Philippine Airlines Wants to Fly to Oman, Drops Doha

Philippine Airlines is planning to launch a direct flight to the Sultanate of Oman in early 2014. The carrier applied for seat entitlements to operate a service between Manila and Muscat four times per week beginning January 30, 2014.
philippine airlines oman
Image Source: Wikimedia
In its application to the Civil Aeronautics Board, the airline indicated that the seat entitlements comply with the existing Air Service Agreement between the two countries that was signed back in December 2009. Philippine Airlines recently launched a global expansion to several destinations in the Middle East including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam.

Philippine Airlines said that the airline is witnessing strong demand following the positive signs in the Philippine economy and recent credit rating upgrade. The airline believes that the country's exciting tourist destinations along with its geographical location make it an ideal jump-off point to other Asian cities. It is these factors that are currently driving the airline's growth.

But since the airline originally announced its global expansion into the Middle East, plans may have changed. According to the latest timetable in the Global Distribution System, a flight to Doha in Qatar that was originally scheduled to begin on November 1, 2013 has been cancelled. No reason has been given by the airline for the cancellation of the flight and it is unknown whether the route will be launched at a later date. The airline originally planned to fly the route six times per week utilizing an Airbus A330 aircraft.

Meanwhile Oman Air, the flag carrier of the Sultanate of Oman is trying to seek authority to operate scheduled air services between Muscat and Manila. However, due to congestion at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the Civil Aeronautics Board says that they cannot grant the slots that the airline is requesting as they are currently not available.

oman air philippines
Image Source: Oman Air
According to a CAB official, "NAIA's airport slots are full only between 7:00am and 7:00pm, so Oman Air may apply for periods other than the congested hours. However, Oman Air are insisting on slots that are not available at this point." Unconfirmed reports suggest that alternative plans to reroute the request to other airports in the country have been ruled out. The Civil Aeronautics Board has yet to issue the airline a Foreign Air Carriers Permit.

Officials at Oman Air stated that the airline is currently in the process of following the procedures laid down by the Philippine authorities to establish air services between Muscat and Manila. "Such applications can take up to six months before they are completed," said Usama Karim Al Haremi, Oman Air's Head of Corporate Communications. "Hence no dates have been established for the start of operations to Manila."

Only foreign airlines with Foreign Air Carriers Permits and Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity may operate flights to the Philippines. To date, approximately 39 foreign airlines have been issued permits by the Civil Aeronautics Board.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.