PAL bat­tles Emi­rates for daily Dubai route

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS - VIC­TOR C. AGUSTIN

Flag car­rier Philip­pine Air­lines will chal­lenge its for­mer code-share part­ner Emi­rates by slash­ing 50 per­cent off the in­tro­duc­tory econ­omy and busi­ness class fares for the busy Manila-Dubai route.

PAL will start daily bi-class flights to the fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal of the United Arab Emi­rates on June 15, the first of the seven Mid­dle East­ern routes the flag car­rier is re­launch­ing with di­rect flights with im­proved econ­omy and lie-flat busi­ness class seats. A pop­u­lar travel fare ag­gre­ga­tor, skyscan­ner.com, listed PAL’s low­est roundtrip fare at about $ 520, against Emi­rates’ $820, for a Manila-Dubai-Manila econ­omy pas­sage, leav­ing on June 15 and re­turn­ing on July 15.

That rep­re­sents a re­mark­able 57 per­cent price dif­fer­ence.

The vari­ance is more stark in ab­so­lute amounts for the more prof­itable busi­ness class seg­ment. Skyscan­ner was yes­ter­day quot­ing four other web-based travel agen­cies each of­fer­ing un­der $1,000 for the PAL busi­ness class pas­sage, as against the nearly $2,100 be­ing charged by Emi­rates for the same route dur­ing the same travel dates.

PAL is cur­rently field­ing three flights a week to Dubai, as against the two daily and four weekly flights, or a to­tal of 18 fre­quen­cies a week, of­fered by Emi­rates, its code-share part­ner for the same route un­til 2014.

When it switches to the re­con­fig­ured Air­bus A330s for the Mid­dle East routes, PAL’s econ­omy seat width will be in­creased to 17 inches while the pitch, the dis­tance be­tween the two rows that serves as an in­di­ca­tion of the legroom, will be widened to 32 inches.

Those two in­cre­men­tal changes will shift PAL’s econ­omy seats to the same class met­rics of the award-win­ning Emi­rates.

And like Emi­rates, PAL’s econ­omy class seats will have in­di­vid­ual au­dio-video mon­i­tors, USB ports and power charges, in ad­di­tion to the in-flight wifi ser­vice.

Be­sides PAL and Emi­rates, low-cost car­rier Cebu Pa­cific also flies Manila to Dubai non-stop, of­fer­ing one daily re­turn ser­vice for the more bud­get-con­scious mar­ket seg­ment.

For the same travel dates, the Cebu Pa­cific web­site was yes­ter­day quot­ing a P19,581.54 low­est re­turn fare, with no check-in bag­gage, no-meal op­tion for the nine-and-a-halfhour flight du­ra­tion.

Money talks

• Re­tired PLDT pres­i­dent Napoleon Nazareno has been nom­i­nated to the board of Se­cu­rity Bank along with for­mer tourism sec­re­tary Ra­mon Jimenez Jr.

• For­mer Philip­pine Stock Ex­change pres­i­dent Jose Luis Yulo Jr. is ap­par­ently champ­ing at the bit at the decades-reign of the so-called “three stooges” at the Philip­pine Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try that he is tak­ing his group, the Span­ish-era Cham­ber of Com­merce of the Philip­pine Is­lands, to a higher pro­file out­side the PCCI um­brella.

Thanks to the gen­er­ous sup­port of the Global Peace Foun­da­tion, Yulo and CCPI are host­ing up to to­day a four-day “eco­nomic and busi­ness fo­rum” at the Mar­riott, sim­i­lar to the an­nual Philip­pine Busi­ness Con­fer­ence or­ga­nized by the PCCI.

Heard through the grapevine

For­eign Sec­re­tary Per­fecto Yasay Jr. is in no hurry to re­turn to Manila from Europe amid the smok­ing-gun doc­u­ments that he had re­sorted to ter­mi­no­log­i­cal in­ex­ac­ti­tudes when he claimed be­fore the Com­mis­sion on Ap­point­ments, and a num­ber of times be­fore the me­dia, that he never re­nounced his Filipino citizenship in fa­vor of an Amer­i­can pass­port.

E-mail: cock­tales_tv5@ya­hoo.com

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