IconMarch 13th, 2020
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Find out why United Airlines is unhappy with Philippine Airlines’ growth in the United States

United Airlines is planning the postponement of the Philippine Airlines’ plans in expanding to Seattle from Manila. Currently, flights that are operated by the Philippines’ flag carrier are set to be added in May however, United Airlines wants to secure first its flights to the Philippines’ capital, Manila.

According to several reports, United Airlines wants the United States Department of Transportation to defer the approval of the proposal from Philippine Airlines. Philippines Airlines, which is headquartered in Pasay City plans to add additional three weekly flights to the Pacific coast departing from Manila. It will make use of its Airbus A350 aircraft.

Concerning the filing made, United Airlines is very keen for the government body to hit pause on the following steps up until they received the needed slots for their operations. This airline company wants to add a second daily flight going to Manila from the United States organized territory of Guam. However, the operator shared that the given plan was previously blocked by the Manila airport.

To begin with, the US and the Philippines currently don’t have an open skies agreement and with that, the regulator needs to first approve the proposal submitted by Philippine Airlines. With its planned flights that will be landing in a key US airport, United Airlines feels that it is also beneficial for the country to consider the Chicago-based carrier’s expansion plans. According to the statement released by United Airlines, it is in public interest to grant the application submitted by Philippine Airlines for its expansion only when United Airlines can secure its plan to expand its services as well.

It is seen that there has been an increase in demand for flights to Manila coming from the United States. Way back in 2018, they were less than five flights daily from the country. But last year, the figures jumped over to six flights daily wherein John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco airports have seen the greatest increase in demand. Besides, there is a sizeable population of Filipino Americans residing in Washington and the states are across the Pacific. Meaning to say, there is room for additional capacity on this route.

To date, United Airlines has nine flights weekly to Manila but none of these flights are departing from the US mainland. To give you ideas, there’s a daily flight from Guam and a thrice-weekly operation from the Pacific Island of Palau.

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