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.