Oh well, here they go again scaring us against “open skies.”
The claim of the Save Our Skies (SOS) that opening the aviation industry would kill domestic airlines simply do not match the numbers.
The “pocket open skies” at Clark is now four years old, and certainly Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have not folded up. In fact, on the contrary, the two main local air carriers never had it so good during these past years. Both continue to post record load factors, sales, passengers and profits.
PAL particularly went out of its receivership last year after its utter failure over a decade ago in mishandling loans and personnel.
Instead of trumpeting this old refrain that local airlines would close shop if foreign airlines fly in, SOS should help prepare domestic carriers for the eventual “open skies” regime. The ASEAN is implementing this policy starting this year among capital cities, and eventually among other major destinations in the 10-nation common market.
Davao’s own effort for a “pocket open skies” to lure more foreign airlines to serve this premier city in southern Philippines had been blocked at Malacanang by this scare tactic. The city’s new airport is now five years old but no new airlines had been added to serve it. Lacking this vital direct airlinks has denied the city more tourists, more trade and better travel routes for Mindanao’s OFWs.