by Allanah Leahy – EM TV Online
Philippine Airlines is planning a new non-stop carrier service from Manila, Philippines, to Port Moresby.
Philippine Airlines, the national flag carrier of the Philippines, applied last month for the reallocation of existing entitlements held by Cebu Pacific. They asked for “the reallocation of additional entitlements on the route Manila-Port Moresby from the unutilised seat entitlements previously allocated to Cebu Air Inc.”
Cebu Pacific had applied in June 2013 for 1,440 seat entitlements under Southeast Asian Airlines, which now operates under Tigerair Philippines.
Although they intended to use half of the entitlements for flights between Clark and Port Moresby, with the other half for flights between Manila and Port Moresby, the arrangements never went through.
The Philippine government previously requested an additional 720 weekly seat entitlements, but the request was denied by the PNG government as Philippine carriers had failed to use the existing entitlements.
Air Niugini is the only current operator of Philippines flights, with three flights scheduled weekly.
According to the executive director of the Civil Aeronautics Board, Carmelo Arcilla, Philippine Airlines would like to increase this to four times weekly, while Cebu Pacific would operate flights three times weekly on the same route.
Philippine Airlines President, Jaime Bautista said the airline would like to cater to the rising demand from Port Moresby.
“We want to fly to Papua New Guinea soon to accommodate the growing number of Filipinos there,” she said.
According to the Philippine Flight Network, there are approximately 25,000 Filipino workers residing in PNG.