Philippines Airlines Seeks To Remove Category 2 Status
Philippines Airlines (PAL) seeks to improve the safety rating for the Philippines. The Philippines has been placed in category 2 by the US FAA. This means that the Philippines cannot expand its service to the USA. It can maintain its current service only.
Philippines Airlines is the only airline within the Philippines with flights to the USA. I’ve seen reports that it is only airline in the Philippines that has such a capacity. I fail to understand that. Why would Cebu Pacific (CEB) not have the capacity to do it?
Philippines Airlines has hired Tim Neel & Associates, LLC (TNA) to provide it with technical assistance to raise standards necessary to meet the FFA guidelines. TNA is owned by a former FFA employee. Philippines Airlines has paid several million dollars to TNA and will loan out the services of TNA to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).
Open Skies Policy May Be Behind Philippines Airlines Motives
Even without the new Open Skies Policy, it would be a huge benefit to Philippines Airlines to be able to expand its service to the USA. With the Open Skies Policy, Philippines Airlines needs to be able to compete on a level playing field. As it is now, one generally must fly to the US West coast to board a Philippines Airlines flight to the Philippines.
This will allow US carriers to offer flights from other US cities that Philippines Airlines cannot service. This will also allow US carriers to keep their prices up.
For the Pocket Open Skies Policy in the Philippines to reach its full impact for US travelers PAL needs to be able to expand its service so that it may match services from with the USA.
I hope that Philippines Airlines will be able to remove the category two status now imposed up on the Philippines. It should mean more choices and better prices for those of us that take flights to the Philippines. In this case, what is good for Philippines Airlines will also be good for those of us taking flights to the Philippines. It should also improve air safety for Philippines Airlines.
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