Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Local airlines protest open skies over CL

THREE local airlines said it will block any plan to allow foreign airlines to hold unlimited flights at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport and Subic International Airport.

Cebu Pacific Airways, Asian Spirit and Air Philippines said in a statement that giving foreign airlines unregulated and unlimited access to use the airports at Subic in Clark Field would greatly affect the local aviation industry.

Asian Spirit senior operations manager Rodolfo Garcia said the government should always observe reciprocity in allowing foreign airlines to use the two airports.

“Reciprocity in international aviation means that when a Philippine carrier seeks a right for a regular flight in and out of a certain international airport, the aviation body of the concerned country should also seek similar entitlements for one of their country’s airlines,” he said.

He added the local airlines would be denied benefits enjoyed by foreign airlines should the government allow unlimited access to the two international airports in Central Luzon.

An executive order drafted by former Tourism Secretary Narzalina Lim was being pushed in a bid to attract tourists and foreign investors.

But Garcia said the move is detrimental to the local aviation industry which is moving at a snail’s pace because of the small volume of passengers.

Philippine Airlines vice president for corporate communications Rolando Estabillo said they are studying the government proposal to grant access to foreign airlines but expressed concern of lack of reciprocity in the move.

“We always welcome foreign investments but this should be in accordance with the laws of the country,” he said.
By Vito Barcelo - Manila Standard Today


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