MIAMI – Philippine Airlines (PR) planned codeshare agreement with American Airlines (AA) to grow their respective markets is being delayed by United Airlines (UA), citing an open competition conflict in air travel.
United had delayed and objected to the agreement amid the regulatory proceedings, asking for protectionism from the US of various philippine carriers. By now, PR still needs permission to launch new services in the US and to form a new alliance with AA.
“Deferring action on American’s and Philippine Airlines’ application would be a disproportionate and asymmetrical reaction,” said both PR and AA to the Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the requirements to implement the strategy.
Details of the US-Philipines codeshare deal
United argues that the partnership between AA and other carriers will create an open competition in an air treaty between the US and the Philippines while the slots requested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), a hub of PR, represent fair and equal competition.
According to Forbes, both PR and AA have been asked several times to secure their airport slots at MNL as part of its plans to launch new routes, but airport authorities keep rejecting it, arguing MNL is occupied to full capacity.
United claimed that it would not publicly disclose details while it keeps DOT updated.
Even though the carrier recognizes that both actions are guaranteed in the countries’ treaty, it also said that it does not want other aspects to be recognized for competitors.
American and PR fought back, saying that UA has not shown evidence that the slots requested were assigned to the Asian airline.
Postponed answers by involved parties
In the meantime, the DOT has not ruled on any of the three cases UA delayed because the claims against them do not seem clear yet as they do not specify the magnitude of its services to want that slots in the Asian country and the implications for the other airlines.
In addition to the codeshare delay, PR will see postponed its new service to Seattle, which was set prior to the travel restrictions, planning to launch the service in May.
Until the COVID-19 crisis passes, the situation does not seem to come to a conclusion, especially with UA and AA cutting operations and the later also deferring launches.