Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines have
signed a Memorandum of Understanding that marks a new era of
cooperation between the two flag carriers.
Included in the scope
of the MOU 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.
Airways and Philippine Airlines have a history of successful
cooperation on the Abu Dhabi-Manila route,” he 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
President and COO, Ramon S Ang, said, “We 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 aircraft.”
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 in its global network.
The airline employs nearly 1000 Filipinos worldwide including more
than 270 cabin crew and over 20 pilots.
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
“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 Hogan
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
US$1.4 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.”
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