Philippine Airlines (PAL) is calling on the local airline community to collaborate with the Philippine government in addressing industry concerns enunciated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA).
PAL President Jaime J. Bautista stressed the need for increased cooperation between government regulators and local carriers in facing the challenges of infrastructure, regulatory harmonization and sustainability to be able to cope with IATA’s projected doubling in the volume of air travel within the next 20 years.
Mr. Bautista issued the call at a press briefing during today’s first Philippine Aviation Day celebration held at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel, hosted by the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) in partnership with IATA. Mr. Bautista is ACAP outgoing chairman.
“The 34 million jobs and $700 billion of economic activity supported by aviation across the Asia-Pacific region are expected to more than double in the next 20 years,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO during the recently concluded Assembly of Presidents of the AAPA held in Taipei.
The AAPA summit called for the Philippines and other Asian governments to “commit to further investments” in aviation infrastructure “to avoid unnecessary congestion, delays and inconvenience to the travelling public.”
Mr. Bautista said, “PAL has undertaken initiatives to operate from hubs in Cebu, Clark and Davao to help decongest Manila. We are also seeking to partner with government in expanding NAIA Terminal 2 to be able to accommodate 12 million more passengers.” According to Mr. Bautista, “Parallel action from other local carriers would be necessary” for the country to tap the economic benefits of the industry’s regional growth.
“The realization of these economic benefits is at risk if the region does not address the big long-term challenges of sustainability, infrastructure and regulatory harmonization,” according to Mr. de Juniac. He named Manila, along with Bangkok and Jakarta, as Asian airports that need major upgrades.
The Philippine flag carrier had always supported IATA’s call for sensible legislation that would promote industry growth.
Collaboration among ACAP members is aimed at facilitating adherence to international civil aviation standards.