Cebu Pacific may soon fly to Europe

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 08 2014 05:00 PM | Updated as of Apr 09 2014 01:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Gokongwei-led Cebu Pacific may soon mount flights to Europe.

This as the European Union is set to announce the lifting the ban on Cebu Pacific on Thursday afternoon.

Thursday's press conference will be attended by EU Chargè d’ Affaires Dr. Julian Vassallo, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) director general Lt. Gen. William Hotchkiss III, CAAP deputy director general Capt. John Andrews and Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei.

In January, Cebu Pacific informed the EU's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport in Brussels that it has already complied with the outstanding aviation safety concerns.

The European Commission in March 2010 had imposed a ban on Philippine carriers from entering the European airspace, as the CAAP failed to reform the Philippines' civil aviation system as mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Last year, Cebu Pacific was excluded when the EU cleared the Philippines after a three-year ban. This was right after a Cebu Pacific plane skidded off the Davao runway, shutting the airport for three days.

That gave Philippine Airlines a head start, as PAL started flights to London in November. PAL is planning to mount flights to Paris and Rome as early as this year.

Both airlines are waiting for the Philippines to be cleared by the US, which barred new flights from the Philippines in 2008. US clearance would allow PAL to add to its flights and Cebu Pacific can start flights. - With ANC