THE proposal to launch direct flights between Davao International Airport and the United Arab Emirates remains on hold as the Philippines and the UAE were unable to resolve details of the plan, according to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) on Friday.
“The parties were close to agreeing to some exchanges, including the commitment of Emirates to operate to Davao, but the details could not be resolved as of yet,” CAB Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla told The Manila Times.
“The talks ended in a deadlock,” Arcilla said. “No agreement was signed,” he added.
Bilateral air talks were held in Cebu on April 25 and 26 with the expectation of “obtaining the commitment of the two biggest UAE airlines to launch a historic milestone: the first regular direct flights between the UAE and Davao International Airport,” the Davao Tourism Association (DATA) said earlier.
According to Arcilla, the concerned parties would likely hold talks again in the near future.
“No schedule yet. We will communicate with each other,” Arcilla said.
Currently, Arab carrier Emirates flies 18 weekly flights from Dubai to Manila, while Etihad flies 17 times weekly from Abu Dhabi to Manila.
In 2014, Emirates canceled its Dubai-Clark route for “economic reasons” and pursued applications to secure permanent increases in rights to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“The Philippine government should not grant the request of the UAE airlines for more flights to Manila. The NAIA is already severely congested, as (its operator) Manila International Airport Authority now caps airlines to a maximum of 40 take-offs or landings every hour,” DATA President Gatchi Gatchalian earlier said a statement.