Why PH tourism needs PAL to fly Boeing 777s
YES, IT will soon be “more fun flying with PAL.” (“Turning PAL around,” Inquirer, 4/17/12)
But that will only come when the US Federation Aviation Administration (FAA) lifts the restrictions imposed on PAL for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s loss of Category 1 status. Indeed a heavy punishment for the flag carrier, though it’s no fault of PAL. The downgrading will not allow PAL to fly the new Boeing 777, forcing the airline to continue operating the old B747s or AB340.
Until the Category 1 status is restored, no item on the air agreement can be altered.
Who, by the way, are the new flyers in the Philippines skies, originally Northwest and Continental which recently had their respective mergers. What happens now to the air agreement?
What is most important is that the Department of Transportation and Communication realizes that the main tourist market for us are the millions of Filipinos in the United States who will always understand our shortcomings but nevertheless still enjoy their visit here immensely. The balikbayan is a very healthy market in all respects, something we cannot guarantee with many of the present visitors who fly the low-cost carriers. Not only does the balikbayan market help the economy, it also fosters great, positive family values.
We have a gold mine in the United States, which is the reason every carrier in the Pacific wants a share of it. There must be a way to get those new Boeing 777s up in the sky soon.
—JUAN JOSE BERENGUER TESTA,
Mondial Tours, Lufthansa, City Center,
18/f Chatham House, 116 Valero
corner Rufino Sts, Salcedo Village,