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PAL airs concern over Cebu-Seoul flight cut

() - January 17, 2002 - 12:00am
The Cebu-Seoul service of Philippine Airlines is in danger of being stalled unless its twice-weekly extra flights on the route become permanent.

In a statement, PAL raised its concern over reports that the Civil Aeronautics Board would reduce to one the extra flights by March 1, 2002 in order to allow another local carrier to mount three frequencies between Manila and Seoul.

PAL uses two of the four additional frequencies granted under the new bilateral air agreement with Korea on the Cebu-Seoul route, on top of the original two scheduled flights it has long operated between the two points.

PAL pioneered the Cebu-Seoul route and invested heavily in developing it into a major tourism-generating service for the country and Cebu in particular.

As a pioneer operator on the route, PAL said the well-established "grandfather’s right" principle accords its priority in recognition of the substantial investment the airline has sunk into developing the service.

PALpointed out that in this particular case, simple fairness and equity call for at least equal sharing of the new air entitlements.

Aviation authorities have said PAL’s two extra Cebu-Seoul flights will be discontinued on March 2 and the entitlements covering these flights will be used instead by another operator on the Manila-Seoul route, which is already served 21 times weekly by Philippine and Korean carriers.

PAL said this plan would restrict the flow of Korean tourists to Cebu and jeopardize the future of Cebu’s tourism industry.

Koreans comprise the fastest-growing source of tourists for the Philippines and one of Cebu’s largest visitor markets.

PAL carries 80 percent to 90 percent of all Korean traffic to the Philippines through its 13 weekly flights on three sectors: Manila-Seoul, Manila-Pusan and Cebu-Seoul.

The flag carrier’s general sales agent in Korea was recently awarded the prestigious "Kalakbay" award by the Tourism Department for its efforts, proof of PAL’s continuing drive to boost Korean tourism to the country.

CEBU CEBU-SEOUL CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD MANILA AND SEOUL MANILA-PUSAN AND CEBU-SEOUL MANILA-SEOUL PAL PHILIPPINE AIRLINES PHILIPPINE AND KOREAN SEOUL TOURISM DEPARTMENT
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