PAL to Fly Sao Paulo

The Ethiopian way?

April 6, 2013

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will fly Brazil's largest City says the Civil Aeronautics Board as their negotiating panel will fly to Sao Paulo on May 15 and 16 for the signing of the Air Services Agreement (ASA).

“We fly to Brazil next month, May 15 and 16 in Sao Paulo. Philippine Airlines representative is going with us,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla said.

“We don't have existing air service agreement with Brazil so we must make the agreement first before our airlines can fly there,” Arcilla said.

“Brazil is the largest country in Latin America, so it is a potential growth market.” he added.

PAL president Ramon S. Ang said in October last year that the airline was preparing flight approvals to South America.

“The plan for Brazil as a route is in line with the company’s strategy to expand its international operations,” Ang was quoted as saying.

He did not say where and which way they will fly to South America as there is no aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing in current production that reaches Brazil direct.

A recent announcement by Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) to fly Manila was given by CAB as hint for a possible PAL stop-over in Addis Ababa with both airlines working on the terms of the code share arrangement to Sao Paulo. Ethiopian Airlines is scheduled to fly Sao Paulo on July 1 while ETH planned flight to Manila commences on June 18.

Arcilla said that if they can reach an agreement and there is no objections from other airlines then the Board will probably approve it.

The CAB spokesman said Addis Ababa sits in the middle between Sao Paulo and Manila and both airports can be reached comfortably by the new generation A330 to which PAL is expecting delivery this year. Other airports such as the middle east and Johannesburg were however accessible by the use of larger long-ranged aircraft such as Boeing 777s and 747's or the A340 which the airline intend to operate in Abu Dhabi starting October 1.

“That is entirely the airlines decision. We are out of it,” says Arcilla on the possible routes to Brazil.

Arcilla however stressed that Philippine Airlines has fifth freedom rights from Abu Dhabi or Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and they might probably use that right onwards to Sao Paulo. The recent ASA granted the Philippines rights to carry passengers to South America and Africa except Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and United Kingdom.

The Philippines don't have fifth freedom rights from Johannesburg and Addis Ababa but that arrangement can be worked out by airline partners in subsequent negotiations, particularly Ethiopian.

PAL Senior Assistant Vice President for External Affairs Ma. Socorro P. Gonzaga previously said to the government negotiating panel that they are seeking air rights to Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa, the Philippines biggest trading partner in the African region with a total trade volume of $218 million in 2011.

“Only Emirates Airlines fly to Brazil from Manila, while Singapore Airlines makes two stops in Singapore and Spain before heading to Brazil” says Brazilian Ambassador to Manila Jorge Fernandes.

In a report submitted to Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) last year, the Board included Brazil as one of the 10 international growth markets for the local aviation sector.

“Brazil produces more visitors to the Philippines than any other South American country,” CAB said in its report.

Fernandes lamented that Filipinos don’t visit Brazil as much as Brazilians visit the Philippines.

He said that Brazil is open to Filipinos since they allow Filipino tourists to stay there for 90 days without a visa.

Brazil is the only South American market on the list with substantial number of passengers, which is topped by South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand and Indonesia.

Fernandes said that his country is pursuing service agreement with the Philippines to establish a direct flight from Manila to Brazil.

Brazilians form the country's 10th-largest group of foreign residents.


  1. If Airbus would launch the A350-900R with a range of 19,100km then PAL should order it because it has the range to fly direct to Sau Paolo and can save more fuel and Cost

  2. 19,000km, which the A359R won't have anyway, is still not enough. The direct distance MNL-GRU is nearly 18,400km... but the still-air distance (the one actually relevant to the flight) is closer to 20,300km, and that doesn't even take into account hold and diversion reserves. NO petroleum-powered aircraft will be capable of flying that distance (with a revenue-potential passenger load) ANY time soon. And even if one could, there's no way Manilla can generate enough yield to make a flight like that anything but a horrific money-loser.

  3. The bad thing is, Ethiopian Airlines stops thinking of services to Manila. This is gonna be a bad news. This airline should good for connecting flights from Manila to Sao Paulo via Addis Ababa.