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Mon 4 Jan 2016 02:39 PM

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Emirates says set to launch new daily flights to Philippines

New services to Cebu, Clark come less than a year after carrier was ordered to stop third daily flight to Manila

Emirates says set to launch new daily flights to Philippines

Emirates Airline will launch a new daily circular service from Dubai to Cebu and Clark in the Philippines, starting March 30, less than a year after being ordered to stop operating a third daily flight to the country.

Using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, this new route will strengthen international connectivity to two of the Philippines’ fastest-growing international hubs, the carrier said in a statement.

The flight announcement comes just months after Filipino airlines called on their government to resist pressure from UAE rivals to increase the number of flights they can operate to the country.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific urged the government to "resist any and all pressure to grant unfair advantage to the airlines of the UAE in the form of unjustified and unnecessary disruptive additional rights to serve Manila" in a statement released in August, prior to talks between the two countries.

Last February, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) in the Philippines fined Emirates and ordered it to stop its third daily flight to Manila following protests by local carriers.

Thierry Antinori, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Emirates, said: “This new service will help to enhance the Philippines’ trade links with the rest of the world and boost incoming tourism, supporting the Department of Tourism’s ‘Visit the Philippines Again 2016’ campaign.

"It will also expand travel options for Filipinos from the Central Luzon region as well as the Visayas region and offer more flexibility for overseas workers departing Philippines or looking for options to fly home,” he added.

The two-class configured Boeing 777-300ER which Emirates will operate on the route offers 42 seats in Business Class and 386 seats in Economy Class.

In terms of cargo, up to 14 tonnes of capacity will be offered in the bellyhold on this service. Popular Philippine exports on this route are expected to be perishables, such as dairy products, fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood and electronic equipment.

Emirates flights to and from the Philippines also cater to the needs of the Filipino market with Filipino-speaking cabin crew on board, and inflight cuisine options with popular Filipino dishes.

Last month, Filipino airline Cebu Pacific was granted extra flights to the UAE in a ruling by the country's Civil Aeronautics Board.

The carrier was granted the right to operate an additional seven flights weekly from Manila to the UAE, which would allow the airline to launch flights to any point in the UAE.

Last month, it was also announced that Etihad Airways will add three new weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Manila from May 1, 2016, offering a total of 17 return flights per week.

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