Z2, 5J told only PAL has rights to fly Middle East

June 15, 2012

The Civil Aeronautics Board has told Zest Airways and Cebu Pacific that flight entitlements to the Middle East are closed, and unless a new bilateral agreements are open they cannot fly there, says CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla.

The rights to fly between destinations in the Philippines and Middle East belong to Philippine Airlines (PAL) and all the flight entitlements were taken by them and their airline partners.

“For example, in the UAE, we have total of 14 weekly flights from Dubai and Manila (7 for PAL and 7 for Emirates), even if PAL is not flying their plane in Dubai, they have code share agreements with Emirates effectively covering the 14 flights. If you noticed, Emirates is flying twice daily with PAL tags on them, so PAL is actually using those entitlements” says Arcilla.

“Its the same reason for the other Gulf States where PAL and their foreign partners owned all the rights. Thats why we denied their request because all the entitlements were awarded. You cannot just revoke the entitlements like that because the other foreign airline will be affected.” Arcilla adds.

Spirit of Manila, an airline based in Clark, wasn't able to launch flight to the middle east either because of the same reason, lack of authority to transport passengers.

Cebu Pacific and Zest Air earlier requested CAB to re-allocate to it some of the flight entitlements the government has negotiated with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which was awarded to PAL saying that they never used the entitlements given to them.

Arcilla said that while flights to Saudi Arabia are not presently code-shared, PAL isn't giving up on them as shown on their recent flights which was temporarily suspended in April 2 last year due to aircraft shortage problem.

PAL said that Saudi Aviation authorities allowed them to use only three aircraft registries, a Boeing 747 and two Airbus 330s, which is a logistical nightmare to the airline which frequently interchange aircraft to maximise efficiency.

According to the airline, the B747 assigned for the middle east sometimes cover flights to north America when one B747 is down on maintenance issues, while another assigned A330s sometimes cover flight to Japan and Korea to relieve another A330 or A340 which has maintenance issues or being used for by the President on long haul flights.

The airline said they are addressing the problem with the introduction of two new Boeing 777 on their fleet this year.

1 comment:

  1. CAB announced this week that it would be conducting air talks with the Saudi Arabia and the UAE on Sept. 5-6 and on Sept. 24-25, respectively, to accommodate the request of Cebu Pacific and Zest Airways.

    Dubai-based Emirates airlines would also want more seats to Manila as the current entitlements in the ASA limits them to using only B777. Emirates intends to upgrade the network to 14 flights a week from the existing 7 so that they can bring A380 services starting next year.