5J Bags 3,000 Seats to Australia

April 23, 2013

Philippine-based Low cost carrier has bag 3,052 seats per week to Australia as the negotiating government panel approves the confidential Memorandum of Agreement between Australia and the Philippines last week in Australia.

Cebu Pacific secured the rights after the Philippine negotiating panel headed by Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) awarded the additional seats to the airline while denying Zest Air application to fly the route.

The “air talks” negotiated on April 18-19 involves discussion and agreements on Australia's earlier commitment to grant an additional 3,000 seat entitlements per week to Philippine based airlines, and the nagging issue of fifth freedom rights between a point in Australia and New Zealand.

Philippine Airlines will fly Darwin to Perth, and Darwin to Brisbane but would likely asked the Philippine negotiators for beyond rights from either Sydney or Melbourne from the Australian authorities. There are no words yet on the fifth freedom rights.

Air Services Agreement with New Zealand requires designated airlines of the Philippines to operate three flights per week to either Auckland or Christchurch, via Darwin or an airport in South East Asia. 

Carmelo Arcilla, CAB executive director, said the two countries set another round of negotiations in Manila this July to resolve the remaining issue. No further details was disclosed.

"Both parties agreed to resolve first the outstanding issue," Arcilla said, referring to the mechanics of the fifth freedom that Manila is proposing. 

Philippine Airlines uses only  3,700 seats to Australia and Cebu pacific was earlier granted 1,260 seat entitlements per week.

Arcilla said the remaining seat entitlements will be awarded to Cebu Pacific in July.

Currently there are about 4,500 weekly one-way seats in the market, which will grow to about 5,600 seats in Jul-2013 according to CAPA. This includes about 3,700 seats from Philippine Airlines (PAL), 1,200 seats from Qantas and 700 from Jetstar.

Australia to Philippines capacity by carrier (seats per week, one-way): 19-Sep-2011 to 6-Oct-2013

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