Thursday, April 10, 2014

Higher PH Tourism with US FAA and EU Decisions to Allow More PH Carriers

Today, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted a Category 1 rating to the Philippines for its compliance with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This means that Philippines’ air carriers can add flights and service to the US and carry the code of U.S. carriers. Good news.

A friend, Coco Alcuaz made this timeline in his fb posting today: 

US FAA lifts ban on PH, allowing PAL to add flights, Cebu Pac to start. Cebu Pac also due to get EU approval tonight. Here's a history: 
1998 Philippine Airlines ends flights to EuropeJan. 2008 U.S. FAA downgrades PH to Category 2 (no new flights)March 2010 EU bans all PH carriersJuly 2013 EU lifts ban on Philippine Airlines (PAL)Oct. 2013 Cebu Pacific starts first long-haul flight (Dubai)Nov. 2013 PAL starts flights to LondonToday FAA restores PH to Category 1Later today EU expected to lift ban on Cebu Pac

This move by the FAA is consistent with the US government's more liberal granting of US visa to PH citizens. The US government wants more rich and middle class Filipinos to go to the US and spend money there, help improve business confidence. If more Filipino travelers are prevented from going to the US by denying them entry visa, these Filipinos will simply go to Europe or other Asian countries and spend their money there. 

Hours after the FAA announcement, the EU in Brussels also announced that it has cleared Cebu Pacific to fly to European air space.

Many people here welcomed this development positively. And rightly so because of the huge new business opportunities that will be opened, especially in tourism, trade and investment.

More competition among more airlines flying PH-US and PH-EU would mean lower fares, better services. Bad service and/or high fares by one airline will turn off passengers and buy their tickets for their next flight with another airline. 

Passengers and visitors are the main beneficiaries of more competition. Investors and traders will also be encouraged to fly in and out if there are more airlines to choose.

See also: 

World Airports 2: Most Hated, CNN list, December 01, 2011 

World Airports 1: Most Loved, CNN list, December 01, 2011

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