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PAL eyes expanded code share pact with Garuda Indonesia

MANILA, Philippines - National flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) is set to expand its codeshare agreements with international airlines led by Garuda Indonesia as part of efforts to expand its overseas presence.

Jaime Bautista, PAL president, said the airline is talking with Garuda for the possible expansion of their existing code share agreement with the flag carrier of Indonesia.

A codeshare agreement is an aviation business arrangement wherein two or more airlines share the same flight. Under the agreement, each airline publish and market the flight under its own airline designator and flight number as part of its published time table or schedule.

“We have an existing code share agreement and we are looking at expanding that,” he said.

The existing agreement covers flights to Jakarta and Bali from Manila. Garuda Indonesia has a fleet of 134 aircraft flying to 64 destinations while the PAL Group including low cost carrier PAL Express has 75 aircraft serving 67 international and domestic routes.

According to Bautista, the airline is looking at mounting chartered flights to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia as some passengers are keen on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj.

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“There are passengers who want to go to Jeddah for the Hajj. So we are looking at chartered flights. But we are still in talks,” he said.

Bautista earlier cited the airline’s expanding code share arrangements as one of the factors that enabled PAL to book a profit last year finally reversing losses that started in its fiscal year 2011-2012.

PAL has existing code share agreements with Etihad Airways in the Middle East, All Nippon Airways (ANA) in Japan, Westjet in Canada, Cebu Pacific in Hong Kong, Gulf Air in Bahrain, and Malaysia Airlines in Kuala Lumpur.

PAL’s parent firm PAL Holdings Inc. booked a net income of P129.74 million last year, reversing the P11.85-billion net loss recorded end-December 2013 covering the first nine months of its 2013 fiscal year. It shifted to calendar year from fiscal year ending March starting last year.

The airline’s total revenues reached P100.95 billion last year or 80.3 percent higher compared to the P55.98 billion in the first nine months of its 2013 fiscal year on the back of higher passenger and cargo revenues. It flew 9.6 million passengers last year.

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