What Gives?

11 December 2014
Rights Gone Too Far
Buyers of Emirates Airlines ticket due until summer of 2015 particularly the morning flight at NAIA may have to wake up to a rude awakening as they will be axe by the airline for lack of permits to fly.

By Alex Magno

It is bizarre business practice, but Emirates airline is selling tickets up to October 22, 2015 anyway with the caveat “subject to government approval.” Buyers beware.

There is impunity shown here. The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will meet today to decide on the matter of allowing Emirates to sell tickets beyond December 26 this year when its provisional flight allocation ends. Does Emirates know something others in the industry do not?

There is a complicated backgrounder to this issue.

Under the existing air services agreement between the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), each side is allowed four flights daily between Manila and either Abu Dhabi or Dubai. That is perfectly reciprocal.

Emirates and Etihad equally share the four flights granted the UAE. Of the four flights granted the Philippines, PAL and PAL Express are entitled three while Cebu Pacific is entitled to one.

Since PAL was not using all the three flights allocated to the airline, the company agreed to “codeshare” this with Emirates. This basically allowed Emirates to use the PAL’s allocation. Fair enough.

That “codeshare” arrangement, however, expired last October. PAL has taken back its third flight allotment. CAB, however, allowed Emirates to continue with its third flight (it is entitled to only two) up to last November 26. In a fit of generosity, CAB even extended this permit for a third Emirates flight to December 26 next.

No one in CAB, it seems, bothered to ask what the basis for this strange arrangement is. It breaks the symmetry of what should be a reciprocal air service agreement. It allows Emirates to eat up the share of the Filipino airline, especially since PAL decided to use its third flight allocation.

If a Philippine airline dared to fly an additional plane to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, one beyond what the air services agreement allows, that plane will likely be confiscated upon landing. They will surely be penalized for selling tickets beyond the date the agreement allows flights.

Why then is Emirates [Airlines] allowed by CAB to illegally sell tickets for an illegal [third] flight to the prejudice of Filipino airlines?


  1. I wonder, how many Dirhams did Emirates pay CAB?

    1. CAB recieve around 35k dirhams for their xmas party....CAB is one of the corrupt goverment agency.

    2. Ang cheap naman nila. 35k dirhams is just around 430k in PhP. How much is EK making per flight on that third daily flight?

  2. Emirates can sell those flights as long as they indicate that its subject to government approval. If EK doesn't get the entitlements that they want, they will just simply transfer the affected passenger to their other flights. Flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice to pax. It will only be a problem if that day comes and they don't have the neccessary rights to do it.

  3. Emirates has been fined:


  4. CAB Fines Emirates Airlines P1.8 million. Ordered to desist flying third flight to Manila effective 27 December 2014.

  5. Emirates secured final and unextendible period of 30 days, or until Jan. 26 to operate a third daily frequency from CAB to accommodate large OFW traffic.