MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Emirates received an early Christmas present, after the Civil Aeronautics Board gave the airline another 30-day extension for its third daily flight between Manila and Dubai.
The CAB ignored the strong opposition made by Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific against what they called were "colorum" flights being mounted by Emirates.
CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said they gave Emirates a third extension for the third daily flight until January 26, to prevent overseas Filipino workers from being affected.
"The Board's action is premised on the need to assure that passengers, especially the big volume of OFWs traveling to and from the Phil during the holiday season would not be inconvenienced or dislocated," he said.
Arcilla noted the this would be the final extension given to Emirates.
For its part, Emirates thanked CAB for granting its request for another extension.
"It is a positive decision that will provide passengers with uninterrupted travel plans, offer increased options for travel during the busy festive season, and one which will be welcomed by the thousands of Filipino travellers and businesses who prefer to use our services to get to Dubai and beyond. At Emirates, we remain committed to the Philippines and will continue to work closely with CAB to ensure a satisfactory outcome for all stakeholders," Barry Brown, Emirates’ Divisional Senior VP for Commercial Operations East, said.
Last October, CAB turned down Emirates' petition to use the unutilized frequency of PAL until March 2015. With an appeal pending, the CAB granted Emirates a 30-day extension to continue the flight until November 26, and another extension until December 26.
Emirates, through Puno & Puno Law Offices, filed a petition before the CAB last December 15 seeking a third 30-day extension for its third flight to and from Dubai via the NAIA.
In its petition, Emirates said public interest would be served by the third daily flight, since there is continued high demand for the Manila-Dubai route.
"There is no legitimate reason for the CAB to cause unnecessary inconvenience to the OFWs and inbound tourists to the Philippines by stopping Emirates’ third daily frequency," Emirates said.
Last December 11, CAB slapped a P1.8 million fine on Emirates for violating the Civil Aeronautics Act of the Philippines after it was found to have sold tickets for the third daily flight after December 26. The CAB also told Emirates to stop selling tickets for the said flight after December 26.