Philippine Airlines Maintains Middle East Code Shares, Changes Aircraft to Australia

In spite of its return to the Middle East with flights to Abu Dhabi launching earlier this month and upcoming flights planned to Dubai, Philippine Airlines has decided to maintain its code-share arrangements with the Middle East carriers.

philippine airlines dubai
Copyright Photo: Lester Tangco/PPSG
A code share is where two or more airlines sell tickets for the same flight. In other words, a seat can be purchased on one airline but the flight will be operated by another using a distinct flight code. In the case of Philippine Airlines, if you purchase a ticket to Abu Dhabi, the flight may be operated by one of PAL's five weekly flights or by one of Etihad's 14 weekly flights.

According to Ramon Ang, President of Philippine Airlines, the code-share agreements with Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar will all remain in place. "Yes, we will continue. There will be no conflict," said Ang. "The market is big enough for everyone." The President and CEO of Etihad Airways, James Horgan, agrees with Ang adding that the return of Philippine Airlines to the Middle East will not negatively impact the good relationship between the two carriers in any way. "The more entrants the better, because it stimulates activity," said Horgan. "It may take away some share but it will be good for the people because they will be aware that Abu Dhabi is a transfer point. It's just a matter of lining up the flights." He added that Etihad was interested in adding more flights between Manila and Abu Dhabi to meet the growing demand. "Obviously, the Philippines is a very strong market. At some point in time, we would like it to become thrice daily," said Horgan.

Etihad's main competitors Qatar and Emirates have already taken steps to increase their presence in the Philippines with the addition of new direct flights out of Clark International Airport. Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines is continuing its expansion into the Middle East with service to Dubai and Doha beginning in November. PAL has an existing code share agreement with Qatar Airways which serves Doha. The plan is for Doha to be served by both carriers. When the new flights to Dubai come online on November 6, they will be operated by PAL Express utilizing a brand new A330-300 aircraft five times weekly. That flight will be a code-share with Emirates. According to the Emirates Country Manager for the Philippines, Gigi Baroa, the code-share arrangement with Emirates will remain in place for now.

Rumours circulating suggest that some of PAL's code-share contracts are set to expire at the end of November but these reports are unverified. Meanwhile, PAL continues to prepare for its Middle East expansion with flights to Riyadh and Dammam set to take off in December. "The return of PAL to the Middle East will not only offer Filipino workers the most direct link to the Philippines but also provide travellers convenient connections with PAL's extensive international and domestic route network from our hub in Manila," said Ang.

Philippine Airlines is also making some operational changes this month on its Australian routes in line with the delivery of new aircraft from Airbus. Flights to Melbourne will now be operated by Airbus A330-300 aircraft replacing the Airbus A340-300. Flights to Sydney will also be operated by an Airbus A330-300 replacing the Boeing 777-300ER. The changes are planned to take effect on October 27, 2013.

1 comment:

  1. A friend flew on one of the A330-300's of PAL and came back complaining that the interiors needed a serious upgrade on the older ones.
    PAL is not going to do well if it has to compete directly with carriers that put new equipment or upgraded equipment on routes, sad to say.
    Given the opportunity to fly PAL or Qatar, Etihad, Emirates, or Gulf Air to the Middle East or Europe, there is no doubt that the majority will prefer the Gulf carriers with their modern fleets and comfortable seats.


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