PAL nixes more Mla-Guam flights by Air Micronesia

Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 27 2013 10:57 AM | Updated as of Jan 27 2013 07:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), jointly owned by taipan Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), is opposing the application of Air Micronesia Inc. to mount additional flights between Manila and Guam.

PAL has filed its petition before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) blocking the application of Air Micronesia to mount two more additional flights between Manila and Guam during Tuesdays and Sundays.

Air Micronesia currently flies between Manila and Guam using Boeing 737, while PAL flies to Guam four times a week, or every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Also known as Continental Airlines Micronesia, the airline was established by Continental and other regional shareholders in the former US Trust Territory and started operations on May 16, 1968 as Air Micronesia.

Before being headquartered in Guam, Continental Micronesia was headquartered in Saipan, Northern Marianas Island.

The United Airlines-Continental merger resulted in the elimination of Continental Micronesia’s operating certificate as the new entity worked towards a single operating certificate. The combination of Continental Micronesia’s operating certificate into Continental’s was approved on Dec. 22, 2010.

Meanwhile, budget airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) of taipan John L. Gokongwei Jr. is asking the government to allow it to use the unutilized seat entitlements of PAL to Taiwan.

Cebu Pacific has filed a petition before the CAB for the re-allocation of additional entitlements to Taiwan covering 1,260 weekly seats unused by PAL.

The additional allocation represents the unutilized seat entitlements assigned to PAL in accordance to the existing 1996 Manila Economic and Cultural Office – Taipei Economic and Cultural Office confidential memorandum of understanding between the governments of the Philippines and Taiwan.