PAL cau­tious about add’l Qatar en­ti­tle­ments


Philip­pine Air­lines is op­pos­ing the grant of ad­di­tional en­ti­tle­ments dur­ing the air talks be­tween the Philip­pines and Qatar to­mor­row, cit­ing over­ca­pac­ity in the Manila to Doha route.

“Our po­si­tion is there should be no ad­di­tional (en­ti­tle­ments),” PAL pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Jaime Bautista said.

Bautista said PAL has com­mu­ni­cated its po­si­tion on the mat­ter to the gov­ern­ment.

The air talks be­tween the Philip­pines and Qatar are sched­uled to be held to­day un­til to­mor­row.

The Philip­pines and Qatar last up­graded the air ser­vices agree­ment in 2015.

Un­der the last air ser­vices agree­ment, the two coun­tries agreed to in­crease the max­i­mum num­ber of flights be­tween Manila and Doha to 14 from eight per week.

The par­ties also agreed on un­lim­ited flights be­tween Doha and other air­ports in the Philip­pines, ex­clud­ing Manila.

Dur­ing the air talks held be­tween the Philip­pines and United Arab Emi­rates last month, PAL also op­posed the grant of ad­di­tional en­ti­tle­ments to Manila.

Bautista said the mar­ket in the MidThe dle East has be­come very com­pet­i­tive as mega car­ri­ers such as Emi­rates, Eti­had Air­ways, Qatar Air­ways, Sau­dia, Gulf Air and Oman Air can fly pas­sen­gers from Manila to the Mid­dle East, as well as to points out­side of that re­gion.

Amid in­creased com­pe­ti­tion and over­ca­pac­ity in the Mid­dle East, PAL said ear­lier it would tem­po­rar­ily sus­pend flights to and from Abu Dhabi start­ing July 8.

Bud­get car­rier Cebu Pa­cific has also an­nounced it would sus­pend flights to Kuwait in June, as well as in Doha in Qatar, and Riyadh in Saudi Ara­bia in July, due to over­sup­ply of seats.

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