Mar 212015

MANILA, Philippines – Emirates is urging the government to resolve its appeal on the decision of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) stopping the airline’s third daily flight from Manila to Dubai.

Abdalla Al Zamani, Emirates Philippine country manager, said in a press conference that the government should immediately resolve the issue to benefit overseas Filipino workers as well as tourists.

“We encourage the honorable court to reconsider the decision to allow the resumption of our third flight as soon as possible for the sake of tourism and OFW market,” Abdalla said.

The Gulf carrier said the third daily flight between Manila and Dubai is crucial due to the growing demand for seats particularly from tourists.

“We believe that the demand is huge and it is growing. There’s a need for more flights to tourism and business. We are committed to the Philippine government to get more tourists,” Abdalla added.

It would be recalled that CAB denied the petition of Emirates to further extend its third daily flights for the Manila-Dubai route that expired last Jan. 26.

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The regulator turned down the petition of Emirates filed last October to use the unutilized frequency of national flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) until March this year. The Middle Eastern carrier filed an appeal before the CAB.

While the appeal was pending, CAB granted Emirates a 30-day extension to continue its third daily flight between Manila and Dubai until Nov. 26. The regulator granted a second 30-day extension allowing the Middle Eastern carrier to mount three daily flights in the route until Dec. 26.

However, CAB granted the third “final and inextendible” extension for the third daily flight of Emirates for the Manila-Dubai-Manila route until Jan. 26 so as not to inconvenience overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) in the Middle East going home for the Christmas holidays.

Emirates again sought another 30-day extension prior to the expiration of the third extension last Jan. 26 that was denied by CAB.

Transportation Undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla earlier said Emirates decided to elevate the case to the Office of the President.

President Aquino attended the one-off commercial flight by Emirates using the world’s largest passenger aircraft – Airbus A380 – that landed at the recently completed Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 3 (NAIA-3) last Oct. 7.

Emirates has been flying between Manila and Dubai since 1990 argued that public interest would be served by the extension of its third daily flight as there is a persistent high demand on the Manila-Dubai route as evidenced by a very high seat factor average of 80 percent from December 2013 to March 2014.

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