA 2 to expand or a new low cost terminal.

The cargo wing of NAIA 1 can outrightly be converted into a terminal equipped with jetways/air bridges and a monorail to connect passengers from NAIA 1 to the cargo terminal. There is a way if only there were brains really working to resolve it.  A significant amount of budget maybe cut if the government would seriously take these steps into consderation and the best thing about reconsidering the NAIA complex as it can be implemented the soonest possible time with minimal cost.

Cebu Pacific Seeking New Zealand Flights

5J will fly to Kuwait (September 2) and Sydney (September 9). Next stop...New Zealand
5J will fly to Kuwait (September 2) and Sydney (September 9). Next stop…New Zealand

THE OPERATOR of budget carrier Cebu Pacific Air said it has sought authorization to fly daily to New Zealand, an official said, with a decision expected when the regulatory board meets next month.

“We asked for daily frequency to New Zealand; we have aircraft with the range for a direct service to New Zealand. The market is attractive because of the growing Filipino community in New Zealand. We look forward to stimulating tourist traffic between the two countries,” Cebu Air, Inc. Long Haul General Manager Alejandro B. Reyes said in a text message on Thursday.

The application follows the signing in March of a new Philippine-New Zealand air services agreement, bringing the total number of weekly flights to 21 from three previously.

In a filing with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Cebu Pacific Air requested an allocation of seven weekly flights to New Zealand. The airline currently operates long-haul flights from Terminal 3 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Asked when the application will be acted on, CAB Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla replied: “The matter will be resolved by next board meeting, which is next month.”

Cebu Pacific Air is the only local carrier that has expressed an interest in new flights between Manila and New Zealand. Cebu Pacific Air previously expressed interest in more flights to Australia, Tokyo-Haneda, Hong Kong, and Indonesia.

Cebu Pacific’s foreign operations are largely focused on East Asian markets, with Dubai, Australia and Kuwait its only long-haul destinations.

The new air services agreement between the two countries permits unlimited flights to points outside of Manila, and includes fifth-freedom rights enabling Philippine carriers to pick up passengers in New Zealand and continue on to third-country destinations.

This currently enables New Zealand carriers to pick up passengers in the Philippines and continue on to China.

The new air services agreement also permits third-country code sharing, allowing airlines to market indirect but more seamless services between two countries, via cooperative agreements with third country airlines, which can assist in market development.

On Thursday, Cebu Air closed at P57.80, down 20 centavos or 0.34%.

Source: Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz, BusinessWorld

AirAsia PH, AirAsia Zest Eye Myanmar Flights


MANILA, Philippines – AirAsia Philippines, as well as its unit AirAsia Zest, are looking to start flights to Myanmar as part of route expansions.

AirAsia Philippines is seeking entitlements of 1,260 seats between Manila and Yangon, according to its application with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). AirAsia Zest is seeking allocation of entitlements for 7 weekly fights between Manila and Yangon.

Earlier, budget airline Cebu Pacific and unit Tiger Airways Philippines sought the approval of CAB to mount flights to Myanmar. Cebu Pacific’s application seeks 1,260 weekly seats for flights between Manila and Yangon, while Tigerair Philippines also filed a separate application with the CAB seeking 1,260 weekly seats for the Manila-Yangon route.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla earlier said the Philippines and Myanmar signed a new air pact, updating an older agreement from 1979.

The agreement would allow the designated airlines of each country a total of 3,780 seats per week – about 3 flights per day – for each country between Manila and points in Myanmar. The Philippines and Myanmar also agreed on unlimited traffic rights between all points in the Philippines, except Manila, and all points in Myanmar.

“Myanmar is a rapidly growing economy of about 60 million people, with a potential for the development of direct connectivity with the Philippines,” Arcilla said. –

Cebu Pacific Eyes Canada

MANILA, Philippines – Budget airline Cebu Pacific is competing with legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) for flights to Canada, according to documents from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

Last May 29, the Philippines and Canada signed a deal doubling the number of flights between the two countries in a bid to boost tourism and investments.

Image Source: Philippine Planespotters Group – KLAI

Gokongwei-led Cebu Pacific is looking at flying 7 times a week to Canada to add to its long-haul routes.

Legacy carrier PAL, jointly owned by tycoon Lucio Tan and San Miguel Corporation, earlier applied for additional 7 weekly flights to Canada that if approved, would double its frequency. It now flies to Vancouver and Toronto 7 times per week.

The new air service agreement between the Philippines and Canada increased the frequency entitlement for each country to 14 flights a week from 7. Both countries also agreed to boost fifth freedom rights to 5 flights per week from 4.

Fifth freedom rights allow airlines to fly passengers to a country where it has an existing air service agreement before proceeding to a third destination.

The Philippines has so far signed new air deals with France, Singapore, New Zealand, Myanmar, and Canada.

Last year, the Philippines signed air agreements with Japan, Macau, Brazil, Australia, Israel, and Italy.

The Aquino administration is pursuing air talks as part of its open skies policy, to help the country meet its target of attracting 10 million tourists by 2016.

Cebu Pacific is eyeing flights to the United States after the US Federal Aviation Administration upgraded the safety rating of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines back to Category 1 last April.

It also wants to fly to Europe following the lifting of the European Union ban. (READ: How PH aviation transformed from shame to pride)

Both Cebu Pacific and PAL are undergoing refleeting programs in line with plans to launch new routes.

Cebu Pacific is acquiring nearly 50 aircraft, while PAL is buying 100. –