Philippine Airlines plans to revive flights from Manila to New Delhi via Bangkok, following the success of its triangulated flights from Manila to Osaka and Taipei.
“In the future, we will try to study the possibility of operating in other countries where we have fifth freedom traffic rights,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said.
Fifth freedom is the freedom to pick up passengers and cargo from a foreign country and carry them to a second country, which is the final destination.
“We have some other entitlements. A correct example is we can fly Bangkok to India. We did this a few yeas ago but we stopped. We will again re-assess the profitability of operating this fifth freedom traffic,” Bautista said.
PAL’s flights to New Delhi were stopped in June 2013 amid low demand from local travelers.
PAL started Manila to Osaka and Taipei on June 25 through fifth freedom rights held by the Philippines.
“This is one of our initiatives to take advantage of our existing fifth freedom rights and the first flights until now is quite good. The load [factor] is very encouraging. We are now happy that we are serving the Japanese and Taiwanese market,” Bautista said.
PAL also has a fifth freedom traffic right to Kuwait via Dubai, but the Kuwaiti government does not allow the country’s flag carrier to exercise the entitlement.
“That should also be a good market,” Bautista said.
PAL also flies to New York via Vancouver through fifth freedom rights.
PAL Holdings Inc., the parent company of PAL, earlier reported a net profit of P2.71 billion in the first quarter of 2016, down by 28 percent from P3.78 billion registered in the same period last year.
Revenues rose 4.1 percent in the first quarter to P29.12 billion from last year’s P27.98 billion.
PAL Holdings attributed the increase in revenue to the depreciation of Philippine peso, which averaged 47.27 per US dollar in the first quarter from last year’s 44.42 per greenback.
The company said if the exchange rate had remained at the 2015 level, total revenues would have decreased by P609.6 million.
Passenger revenues rose to P24.65 billion in the first quarter from P23.09 billion in the same period last year. Cargo revenues fell 31 percent to P1.47 billion from P2.14 billion.
Expenses in January to March grew 6.2 percent to P26.2 billion from P24.7 billion last year.