Manila-Clark Still Wide Open To Emirates

Says Clark Airport CEO

27 August 2015

For Emigdio Tanjuatco III, President and Chief Executive Officer of the state-run Clark International Airport Authority, he cannot understand why Emirates Airline (UAE) insists on flying the already congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila when Clark International Airport which he manage is wide open for business.

Clark International Airport continues to struggle attracting passenger traffic after Emirates terminated its flight there.

Emirates Airlines had daily flights from the Clark airport to Dubai until it pulled out in 2013 and transferred operations to Manila when they entered code-sharing flight with Philippine Airlines. The agreement has since been abrogated and the extra flight barred by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

“The new talks is already detrimental to the country’s aviation industry. Yet we are open here in Clark and they have entitlements to fly here.” says Tanjuatco.

Tanjuatco said the new talks with the United Arab Emirates gives for naught the entitlement of other regional airports in the Philippines which allows the airline to operate without violating the existing bilateral, referring to the Air Services Agreement that is currently negotiated today in Manila, with the support of the Department of Tourism.

Emirates Airlines is permitted unlimited flights to Clark and Cebu from Dubai while it allowed only 14 flights a week to Manila.

“That was exactly the intent. To funnel excess traffic to us, but the expansion has the effect of reversing that rule. ” Tanjautco adds.

Tanjuatco said Emirates should just instead use the rights to fly other airports in the Philippines like Qatar Airlines and other Korea-based airlines did and develop the market, if they were genuinely interested about the economy and overseas Filipino market, instead of getting perception that they are trying to kill competition by flooding Dubai market.

Both Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific flies Manila to Dubai and sees new entitlements as distortions to market capacity considering that PAL has yet to utilize all its entitlement to the United Arab Emirates.

According to PAL there are still more than 2,000 seats per week vacant to address that growth and service OFW flights. Emirates however has used all its entitlement to Manila.

Emirates said Wednesday in a statement that the added capacity would be helpful to Filipinos working and traveling overseas.

“The upcoming bilateral talks and the restoration of Emirates’ third daily flight are all in the best interest of the Philippine economy, tourism as well as that of millions of Filipino travelers,” said Barry Brown, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president for commercial operations in the Far East & Australasia region.

“The intent is good but our economy and the OFW market is not centered on Manila market alone. Majority of the OFW travelers are coming from outside of Metro Manila.” adds Tanjuatco.

Emirates Airline is the first foreign airline in Clark airport to fly long haul to Dubai.

1 comment:

  1. I fly out of Clark occasionally, and all I can say to the CEO of the airport is "get a clue!" Your friends can't come with you when check, the airport fee is higher and the VIP lounges are a joke. I think the worst part is when you land and clear customs, you are forced to wait outside in the elements until your ride shows up. There isn't even a toilet once you past customs! Do I need to use a tree?

    There is no traffic management, just a bunch of cones and Pulis vehicles blocking one of the few lanes open. Do they do that in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Wichita Kansas?

    Clark has plenty of space in the terminal - yet its so poorly managed. If the airport was slightly better operated (facilities at international standards), people wouldn't mind the trek to Clark. Put some effort in running a decent airport and that will attract passengers and airlines.