Cebu Pacific pushes for open skies pact with Japan

Posted at 08/28/2013 5:05 PM | Updated as of 08/29/2013 9:55 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Cebu Pacific is pushing for an open skies agreement between the Philippines and Japan.

The two countries are set to hold air consultation talks in Tokyo, September 11-13.

"Cebu Pacific plans to aggressively expand into Japan in the future... An Open Skies agreement with Japan will benefit local tourism and trade, especially since we believe Japan can rival South Korea when it comes to foreign tourist arrivals," CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog said in a statement.

The Gokongwei-led carrier submitted a position paper to the Philippine Air Consultation Panel last August 15, in support of open skies with Japan.

Cebu Pacific noted that if capacity at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport becomes available, Philippine carriers would not be able to mount flights because of the lack of seat entitlements.

Countries such as Japan have to give seat entitlements before carriers can add flights or destinations. An open skies agreement will expedite the process, allowing Cebu Pacific to expand operations to Japan.

At present, Cebu Pacific mounts flights from Manila to Osaka thrice weekly.

Japan has Open Skies agreements with countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, France, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Mexico.

Cebu Pacific noted there has been a 2% decline in the Department of Tourism's Japan foreign arrival statistics from 2006-2011, attributing this to the lack of additional seat entitlements.

"Aside from Japan being one of the Philippines’ biggest trading partners, it is also home to 350,000 global Filipinos. Cebu Pacific’s expansion in Japan will allow us to offer our trademark lowest fares to the Philippines to boost business and leisure traffic,” Iyog said.