Philippine Aviation Industry's Anti-Open Skies Stance: Is It Good or Bad for Philippine and International Travelers?

Asia’s oldest airline pushes lobbyist levers to “protect” the industry from the open skies policy. The theme of the anti-open skies lobby is to appeal to nationalism – and to use the “infant industry” argument. Frankly, I find it hilarious that the same industry which brandishes “Asia’s oldest airline” is the same Philippine industry which NEVER GREW up and worse, FAILED TO LAUNCH.

Why did "Asia's oldest airline" have a FAILURE TO LAUNCH?

The Anti-Open Skies Lobby

Here’s a sprinkling of what the anti-open skies lobby is saying: Asean open skies poses threat to Philippine carriers

Here, Raralio said the regional open skies policy worsens the situation as it places the local air cargo companies, which are privately owned, at a disadvantage because those in neighboring countries are mostly owned by the state and enjoy subsidies and financial assistance.

“You cannot open up the market at this time as almost all markets are getting smaller due to the crisis,” Raralio said. This, he said, will result in cutthroat competition which will see air cargo companies offering lower and lower rates if only to get a piece of a shrinking pie.

In the end, the bigger companies and those that enjoy government financial support will benefit because they can offer lower rates in exchange for large cargo volumes, Raralio said. He questioned the wisdom of the regional open skies which was adopted recently as a strategy to weather the global economic crisis in the belief that carriers and forwarders will handle more volumes when cargo capacity and other restrictions are lifted.

Debunking the Anti-Open Skies Position

EO 500 and EO 500-B were first crafted by Pres. Arroyo. EO 500b was drafted by Narzalina Lim, a board member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association and a former secretary of tourism, gives unlimited access to the two airports to all foreign airlines, with no need for government designation or bilateral air agreements.

The open skies EO met fierce resistance and the proposition became untenable due to the media campaign from the alliance of emo leftist groups and monopoly Filipino businesses. The Filipino monopolists and emo nationalists bent on protectionism cherish their sweet misery of late flights, high fares, lost bags, lousy customer services – I DON’T.

As an air traveler,my view is that these provisions are meant to provide travellers (Filipino and non-Filipino) more options. If the Philippine aviation industry is not willing to step up to the demand of consumers there is no reason why consumers shouldn’t be given other alternatives.

I don’t want to be stuck with PAL – I want to have more options that will get me to my destination how I want it, when I want it, at a price I can afford.

A position paper prepared by the Makati Business Club in support of EO 500 and EO 500B refuted the various arguments put forth by the anti-open skies lobby.

The liberalization of the Philippine aviation sector, however, is being opposed by special interest groups that favor an environment of “protectionism” and claim that said reform is a threat to national (or should we say “vested”) interest. We, the various stakeholders of Central Luzon, express our unconditional support to this administration’s move towards liberalization as embodied in Executive Order 500 and Executive Order 500-B and would like to address the concerns of the Philippine air carriers.

To wit: On the claim that the grants of aviation privileges to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) and other airports are devoid of “reciprocity”

Fact: Reciprocity since the 90’s has been defined in a broader sense to mean the exchange of rights, freedoms, and opportunities of equal or equivalent value. The entry of Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) in DMIA has led to enormous opportunities and economic value to Central Luzon. The local carriers want us to be counting air seats entitlements (that, by the way, they are still not utilizing fully) instead of counting true economic value when we speak of reciprocity.

On the claim that EO 500B gives 7th Freedom Rights to foreign airlines

Fact: That is untrue. EO 500 and 500-B do not grant 7th freedom rights. What is granted is unlimited 5th freedom rights.

On the claim that EO 500B would have an adverse effect on the existing routes operated by local carriers

Fact: The entry of LCCs at DMIA since 2005 had not adversely affected the load factors of local carriers. PAL’s load factor for its equivalent route, in fact, rose from 68 percent to 76 percent. PAL was even awarded the “Airline Turnaround of the Year” by the Centre for the Asia Pacific Aviation. Their argument against competition has been used before when PAL objected to the entry of Cebu Pacific, Asian Spirit, and other local carriers in the 90s and has proven to be untrue.

On the claim that EO 500B would make the Civil Aeronautic Board (CAB) a mere rubberstamp body

Fact: All carriers applying for a route to the Philippines are still required to secure a Foreign Air Carriers Permit (FACP) from CAB and an Air Carriers Operating Certificate (ACOC) from the Air Transport Office (ATO). Hence, both CAB & ATO can still exercise regulatory functions to ensure that air carriers serving meet all international industry standards.

On the claim that unilateral grants force the nation to give up valuable bargaining chips

Fact: We have been granting unilateral grants since the early 90s and said practice has not prejudiced on bargaining powers. Considering that foreign carriers are also enjoying benefits from such unilateral grants and that a unilateral grant may be withdrawn by us anytime, we feel that such grants even enhance our bargaining power.

On the claim that the EO would run afoul of a number of constitutional & legal provisions

Fact: We see no basis for this claim as EO 500-B does not have constitutional infirmities as it does not violate any provisions of law. This argument, perhaps, is based on the assumption that EO 500B grants 7th freedom, which is, of course, a false assumption.

Pleading the Case for EO 500B

The open-skies debate is not new. It can be recalled that the open skies policy was already being debated in 2007.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Arroyo told to sign EO 500B
By Reynaldo G. Navales
CLARK FREEPORT — Cabinet Secretary Edgardo Pamintuan is urging Malacanang to approve the proposed Executive Order (EO) 500B so as not to delay the development of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).
In his letter dated May 9, 2007, Pamintuan asked President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to “approve, sign and issue the proposed EO 500B, which is necessary to the development of DMIA as a premier international gateway.”
Pamintuan cited Cambodia, which declared a unilateral open skies policy in 1999 effectively increasing the number of tourist arrivals from 24,000 in the same year to 1.5 million in 2006.
A total of 170 intra-Asian flights now serve the otherwise listless Siem Reap International Airport.
Pamintuan disclosed that the equally war-ravaged Vietnam is now attracting 3.5 million visitors per year while both Thailand and Singapore are attracting 10 million visitors per year.
DMIA posted 7,880 passengers only in 2003 and the number increased in 2004 to 49,500 passenger after the entry of Asiana Airlines of South Korea, which provided flights between Incheon, SK and Clark.
In 2005, DMIA posted 225,000 passengers and in 2006 the number rose to 471,000 international passengers. In 2006, DMIA was averaging 39,000 passengers per month but for the current year, the Macapagal airport was already posting 45,000 passengers per month.
It is expected that over half a million international passengers will pass through DMIA in 2007.
Other countries that have declared unilateral open skies policies include Bahrain, Chile, China, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
Japan, which has a strict air policy, will also undertake the most radical liberalization of its highly regulated skies with Asian Gateway Plan. Local carriers of these mentioned countries prospered after undertaking air liberalization.
“May I now urge the President to decisively and positively act on the matter,” said Pamintuan.
“My position is emboldened by the fact that one of our country’s top economic experts and industry leaders — Mr. Washington Sycip — told me during the recent National Infrastructure Forum that he personally conveyed to Mr. Lucio Tan and Mr. John Gokongwei the futility of stopping the full development of DMIA, considering the problems at our current gateway at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia),” said Pamintuan.
“The issue of reciprocity has already been defined by your administration as one that is, in essence, beyond the mere interests of the carriers, but to cover national interest,” he added.
“The benefits of a liberalized and competitive regime have already been proven in many industrial and economic sectors. Our local airline industry is an example. It thrived when it opened up to competition,” said Pamintuan.
Pamintuan further said the “issue of security and safety, as propounded by the Department of Transportations and Communications (DOTC) and the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), is totally unrelated to the liberalization of the air traffic and entry of more players.”

Clark International Airport Corporation (Ciac) executive vice president Alexander Cauguiran supported the views of Pamintuan.
In a letter to Deputy Executive Secretary Manuel Gaite, Cauguiran emphasized that “the Chicago Convention of 1944, which established the regulatory framework for international civil aviation, recognizes only five Freedoms of the Air. Non-cabotage traffic rights mentioned in EO 500B should make reference only to the Freedoms of the Air recognized by the said convention.”
Foreign carriers are also obliged to secure a Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP) from the CAB under the provisions of EO 500B, regardless of whether said foreign carrier is designated under an Air Service Agreement or not, noted Cauguiran.
Supporters of a liberalized air policy called on the issuance of EO 500B to allow sustainability and entry of more budget airlines operating at DMIA and to increase visitor arrivals.

Pamintuan is supported by the Clark Investors and Locators Association, Makati Business Club, American Chamber of Commerce, Bulacan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Bataan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Angeles Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Philippine Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc., Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., San Fernando Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Advocay for the Development of Central Luzon (ADCL), North Luzon Chambers, Chamber of Real Estate and Builder’s Association, Task Force on Transport and Logistics Export Development Council, Philippine Travel Agencies Association, Pinoy Gumising Ka Movement (PGKM) and local officials of Pampanga led by Mabalacat Mayor Marino Morales and Angeles City Mayor Carmelo Lazatin.

Taxpayers need to stop subsidizing PAL’s inefficiency

The social benefits of open skies policy far outweigh the benefits of not liberalizing the Philippine aviation industry. Inefficient businesses which do not innovate should not be protected. The impact of the protectionist Philippine aviation industry on tourism and exports is felt in the higher ticket prices, the lack of flights, and the lack of choices when stuff hits the ceiling.

Philippine Airlines’ cancellation of flights following the resignation of 25 pilots may spur higher ticket prices and encourage the government to ease market restrictions, Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said on Tuesday.

The reduction in services “shows the need for more carriers to serve the tourism industry as well as business and investment,” Lim said. Lim, who co-founded the Freedom to Fly Coalition that advocates an open-skies policy as a strategy to promote economic development, said PAL’s labor problems “would help the cause of liberalization.”

The country eased the restrictions on services by overseas carriers following a Philippine Air pilots’ strike in 1998, Lim said, to ease its reliance on the nation’s flag carrier. The government on Tuesday held another emergency meeting with Philippine Air officials and other local airlines because of concerns the reduction in services may disrupt tourism and exports.

Open Skies – If not now, when?

In 1997, a released policy paper suggested that the Philippines is not yet ready to adopt an open skies policy.

The paper, prepared by a consultant at the UP College of Economics and Management in Los Banos and supported by the US Agency for International Development in partnership with the Trade and Investment Policy Analysis and Advocacy Support (TAPE) project, indicated that the Philippine government has a preference for adopting the traditional practice of forming bilateral air agreements with foreign nations on a reciprocal basis, rather than entering into more open air traffic agreements.

A preference highlighted by the recent problems between the Philippines and Taiwan with regard to the termination of their 1996 air services agreement and the subsequent cessation of flights between the two nations by the countries’ national carriers.

It has been a decade since the study was conducted, many more countries have adopted the open skies agreement.

It is 2010, Asia’s Hermit Archipelago is still finding its way – in aviation, in divorce, in electricity, in water, in telecommunications.

P. Noy and his oligarch pals are already chopping up the Philippine economy for themselves – the continuing legacy of a protectionist oligopoly market in a feudal/medieval political economy.

No wonder more Filipinos are lining up the airports securing a one way ticket – to anywhere, but the Philippines – – – PAL pilots included.

Related Readings:

  1. Air Transport Agreements Between the U.S. and Philippines » US-Philippines Protocol to Air Transport Agreement of November 20, 1995 –, Accessed Aug, 15, 2010
  2. ‘Open skies’ drives air fares down –, Accessed Aug, 15, 2010
  3. PAL woes helping advance open skies — Tourism chief –, Accessed Aug, 15, 2010
  4. Policy paper suggests Philippines is unprepared for open skies policy (1999). –, Accessed Aug, 15, 2010

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  1. Ryan Bosco · ·

    Asia’s first and oldest airline? That would mean innovation and embracing technology right? Dang, 66 years later, Philippine Airlines is one of the most expensive, lousiest customer service and low paying carrier company by employing hard working Filipinos but paying them slave wage. And Lucio Tan is supposed to be one of the richest in Asia? Now, the company is saying they’re loosing money and can’t budge on when it comes of fair labor compensation/practice?

    If the pilots and fligth attendants can walk out and sacrifice their lives/livelihood to say, “NO MORE, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” SURELY WE CAN FOLLOW THEIR LEAD.

    End monopoly and unfair oligarchs ripping us off. Boycott! Stay home and cripple their corrupt practices.

  2. Ryan Bosco · ·

    I forgot to mention. I HAVE STOPPED RIDING PHILIPPINE AIRLINES SINCE 5 YEARS AGO. Too much red tape involved when redeeming points and mileage rewards:

    Sir, you have to do this, do that, send this, send that, send us a copy of your passport, with all copies of your transactions…..blah blah blah blah….


    Other airlines are simple, quick and to the point. With a click of a button, BADABING! My points are converted to free tickets. PUTANG INANG PHILIPPINE AIRLINES. PALPAK AIRLINES MORE LIKE IT.

  3. @Ryan – we are steps ahead of the PAL Pilots. we left years ago.

    Atlas Shrugged – with the PAL Pilots, Analysts, Nurses, Physicians, Lawyers, Managers, Engineers.

  4. yet another thread about one of the key industries the Philippines is failing at. Just as important as the cement industry, but with its archaic mindset is killing itself and screwing the people for the sake of unjustified greed.

    But at least with the PAL situation, the workers have a shot at screwing their employers. I’d like to see what Tan has under his sleeve to alleviate once the $hit hits the fan.

  5. Ryan Bosco · ·

    @BongV and Jay…LOL. I just can’t believe how primitive the Philippines is in the year 2010. Asia’s oldest airline should retire and collect social security checks from Loser Tan. LOL, I can’t get over the fact that we keep boasting about PAL being Asia’s oldest, LITERALLY.

    Hay Pilipinas. Bakit ka nagka ganyan? Who are we kidding? Philippines is indeed hopeless. As long as these oligarchs are in charge.

  6. Philippine Airlines is my last choice – if there’s nothing left, then I’ll look at it – otherwise, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere.

    P. A. L – Plane Always Late

  7. This is Asia’s first and oldest airlines and yet its more of a hellhole… Another victim of the Philippines law which protects us from business competition… Because of them Oligarchs.

    The Oligarchs of the Philippines are now controlling almost everything we need. And if this policy continues, we’ll be more likely to be a North Korea type country. Sealed off from the rest of the world… And I can forsee this getting worse and worse by the day…

  8. Well, guys, I really think the Philippines is the only capitalist nation in the world that applies the Juche doctrine of N. Korea, based on the things I read here and see about our economy…

    And nobody notices that…well, except for us here in AP!

  9. Have you even wonder why European carriers didn’t fly anymore in this country?
    It simple, there’s no more great passenger traffic between EU and Philippines so even applying the Open Skies Agreement is not a assurance that more carriers will come back here.
    I don’t even expect a foreign carrier will land in airports of Bacolod, Iloilo and Zamboanga despite its international standing.

    Back to the days from 80’s-90’s when Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France, Alitalia and United Airlines (I forgot the others though) used to fly here when Low Cost carrier model wasn’t that popular yet and air travel was at its premium crop.

    But with the recent years of economic downturns, oil prices spiking, political instability and other factors axed most of the flights direct from Europe to Philippines. Not to mention LCC model was getting popular with those bad times that eventually PAL, discontinue their destinations from Switzerland, Frankfurt, Paris and London Gatwick.

    And then Middle East carriers (Emirates) suddenly rise from the sand dunes of UAE taking advantage of their government subsidies and its geo-graphical position makes a advantage of positioning traffic from Asia and Europe that even European carriers were threatened by the Emirates dominance. Not to mention oil prices in Middle East are very cheap that they can almost fly virtual any destinations around the world.

    I may be wrong with my opinion since I wasn’t deeply researched about Open Sky policy but one thing is for sure. Airline Industry is a volatile business. Its very unpredictable and dire consequences are totally random throughout the time.

    On the different story, If I choose between Cebu Pacific versus Philippine Airlines… I’d rather take PAL than CebPac low-cost palusot sa delay at cancellation.. Search the net about blogs of horror stories of Cebu Pacific’s passenger maltreatment ..

  10. maikimai · ·

    We have always been wondering, why the F*CK are flights to RP is so expensive? My mom got an offer from her job, trip to Korea w/ 3days hotel for 30,000 + yen(Around 12k-15k pesos) and when she looked at PAL round-trip only, 60,000+yen per person.

    Yes, I have also some bad PAL experience. delayed flights, horrible food, broken chairs, unusable headsets, etc.

  11. NotMasochisticFilipino · ·

    What they (Oligarchs) will do to prevent the tragedy?

    Discourage their employees from transferring to another job instead of encouraging them to work with the company?

    What’s the difference? HINT: there was one time that the government tried to DISCOURAGE aspiring OFWs from working overseas by writing a bill demanding foreign employers to pay $8000 for each Filipino they wish to employ.

  12. Hey we have now a new episode of Air Crash Investigation!

    Its called “The Fall of the Philippine Fleet!”

  13. Hyden Toro · ·

    Businesses grow and prosper by competition, that is: you offer customers, better services, better products, better systems, etc…If these factors are not present in your business. Then, your competitors will surely get your market share. Protectionism-means you cannot COMPETE in the open market. You exclude your competitors: by laws, by force, by gimmicks-like nationalism,etc… Then, force the consuming public to buy your your products, services, etc… This will result in having the consumers to avail of your : lousy products, lousy services, lousy systems, etc…No growth…no innovations…no new products…no good services, being offered.

    Protectionism is a lousy idea. It works against the consumers. Throw it in the garbage. It has no place in this globalized world. It is an extinct market idea…like the EDSA Myth, working in the mindsets of the Filipino voters. We voted a lousy President, protected and peddled to us by a lousy myth called: EDSA…Santa Cory Aquino…False hero, Ninoy Aquino. Work of the KamagAnak, Inc. of Hacienda Luisita.

  14. The funniest thing I heard was when PAL reportedly was going to get foreign pilots to replace the striking pilots. I was like, what? Are you going to subject the foreign pilots to substandard pay? Or does it turn out PAL could afford their salaries? And if PAL could afford foreign salaries, why didn’t they give these to the Filipino pilots? Are Filipino pilots not that “world-class” enough? Lots of questions with this situation.

  15. question is whether the protectionist constitution they wrote – will allow them to hire foreign licensed professionals 😆

  16. Onga eh. Unconstitutional tuloy. 😆

  17. ulong pare · ·

    … daaang

    … LAX & SFO… tons of balikbayan boxes… ahhhhhhhhhh!

    … scare the sh!t out of me…

    … ay sus ginoo, and flips/flipflams had the guts to ask me if they could use my unused baggage bennies…

    … i travel light… a box of condoms… max… :mrgreen:

  18. ulong pare · ·

    … daaang

    … PAL stewardess eh inisnab ang biyuti ko 😳 😆

  19. Its just plain… Stupid…

  20. IceQueen · ·

    Prohibitive prices, restricted (to nonexistent) options, sub-standard service…
    … is it just me or don’t these reek “anti-trust” in big, neon-lit letters?

    That the fact the Philippines has no anti-trust laws in place makes it all the more convenient for “them oligarchs”, doesn’t it?

    Suntok sa buwan ‘to siguro, but didn’t PNoy mention Anti-Trust Laws in his SONA?

    Wish lang natin…

  21. Open skies will wreck havoc to phil air industry…which barely surviving these days, many flag carrier(especially in middle east carrier) recieved subsidy from their govt., thats why they can offer lower prices, with much better services..

    Since the govt cannot provide the such subsidy, the better solution is to closed are skies, unless otherwise those foreign carrier will be taxed corresponding to their subsidy they received..

    US Agency for International Development in partnership with the Trade and Investment Policy Analysis and Advocacy Support (TAPE)- a US lobby group, the last time a us “lobby”(i nice way of saying corrupting) group, were the floating of peso against world currency (previously peso value is peg, just like yuan) our BSP almost go bankrupt(dollar reserve depleted) in order to avoid the free fall of peso, we borrow lots of dollars…. and the most recent lobbying, the GATT treaty, (the lowering of tariff, indiscriminately) which wreck havoc to are manufacturing, agriculture, garment industry(the manuf and garment is virtually non-existence now, and the agriculture is already dying)….need i say more..

    In my conclusion, protect whats left in the phil industries, but a same time enforce an a honest to goodness implementation of laws and regulation, so that are industry will meet the global standard.

  22. this ain’t about the air industry anymore – it’s about air passengers.

    why make travelers suffer for a STUPID industry? Shape up or ship out. If PAL can’t deliver – then chop it up and sell it. at the moment – there’s not enough domestic investors who can front the money – and foreign investors don’t want to fork in money to a monopolist like Lucio Tan. under a liberalized regime – the PAL brand can be maintained – but ownership can be a venture between Singapore, Cathay Pacific, Delta, and Lufthansa – with the Philippine equity taking a minority share.

    This will allow continuity of service, expansion of services to internal and external customers, more flights, and better compensation packages.

    i’m a passenger and i DEMAND options. and i DEMAND alternatives. NO – I am NOT subsidizing anymore inefficient airlines – I am already OVERTAXED. so screw it.

    why prolong the agony of a decrepit philippine aviation industry – it’s time to hit the reset button. open up the aviation industry – for the benefit of PASSENGERS not effin monopopolists.

  23. Bong is right. The important thing is the passengers, not air carriers. If the air carriers can’t deliver good service, then let them fold. Let the pilots and employees be hired by companies who have better practices and can pay their employees right. Don’t protect bad service. Don’t protect something that doesn’t deserve to be protected.

  24. Indolent Indio Circa 1521 · ·

    Philippine Air lines is the oldest airline in Asia. Stewardesses are old. Airplanes old. Pilots old. PAL food is old. Passengers are old. Everything is old. They are slow to change. Service is slow. Their website is slow.

    Ride Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Japan Air.

    Only old people ride PAL international flights. OFW prefer PAL. They clap when the plane lands.

    A foreigner asked once, “why do Filipinos clap when PAL plane lands?”

    ANSWER: “Because we made it safe and in one piece!” SO CLAP ‘YO HANDS!!!!

  25. ulong pare · ·

    … daaaang

    … i took PAL once, that’s it… never again… i’d rather paddle my bamboo raft accross pacific ocean before i take another PAL…

    … firstly: customer service at PAL counter is nothing to be proud of… sobrang mga suplada ng clerk… ay sus ginoo… may hitsura pa naman ang aking sexy atsays…

    … secondly: i hafta leap over mountainous balikbayan boxes to reach the counter… it’s like hiking wadab’s mt apo…

    … thirdly: flips/flipflams are loud… they brag too much; want an audience to hear their suckcesspool life in ‘merka… pero, sa totoo lang allah eh, hugas pfwets…

    … and, they look like xmas trees… puro glitters… ‘sang tambaks ang mga adorno sa katawan… puro ginto… siguradong kapag kumidlat, they’d be the first to be hit… puro metal kasi ang suot…

    … and, ‘sang tambaks na anaks crying their lungs out…

    … and, the toilet/commode got plugged up… ahhhhhhh…. nakupo… smell like 3 day old poosy… for katorse oras na biyahe… 😳 :mrgreen:

  26. Indolent Indio Circa 1521 · ·

    HA!HA!HA!HA!HA! Pareng Ulo, kasi the PAL stewardesses thoughted that Flippers who are in America are low-class. That is what they thoughted. Filipinos go to America because they cannot be a stewardess here in the Philippfines. See, stewardess is big in Philippfines. The PAL stewardesses thoughted that every filipino in America works in Seafood City kaliskis ng Tilafia. I was once in a party that were graced by stewardesses. The hostess in the party, introduced the two stewardesses like they were CEOs of Morgan-Stanley.

    So, after the stewardess came out of the CR, I went in …. HESUS MARIA JOSEF! Ang baho ng pooh-pooh nila ….. HA!HA!HA!HA!HA!

  27. potaters · ·

    I used to sit in at meetings for a transportation committee and sometimes we would have a PAL representative. When it came to discussing “Open Skies”, they would always say that it would cannibalize the air industry. The same goes with the shipping industry, they would always use that word, “cannibalize”.

  28. That PAL guy should have been pestered with, “just what do you mean by cannibalize? And are you sure it will really happen?”

  29. Jett Rink · ·

    i’m all for open skies, but isn’t the “OFW clapping when PAL lands” yarn an urban legend? I’ve rode PAL round-trip to HK and Singapore numerous times (8 HK, 4 Sing) and always economy. I never heard clapping and I assume there were OFWs there.

  30. One thing has me curious with open skies potentially wrecking havoc on the phil-air industry. Does it get ANY WORST if Philippines does open skies? Or does it get worst if the Philippine aviation doesn’t do the work as well to become competitive.

    That is the only thing I’m confounded with. Is not having the open skies an excuse to keep the old business design which isn’t functioning how it is and if so, why do we keep defending it? It goes back to the old Manuel Quezon ideaology I love slapping around where he goes pro nationalism only with the basis and thought of things can change. What if it doesn’t and for prolonged periods of time?

  31. To be fair, service-wise, PAL is quite up there, and even foreigners were surprised at how good the service can be. What concerns me more though is the union-buster known as Lucio Tan.

  32. @potaters – after PAL cannibalized passenger’s wallets – PAL should be cannibalized – one good turn deserves another.

  33. @sky – service-wise – the ground service was lousy.

    2008 Trip – PAL Ground Service

    I arrived 1am at NAIA (from Detroit via Narita). I then transferred to the PAL terminal for my connecting flight to Davao City. The trans-Pacific flight of 14 hours is quite tiring.

    The terminal was closed – at 1AM. There were guards at the gate. There were people in the terminal. The lights were on. There were a lot of us international passengers waiting for our connecting flight. We were all exhausted from the long international flights. And what we had for a welcome was this – our bags in the sidewalk; our butts on the concrete pavement; the smell of diesel fumes in a humid muggy evening; the honking of jeepneys, taxis, and buses.

    It was a total contrast to say arriving in any airport in the US at 1 AM (Houston, OHare, Lax, SFO, La Guardia, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Memphis, Vegas) – passengers stay in the terminal, with all the conveniences of rest rooms, air-conditioning, clean floors, food).

    After 5 years of being away – all I could think of was – the Philippines never changed – still the same NAIA I left in 2003.

    PAL Domestic Air Service

    I had 50 lbs luggage being an international passenger. When I went to the PAL counter, I was charged extra because local is only 40lbs – waddya know. Convenient way of ripping off international passengers. hay naku – hanggang ngayon gulang pa rin ang PAL.

    2003 Trip – PAL Air Service – MNL – SFO

    The only thing I can remember is flying through some air pockets. It felt like the plane was about to break apart. We all clapped when the PAL 747 landed in San Francisco Int’l Airport.

  34. While we’re at it, how about liberalizing retail as well. Allow foreigners to come in and own more than 50%. It’ s time we had decent customer service in retail as well.

  35. palebluedot_ · ·

    how about campaigning for charter change?

  36. If I were the President today, I would be launching a crackdown on all oligarchs “in the name of progress”. 😈

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