August 3, 2010
Hong Kong based airline, Cathay Pacific is being eyed by the government again to cover the flight allotments of Philippine Airlines in the event it can't handle the surge of domestic travelers in the coming months.
"If it worsen then we are ready to re-allocate traffic rights to foreign airlines" says DOTC Undersecretary Dante Velasco who disclosed the plan after sensing that the meeting between the pilots association and PAL management is not the end of its trouble.
The government postponed the dialogue between the management and pilots of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) for tomorrow when no pilots other than its representative at ALPAP showed at the DOTC grounds in Ortigas.
June to October is the lean season for domestic flights. What the government foresee however is the inability of other local carriers to service passengers at peak season starting November.
"We have talks with other airlines like Cebu Pacific and Zest Air, and they said that the additional capacity they have is not sufficient to cover demand at that period" adds Velasco.
The government said that they have done re-allocation of traffic rights in the past citing the services of Cathay Pacific in 1998 when PAL was unable to fly its route and is not ruling out the possibility of calling them again in case of “worst-case scenarios.”
"This is a national interest issue. But of course we will offer this right to other domestic operators if they can fill the demand" Velasco said.