MANILA, Philippines - Emirates Airlines spoke up on the recent statement made by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific protesting the Civil Aeronautics Board's decision to allow the airline to continue flying Dubai-Manila-Dubai routes in excess of its maximum entitlement.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Emirates defended its additional flights on the Dubai-Manila route.
"Emirates is not seeking any additional flights to Manila over and above its current operations. Our third daily flight on the Dubai-Manila route was implemented in January 2013 and has since become an integral service which is extremely popular with travellers," the airline said.
The Middle Eastern airline said it is looking forward to the continued operation of its three daily flights from Manila to Dubai.
"Emirates looks forward to its continued operations of three daily services to Manila. We are confident that the positive effect of these services will continue to ensure widespread and sustained benefits to all stakeholders," Emirates said.
However, Emirates said it will respect any decision made by the CAB.
"Emirates has always developed its services to the Philippines in a progressive and measured way, in line with market demand and authorizations granted by the Philippine authorities. We of course fully respect the CAB and abide by its rules and procedures," it said.
PAL and Cebu Pacific had issued a strongly-worded joint statement over the weekend, criticizing the CAB's decision.
CAB had earlier given Emirates another 30 days or until December 26 to operate an additional 7 weekly flights on the Dubai-Manila-Dubai routes, after the first 30-day extension had expired last November 26.
"We believe that the grant of these unwarranted extra flights to Middle Eastern carriers distorts competition and undermines the investments of Philippine air carriers in building a truly competitive air route to the UAE," the two airlines said.
PAL and Cebu Pacific said the Philippine aviation industry will suffer from the CAB's decision.
"So, far the CAB has granted a total of 60 days in favor of Emirates or until December 26.The Philippine carriers believe that the issuance of the extended grant to operate additional seven flights only worsens the current injurious situation," the airlines said.