29 Apr 2014 07:00
Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines (PAL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that marks a new era of cooperation between the flag carriers.
The MoU lays the foundation for a
renewed partnership agreement that will deliver a comprehensive range of
commercial benefits to the airlines and their customers. Included in its
scope are codesharing, frequent flyer reciprocity, airport lounge access, air
pass agreements, and cargo cooperation.
Etihad Airways President and Chief
Executive Officer, James Hogan, said the MoU with Philippine Airlines was an
important milestone in the long-standing relationship between the two flag
carriers as well as ties between Abu Dhabi and the Philippines.
“Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines
have a history of successful cooperation on the Abu Dhabi-Manila route," he said.
PAL President and COO, Ramon S Ang,
are very happy to seal this partnership with Etihad, a respected global
carrier. This relationship will go a long way in providing our combined
customer base a much more enhanced set of travel options. This also comes at an
opportune time for PAL which is in the thick of a fleet modernisation and
expansion program that will see the flag carrier pushing further not only into
the Middle East but also on other parts of the globe using a modern fleet of
Mr Hogan said: “The MoU symbolises our shared commitment to
growing the passenger and cargo market between the UAE and Philippines and fostering
closer diplomatic, trade and cultural ties. Closer collaboration in our home
markets and in the global arena will enhance the competitiveness and appeal of
our offering and deliver an unrivalled customer proposition in the UAE, in the
Philippines and abroad.”
Mr Hogan and Mr Ang both said they each
hope a closer partnership between the two brands would make them first choice
for the more than 700,000 Filipinos who live in the UAE and who account for
much of the traffic on the Abu Dhabi-Manila route each year. They spoke
also about increasing the number of leisure travellers to the Philippines – in
particular from the Middle East and Europe.
“The Philippines is one of the world’s
best kept secrets with great appeal to travellers from overseas. We are committed
to working with the Philippine Airlines team and the Philippines tourism
industry to bring more overseas visitors to their country and to increase the
economic benefits of tourism,” Mr
Mr Hogan also identified the potential
for both airlines to increase the volume and value of trade.
“Two-way trade between the UAE and the
Philippines was valued at $US1.4 billion in 2013 and the UAE is the
Philippines’ third-largest trading partner in the Middle East. Closer
cooperation in the cargo arena, one of Etihad Airways’ most successful
divisions, has the potential to boost each airline’s bottom-line and the
economies of our two great nations.”
Etihad Airways launched services
between Abu Dhabi and Manila with four weekly Airbus A330-200 flights in
February 2006. Today, the airline offers twice-daily Boeing 777-300ER flights
between the capitals. In 2013, the Abu Dhabi-Manila route was the airline’s
second busiest route (547,68 passengers) in its global network. The airline
employs nearly 1000 Filipinos worldwide including more than 270 cabin crew and
over 20 pilots.