American Airlines & Philippine Airlines Plan Partnership... To Attack United?

Amidst everything that’s going on with the crisis, it looks like American Airlines is intending to launch a new codeshare partnership with Philippine Airlines.


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In the past few months, we have seen American expand its partnership with multiple airlines.

The Airlines:

If you haven’t heard already, Philippine Airlines and United Airlines have been fighting over slot allocations: Why United Airlines Is Attacking Philippine Airlines


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The basic summary of that topic - United Airlines wants to expand in Manila Airport by adding a second daily Guam flight but the authorities that control Manila Airport’s slots are rejecting United’s request. So, United Airlines is asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to reject Philippine Airlines’ upcoming Manila to Seattle flight.

Just a few days ago, American and Philippine Airlines filed for a reciprocal codeshare partnership covering these routes:

American Airlines operated by Philippine Airlines
Cebu – Tokyo
Manila – Guam
Manila – Honolulu
Manila – Tokyo

Philippine Airlines operated by American Airlines
Los Angeles – Atlanta
Los Angeles – Denver
Los Angeles – Houston
Los Angeles – Las Vegas
Los Angeles – Miami
Los Angeles – New Orleans
Los Angeles – Orlando
Los Angeles – Washington

Most notably, American will place its code on Philippine Airlines’ Manila to Guam flight, which is the route United Airlines seeks to increase.


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This is likely speculative, but this seems like an attack on United Airlines as Philippine Airlines and United continue to battle. So, Philippine Airlines decided to bring in American Airlines.

Aside from that, this new partnership is pretty basic as the airlines haven’t planned codesharing for continental U.S. to Asia flights just yet.

This is where it could get a bit more insane… could we see Philippine Airlines join Oneworld?



Recently, All Nippon Airways bought a 9.5% stake in Philippine Airlines, which suggests Philippine could join Star Alliance. However, with United arguing with PAL, that may be unlikely.

Or possibly crazier - could we see American Airlines launch a Seattle to Manila flight instead of Philippine Airlines? American Airlines could receive the necessary slots and approval by both the Manila Airport authorities and the U.S. DOT, so Philippine Airlines could simply codeshare on the route. As American Airlines recently established Seattle as an international gateway and announced flights to Bangalore and London, an American Airlines flight to Manila doesn’t sound so crazy anymore.

Sources/Images

Application - https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOT-OST-2020-0033-0001
PAL A330 - https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/8511257
United 737 - https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9433142
PAL 777 - https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9228024
American 777 - https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/9563380

Overall, the timing of this makes it seem like Philippine Airlines is trying counterattack United, and has decided to bring American with it.

It’s also notable, that despite COVID-19 destroying airlines, American and Philippine Airlines wish to expedite the approval of this partnership:

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What are your thoughts?

12 Likes

This is going to be the battle of the century for sure!

Now American is fighting with both Delta and United 😂. I’m doubtful they can win both battles

This looks pretty fiesty and also a very well done post!

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It’s always been a full or almost full flight. Honestly I don’t really care who will increase frequency on it because they both have good service.

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Did you mention All Nippon Airways? :)

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And here we go. United has responded by saying no.

United hereby submits this answer to the Joint Application of American and Philippine
Airlines (PAL) for Statements of Authorization, Exemptions, and an Amended Exemption to allow
them to provide reciprocal codeshare services between the U.S. and the Philippines. For the
reasons set forth in United’s previous responses to PAL’s recent applications for expanded
authority, United urges the Department to defer action on the American/PAL application until
United’s access issues at Manila have been resolved

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOT-OST-2020-0033-0002

Well, if I am to say so, United is justified in doing so. They’re losing business because of Philippine Airlines and as we see, Philippine Airlines has terminated their flights to United’s hub except for San Francisco. I would actually not be surprised to see if United ends up counterattacking and stops PAL from operating at San Francisco.

However, American Airlines’ is beginning to play a new strategic game. I’m impressed on their team-ups with Alaska and Philippine Airlines and the changes they’re bringing forward.

Philippine Airlines will probably not join any alliance and will continue to operate as an individual airline until ANA sells their stake or till United and PAL have much better relations.

Not so sure they can do this very easily, it’s a really profitable route and with 14 services a week, I doubt the USDOT will force them to end the route. They also operate from separate terminals (although they’re ending all flights from the A concourse and moving them to G), so United can’t really kick them out. And they’re also operating flights to Los Angeles, another United hub.


This is really going a bit too far imo, United is partially justified but I don’t believe they should have a say in who Philippines partners with. I doubt they’ll join an alliance, but I do think we may see a route increase or another route, perhaps Manila-Chicago? Doubtful United will let that happen, but just a guess.

Manila-Chicago probably won’t happen. Neither will Manila-Newark, cause both are major United hubs as well as not very profitable routes from Philippine Airlines.

Yeah, it’s unlikely about the San Francisco thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if United ends up requesting something like that…

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