Airport service providers say Piatco out to create monopoly
() - January 21, 2003 - 12:00am
Companies providing ground services at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have assailed the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. (Piatco) for trying to create a monopoly "worse than that in the oil deregulation law."

"The barriers to entry are not only against new players but against even existing providers," lawyer Francis Lim, lead counsel of seven airport service providers, said in a manifestation sent to the Supreme Court.

The memorandum was submitted to the court by Miascor Groundhandling Corp., DNATA-Wings Aviation Systems Corp., Macroasia-Eurest Catering Services Inc., Marcroasia-Menzies Airport Services Corp., Miascor Catering Services Corp., MiascorAircraft Maintenance Corp., and Miascor Logistics Corp.

Lim charged that Piatco’s shareholders are already conspiring to restrain trade at the Naia Terminal 3, prevent free competition and monopolize the airport services industry.

Piatco’s contracts require the government to shut down Naia Terminals 1 and 2 to allow Terminal 3, which Piatco is building, to operate as the only international passenger terminal in Luzon.

Lim stressed that Piatco’s five contracts with the government allow Piatco to terminate all contracts of companies currently providing in-flight catching, passenger and cargo handling, aircraft maintenance, and other cargo ground services at the Naia Terminals 2 and 3.

All companies seeking to provide ground services to airlines that will use the Naia Terminal 3, meanwhile, will have to negotiate with Piatco, which have the "absolute power" to reject any service provider and impose on them any terms or conditions, Lim said.

Piatco has already given two of its shareholders —— the Philippine Airport and Ground Services Terminal Inc. (PAGS) and the People’s Air Cargo and Warehousing Co. (Paircargo) – the sole authority to provide ground-handling, air cargo handling, catering, and warehousing services at the Naia Terminal 3.

Lim scored Piatco for trying to parry monopoly charges leveled against it by accrediting three companies supposedly outside its group – PAGS, PAGSGlobearound and Orbit – as service providers.

Lim disclosed that PAGS, a 35-percent stockholder of Piatco, is owned 60 percent by Piatco majority owner Jeffrey Cheng.

PAGSGlobearound, meanwhile, is a wholly owned affiliate of PAGS, while Orbit is 100-percent owned by Friendship Holdings Inc. that, in turn, is 80-percent owned by PAGS.

AIR CARGO AND WAREHOUSING CO FRANCIS LIM FRIENDSHIP HOLDINGS INC JEFFREY CHENG MACROASIA-EUREST CATERING SERVICES INC MAINTENANCE CORP MARCROASIA-MENZIES AIRPORT SERVICES CORP NAIA TERMINAL NAIA TERMINALS PIATCO SERVICES
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