Palace allays fears on open skies policy

January 22, 2011 1:38 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 21 — Domestic airlines will continue to have profitable operations despite the impending liberalization of the airline industry.

This was the assurance given by Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Office Secretary Ramon Carandang, in a press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.

Carandang said measures to protect the interest of local airlines will be included in an Executive Order on the open skies policy that will be issued by President Benigno S. Aquino in a few weeks.

“It will be a pocket open skies (policy),” Carandang said. “What we are trying to do right now is to try to find a balance of liberalizing air transport for the benefit of the public, and at the same time, not dealing a harsh blow to our domestic carriers.

"So, it has to be very measured and very deliberate when we begin to liberalize aviation. And I think, in a few weeks, you will see that EO.”

Carandang said some local airlines have expressed confidence that despite a liberalized environment, they will be able to compete.

He cited Cebu Pacific, in particular. He said they have already begun to compete in other markets besides the Philippines.

“I think they’re confident that when we come out with it, there will be a balance between enhancing the value for consumers and providing an environment that the local airlines can still compete in,” he assured.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Carandang said will most likely retain local airlines control and that there will be open skies for other major airports. (PNA)

LOR/PCOO/ssc

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