PAL, Etihad Airways ink landmark deal

Posted at 04/28/14 1:26 PM

MANILA – Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Etihad Airways have signed a deal that will open doors to commercial benefits to both airlines and their customers.

Under the memorandum of understanding, PAL and Etihad will partner in delivering options in codesharing, frequent flyer reciprocity, airport lounge access, special pro rate and air pass agreements, and cargo cooperation, among others.

PAL President Ramon Ang said the partnership “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 modernization 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,” Ang added in a statement.

He noted that closer collaboration in the local and global market arena will “enhance the competitiveness and appeal of our offering and deliver an unrivaled customer proposition in the UAE, in the Philippines and abroad."

Ang and Etihad Airways president and chief executive James Hogan said the partnership also seeks to make the two brands the first choice for the more than 700,000 UAE-based Filipinos who account for much of the traffic on the Abu Dhabi-Manila route each year.

Hogan also said the partnership aims to boost tourism in the Philippines.

"The Philippines is one of the world's best kept secrets with great appeal to travelers 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,” he said.

"Two-way trade between the UAE and the Philippines was valued at $US1.4 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 for a boost to each airline's bottom-line and to the economies of our two great nations,” he added.

In 2006, Etihad Airways launched services between Abu Dhabi and Manila with four weekly Airbus A330-200 flights.

PAL, on the other hand, flies from Manila to Abu Dhabi seven times a week.