Philippine Airlines fires back at United complaint on new Seattle flights

Feb 22, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Philippine Airlines will not go down without a fight over its proposed service to Seattle, firing back at United Airlines’ request that the service be delayed until the U.S. carrier lands additional slots in Manila.

The Manila-based carrier argues that United’s slot request is “inappropriate” in what Philippine Airlines claims is a standard route authority proceeding, in a response to the U.S. Department of Transportation on Feb. 18.

“The failure to timely grant [Philippine Airlines’] application would be tantamount to a violation of the bilateral air transport agreement,” Philippine Airlines said referring to the treaty that governs flights between the Philippines and the U.S.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

At the center of the dispute is Philippine Airlines’ proposed three-times weekly service between Manila (MNL) and Seattle (SEA) on an Airbus A350. The flights, which are allowed under the two countries’ air services agreement, would be the only nonstop between the two cities.

United sees it differently. In a filing earlier in February, the carrier argued that its repeated efforts to add a second daily flight between its Guam (GUM) hub and Manila have been rejected by local authorities in the Philippines, even as Philippine Airlines has expanded to the U.S.

The Philippine carrier grew its capacity to the U.S. by nearly 29% year-over-year in 2019, according to Cirium schedule data.

“It is in the public interest to grant [Philippine Airlines’] application for additional authority to expand service only when United is able to expand service as well,” United said.

Related: United seeks to block Philippine Airlines’ new Seattle flight

In response, Philippine Airlines pointed out that slots at the Manila airport are handled by a third-party firm based in Australia, and not by the Philippine government. In addition, there is a separate treaty that moderates for international slot disputes.

There is no timeline for when the DOT will rule on Philippine Airlines’ proposed Seattle route. However, Seattle airport officials have indicated that it is unlikely to launch in May as initially planned independent of the dispute.

Philippine Airlines has also not commented on how the coronavirus outbreak has impacted its international expansion plans. The carrier has suspended all flights to mainland China and Hong Kong (HKG) through March 28 as a result of the outbreak.

Related: Philippine Airlines to add new flights to Seattle, Los Angeles

Featured image by FG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.