Product Compatibility Issues Cited For Woes
30 November 2016
30 November 2016
|Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Etihad Airways (ETD) is heading in opposite direction starting summer of next year if both company fails to salvage its strategic partnership agreement that should have marked a new era of cooperation between the two flag carriers.|
The culprit of the airline's trouble appears to be wrong product choices of PAL which add to its woes when passengers started shying away from the airline and opted instead to fly ETD because of better product offers, most notable of which is the absence of In-flight Entertainment (IFE) System to its operating aircraft. ETD offers this product to all passengers regardless of fare classes.
The agreement which supposedly covers code-share flights, loyalty programs, airport lounges, joint sales and marketing programs, a Philippines domestic air pass, cargo, and the coordination of airport operations to provide a better guest experience at their Abu Dhabi and Manila hubs now appears in limbo as PAL failed to match ETD services.
PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista said they will be converting some of the Airbus A330-300's that are used for the middle east flight but until now no product is introduced to the said route citing poor yield despite being given 5th freedom traffic rights from Abu Dhabi to any points in Saudi Arabia.
The Philippine carrier was expected to harmonize products offering with Etihad which it did in the early part of the agreement by fielding a bi-class A330-300 to the route but that strategy failed because of absence of IFE services which Abu Dhabi bound passengers desired.
Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan is trying to salvage the agreement with Philippine Airlines as it expires in six (6) month's time.
The commercial agreement was signed in Abu Dhabi on 28 April 2014.