Emirates pushes 3rd daily flights on Manila-Dubai route (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – Emirates Airline is pushing for the restoration of a third daily flight for the Manila-Dubai route, citing such is necessary to meet the demand despite claims of domestic carriers it would hurt the local industry.

In a statement, Emirates said its support for the Dubai-Manila route has been an important driver for the growth in bilateral trade and tourism between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Philippines over the last 25 years.

Since the removal of the third daily flight, the airline said its two daily flights on the Dubai-Manila route have been operating at 100 percent capacity in economy class on most of the flights, with no seats left for international tourists and overseas Filipino workers.

“This represents a significant gap between supply and demand for seats. Taking this into consideration, we are confident the restoration of Emirates’ third daily flight to Manila will ensure widespread and sustained benefits to all stakeholders,” it said.

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) earlier called on the government to refrain from giving Middle East carriers additional flight entitlements during the air talks between UAE and the Philippines on Aug. 27 to 28 citing the current capacity is enough to meet demand.

PAL also said the grant of additional capacity to Middle East airlines that receive government subsidies would further hurt local carriers.

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PAL cited the investigation being undertaken in the US on Middle East carriers for unfair competition based on claims made by US carriers Delta, United and American Airlines.

“Emirates has been and continues to be consistently transparent and open about our financials,” the airline said.

A probe on Middle East carriers is being conducted in the US amid claims airlines from UAE and Qatar are receiving government subsidies amounting to as much as $42 billion.

During the last air talks between the two countries held in September 2012, the parties agreed to double the flight entitlements to 28 per week.

Emirates and Etihad Airways have 14 flight entitlements per week.

PAL has 14 flight entitlements per week, while PAL Express and Cebu Pacific have seven each.