PAL wants more flights to South Korea


By Miguel R. Camus | Philippine Daily Inquirer

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines wants to increase flights to South Korea, the top source of tourists visiting the country.

PAL, in a regulatory filing to the Civil Aeronautics Board, said it was seeking additional flight entitlements in line with an existing services agreement between the Philippines and Korea.

Specifically, PAL wants an additional 1,730 weekly seats (15,500 in total) from Jan. 1-Feb. 18, 2017. From Feb. 19, 2017 and beyond, the carrier is seeking an additional 1,270 weekly seats, or a total of 16,770 seats.

If granted, the added capacity will help the carrier meet expected higher demand, ahead of the busy summer season. The CAB said in the filing that a hearing on the matter was set for Jan. 10, 2017.

Visitors from South Korea far outstrip those coming from other areas when it comes to tourist arrivals in the Philippines.

Latest data from the Department of Tourism showed that Korean visitors from Jan. to Sept. 2016 hit 1.1 million, accounting for almost a quarter of all tourist arrivals.

Visitors from the United States came in second, numbering 636,015 for the nine-month period last year.

The Philippines and South Korea held air talks in late 2015, increasing entitlements by 3,000 seats per week.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla had said those talks increased seats per week to a total of 31,500.