PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) and Etihad Airways have sealed a landmark MoU that will see the national flag carriers of the Philippines and UAE collaborate on codesharing, frequent flyer reciprocity, airport lounge access, air pass agreements and cargo cooperation.
Etihad president and CEO, James Hogan, noted: “Etihad Airways and PAL have a history of successful cooperation on the Abu Dhabi-Manila route.”
PAL president and COO, Ramon S Ang, said: "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 programme 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 aircraft.”
Etihad operates twice-daily Boeing 777-300ER flights between Abu Dhabi and Manila, which was its second busiest route in 2013.
Both Hogan and Ang expressed hopes that a closer partnership between the two airlines would make them the first choice for the more than 700,000 Filipinos who live in the UAE and make up a substantial amount of traffic on the Abu Dhabi-Manila route.
More tourists to the Philippines from the Middle East and Europe can also be expected. Said Hogan: “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 PAL team and the Philippines tourism industry to bring more overseas visitors to their country and to increase the economic benefits of tourism.”