Flights to the Philippines are likely to become cheaper in the near future. The Philippines is about to open their skies to foreign carriers. This will be limited to a few airports in the beginning. Perhaps only two but I have seen other cities mentioned too.
The Philippines will begin to allow flights for Cebu and Davao to and from foreign destinations. Only domestic airlines will be allowed to carry passengers to points within the Philippines. The new policy is being called “Pocket Open Skies.”
This is very good news to me. It will be nice to have more international flights to the Philippines
from Cebu. It should lower the cost quite a bit. Not having to travel to Manila first will cut the cost. It will also cut the time and aggravation of going through the airport in Manila The increased competition should also lower the cost of flights to and from the Philippines.
It now looks like airports in Zamboanga and Laoag will also allow foreign carriers to provide service to and from those airports. Though other reports have mentioned only Cebu and Davao.
Pacific Airlines is caught up in labor problems. This was part of the basis President Aquino used to support his decision. The president said on Tuesday he would release an executive order that would allow such flights.
There has been talk of this for months. Recently stock prices of airlines based in the Philippines have been falling. I have noted that there seems to be quite a bit opposition to the open skies policy. Probably among Filipino that cannot afford to travel. I would guess they fear it will cut jobs in the Philippines.
More flights into the country means that airports need more staff to provide services. More tourist mean more dollars spent.
I anticipate that Cebu will be the biggest benefactor of this new policy. Cebu is already booming in tourism and this will only help expand that. I do not think it will be harmful to Philippines employment. I think it will be helpful.
The Philippines seems to have a good safety record as far as accidents go. However, they are currently at level 2 on the safety designation. This is less than optimal. Some lawmakers want to see that improved before the skies are opened to foreign carriers.
This less than stellar rating means that the Philippines cannot add additional service into the USA. The Philippines has also been barred from flying into some European countries. This, no doubt, does harm airlines based in the Philippines. Obviously, this lower rating limits airlines in the Philippines ability to expand services to the USA and other countries.
For those of living in the Philippines and especially those living in Cebu it will be welcome news. I always like lower prices.
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