Philippine Airlines urges government to create airport hubs
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - January 1, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Flag carrier Philippine Airlines has asked the government to develop airport hubs to help make the country’s aviation and tourism sectors more competitive than its regional counterparts.

“We’ve seen how our government and the private sector operators are helping to improve our departure and arrival terminals all over the country. We would like to see as well emphasis placed on creating actual airport hubs,” PAL corporate communication vice president Jose Perez de Tagle said.

“When I say this, I’m talking about passengers come in from international airports, from foreign countries who visit the Philippines or balikbayans coming home, and we would have to provide them with seamless travel experience,” he said.

De Tagle said the mindset should not be just about having the passengers arrive in the country, but it should also be to connect them easily, smoothly, and seamlessly between one flight to another.

“In our case we have many flights from the US, Canada, New Zealand, London, Japan and so on, but a lot of these passengers are not actually coming just to Manila or maybe Cebu, but they are actually transferring to a domestic flight or in many cases they are transferring from one international flight to another. So we are trying to make the Philippines a hub for example for Canadians who are going to Singapore, Malaysia, or Thailand. So what we’d like to be able to offer them is an airport terminal and a ground experience that transfers them from one flight to another very, very efficiently,” he said.

“So we’re talking here about terminals that are designed to be hubs, not just departure and arrival ports but transfer points and connection points. So easy gate-to-gate transfer. A lot of shopping, entertainment and relaxation facilities in the terminal. We’d like to ask for planners to include these in their priorities as well,” the PAL official said.

In terms of passenger transfer from one terminal to another, De Tagle said there should be a kind of seamless transportation system, unlike the current system today which makes use of buses.

“That’s not quite efficient. We want to make sure that this allows tourists from Japan, for example, to go all the way to Bohol, to Davao, without any hassle. That is one of the tools which we as airlines can use to promote tourism,” he said.

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