Why United Airlines Is Attacking Philippine Airlines

Video: (Same thing as the text below)

Trying out an “essay” style of posting…

While American Airlines and Delta are fighting over the United States, Europe, and Latin/South American market, United Airlines is currently fighting Philippine Airlines over the Asian market.

United Airlines is upset about Philippine Airlines’ United States expansion as United Airlines has not been allowed to expand in the Philippines. United Airlines has been intending to increase its one-daily Guam to Manila flight to two-daily, however, United’s request has been “repeatedly denied by local authorities”.

United Airlines argues Philippine Airlines should not be allowed to expand its United States flights until United Airlines is able to expand its Philippines flights. As a result, United has requested the United States Department of Transportation to delay Philippine Airlines’ upcoming Manila to Seattle flight. Since the Philippines and the United States currently do not have an open-skies agreement, the Department of Transportation must approve Philippine Airlines’ new flights to the United States before the airline can actually launch them.


(The Philippine Airlines A350-900 set to be used on the Manila to Seattle flight.)

Philippine Airlines’ United States capacity has grown by 29% year-over-year in 2019 and will continue to grow with their upcoming Manila to Seattle and Cebu to Los Angeles flights which are set to begin this May.

While United claims its request to increase flights from Guam to Manila was denied by the Philippine government and the Manila Airport, Philippine Airlines argues Manila Airport’s slots are handled by an Australian firm and not the government.

Currently, there is no estimated time as to when the Department of Transportation will respond to the argument between the two airlines, but Seattle Airport officials believe Philippine Airlines’ Manila to Seattle flight will likely be delayed.


(United uses a 737-800 for its daily Guam to Manila flight.)

While Philippine Airlines currently competes with United’s Manila to Guam flight, United Airlines currently does not fly from the Philippines to the mainland United States.

Image Credits

PAL A350: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aircrafts/40840168680/
United 737-800: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ixetsuei/41097364505

What are your thoughts on this? Should United Airlines be awarded the Manila slot it’s been wanting? Do you believe United Airlines has the right to get the U.S. Department of Transportation to delay Philippine Airlines’ Manila to Seattle flight?

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United’s actions are justifiable, but quite useless in my opinion, because they don’t even have a large hub at Los Angeles or even a hub at Seattle.

Now, if they were launching a flight to Chicago or San Francisco, I think they could contest it since that could possible take away their passengers flying to or coming from Asia. But, United doesn’t even have a flight to Cebu, and Manila is mostly just controlled by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific with the majority of connecting traffic to Asia with them. United has 1 flight to Manila and it’s not like they’re that big in Asia anyways.

These disputes are usually one of the toughest things about working in this industry. Some may feel that the DOT should hold off granting more flight rights to the Filipinos until UA gets its slot in MNL while others would argue that the markets served by United and PAL differ vastly I.e United doesn’t connect Manila to the Continental USA so in a way they wouldn’t have more direct competition from PAL. Tricky for sure but it’ll be interesting to see how this dispute is solved.

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