THE Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) granted Emirates until January 26, 2015 to operate a third daily flight between Manila and Dubai to serve Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) traveling to and from the Philippines during holiday seasons.
“The Board granted Emirates on an extrabilateral basis a final and inextendible period of 30 days, or until January 26 to operate a third daily frequency,” Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla told reporters in a text message.
Earlier, Cebu Pacific (CEB) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) said they welcome healthy competition that benefits the travelling public, but this should not mean allowing foreign carriers like Dubai-based Emirates Airline to disregard Philippine laws.
The local carriers are opposing Emirates’ third unauthorized daily flight between Manila and Dubai, saying that Emirates is selling tickets for this flight without any government approval.
PAL and CEB said that Emirates and all other foreign carriers should not be allowed to disregard Philippine laws and regulations to the detriment of Philippine carriers and in defiance of national interest and a fair and stable competitive environment.
Emirates is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates along with Etihad Airways.
On top of this requested extension, Emirates has also asked the Philippine Government to conduct air talks next month with the United Arab Emirates, ostensibly for the two countries to agree on more flights per day, which again is another camouflage to legitimize its third daily flight, the two local carriers said.
Under the existing air agreement between the two countries, Emirates can fly only two daily flights. It is flying three daily flights and it is this third unauthorized flight that it was selling tickets for without any government approval, CEB and PAL noted.