Etihad, Philippine Airlines Ink Landmark Agreement

April 30--The MoU lays the foundation for a renewed partnership agreement that will deliver a comprehensive range of commercial benefits to the airlines and their customers.

Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines, or PAL, have signed a memorandum of understanding that marks a new era of cooperation between the flag carriers.

The MoU lays the foundation for a renewed partnership agreement that will deliver a comprehensive range of commercial benefits to the airlines and their customers. Included in its scope are codesharing, frequent flyer reciprocity, airport lounge access, air pass agreements, and cargo cooperation.

Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer James Hogan said the MoU with PAL is an important milestone in the long-standing relationship between the two flag carriers as well as ties between Abu Dhabi and the Philippines.

"Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines have a history of successful cooperation on the Abu Dhabi-Manila route," he said.

PAL president and COO Ramon S. Ang said: "We are very happy to seal this partnership with Etihad, a respected global carrier. This relationship will go a long way in providing our combined customer base a much more enhanced set of travel options. This also comes at an opportune time for PAL which is in the thick of a fleet modernisation and expansion program that will see the flag carrier pushing further not only into the Middle East but also on other parts of the globe using a modern fleet of aircraft."

Hogan said: "The MoU symbolises our shared commitment to growing the passenger and cargo market between the UAE and Philippines and fostering closer diplomatic, trade and cultural ties."

Hogan and Ang both said they each hope a closer partnership between the two brands would make them first choice for the more than 700,000 Filipinos who live in the UAE and who account for much of the traffic on the Abu Dhabi-Manila route each year. They spoke also about increasing the number of leisure travellers to the Philippines -- in particular from the Middle East and Europe.

"The Philippines is one of the world's best-kept secrets with great appeal to travellers from overseas. We are committed to working with the Philippine Airlines team and the Philippines tourism industry to bring more overseas visitors to their country and to increase the economic benefits of tourism," Hogan added.

Copyright 2014 - Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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