Philippine Airlines (PAL) will cut services to Japan over the next few weeks, despite a recent boost to schedules between the two countries.
Fights to Osaka’s Kansai International will be reduced from the current twice-daily to daily, despite the recent March introduction of the second schedule. Likewise, PAL is scaling back flights to Tokyo Haneda from 2X-daily to daily, after introducing the increased twice-daily schedule in March. Its existing schedules to Nagoya and Fukuoka remain unchanged.
Japan-Philippine routes have seen intense competition and lower load since a new bilateral air services agreement came into force at the end of March, aimed at boosting tourism trade between the two countries.
Both Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific and Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) are ramping up flight schedules to the Japanese mainland, with ANA operating new Boeing 787-8s in addition to its existing daily 767 service.
Cebu has launched seats on services between Manila International and Tokyo Narita in addition to a daily service to Osaka using new Airbus A320s with a $57 introductory fare.
This withdrawal opens the possibility of ANA taking up PAL’s vacant slots at the Tokyo airport, as it has recently stated it wants to transfer its prime operations completely to slot-poor Haneda. “We need more slots; Haneda is very important to us,” ANA president and CEO Osamo Shinobe recently told ATW.