PAL, CEB Carries More Passenger to UAE

28 August 2015

UAE-based Airlines carried less than 30% traffic
to Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Image courtesy RAPPLER, Photo by Chris Schnabel

Philippine Airlines said Thursday that Philippine-based carriers transported more passengers to the United Arab Emirates than Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airlines and Dubai-based Emirates Airlines combined, says an airline executive.

PAL Chief Operating Officer and President Jaime Bautista said they have all the data to prove that Etihad and Emirates Airlines carried only less than 30% of its passengers going to the UAE while the rest of its passengers goes to other destinations.

"The figures that we got is that Emirates carries less than 30% of passengers who stay in the UAE. So around 70% of its passengers are those that fly beyond Dubai. The other carriers (referring to Etihad) are carrying passengers in the same percentages,” Baustista said.

“Going by those figures, it shows that PAL and Cebu Pacific (CEB) are actually carrying more passengers between the two countries so that’s why we think there is an overcapacity in that market,” he added.

Bautista said both PAL and CEB has already furnished the Philippine government regulators of the data to support their position that there was no capacity shortfall for the route. He added that both PAL and CEB passengers are those who travel between the two countries, while UAE carriers carry passengers beyond Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

"PAL, alongside Cebu Pacific, are operating only 21 per week. So it's a demonstration that the market cannot sustain additional demand." says Bautista.

The Air Service Agreement allowed 28 flights per week between Manila and the UAE and unlimited landing rights to select regional airports in the Philippines.

"If the market demand were strong, then we would fight each other (referring to CEB) for the additional 7," Bautista said.

He explained that their passengers data actually proves their position that there was no capacity shortfall to begin with otherwise they would have flown the unused 7 frequency.

Bautista added that additional entitlements could result in the dilution of the passenger loads in PAL's flights to London, and other proposed European destinations because these airlines can carry passengers from Manila to Abu Dhabi or Dubai, and extend it to Europe and the US, which is clearly a demonstration of abuse of air traffic rights.

Both PAL and CEB flies to Dubai 13 times a week as compared to 14 times a week by Emirates Airlines, while PAL flies 6 times a week to Abu Dhabi as compared to 14 times a week by Etihad Airlines.


  1. I think is it obvious that the bigger and more interesting market for the UAE airlines are for passengers that will travel further to other countries. Aside from our Pinoy OFW's in the Middle East, there are many more that go further to jobs in Europe, Africa, and the Near East.

  2. Is this simply posturing? If both carriers are doing so well, why are they worried about entitlements to the UAE?

  3. Because the UAE airlines are supposed to carry not more than 30% of the 6th freedom traffic rights, instead of the present 73%. That simply meant that they are transporting only 27% of their entire entitlements to the UAE which clearly is an abuse of right in the air and violation of treaty terms. If that was the case their frequency should be slashed in half. However, the Philippine government is not doing it because of massive OFW market on their shores.