PAL inks LOI with Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines


By Louella Desiderio | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has signed a letter of intent with Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines to explore areas of cooperation, in step with expansion plans in China amid warming relations between the two countries.

“The signing of the letter of intent is a prelude to actual discussions on possible areas of partnership,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said in a text message.

She said the areas of partnership may cover a codeshare agreement or interline agreement.

Under a codeshare agreement, the airlines would have a business arrangement which would allow them to share the same flight.

Through the codeshare agreement, each airline will publish and market the flight under its own airline designator and flight number.

An interline agreement between two airlines, meanwhile, allows passengers to purchase tickets for a segment of the journey from one airline and another segment from the other carrier.

Through the interline agreement, airlines are able to facilitate travel for passengers that need to get on flights with more than one airline to reach the final destination.

The letter of intent of cooperation between PAL and Hainan Airlines was signed during the visit to the Philippines of Liu Cigui, the current Communist Party Secretary of Hainan Province in China.

The visit was intended to help promote greater cooperation between China and the Philippines by encouraging Filipino and Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in both countries.

Earlier, PAL said it is looking to launch more flights to China as part of its expansion plans.

Last April, PAL started offering flights from Chengdu in China to Kalibo and Cebu, which are available four times per week.

Aside from Chengdu, PAL flies to seven other points in China. These are Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Jinjiang, Shanghai, and Xiamen.

PAL currently has flights to 28 domestic and 42 international destinations.