[The Philippine Airlines will soon resume offering flights from Manila to London, Paris, Rome and other major destinations in Europe.]

MANILA, JULY 15, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Camille Diola - Following the lifting of the European Union (EU) ban on the country's flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL) chief executive Ramon Ang said that travelers can expect daily flights to major European destinations.

Ang said in a television interview that PAL will likely use its entitlements to fly to Europe on a day to day basis starting in October.

"Seven times a week flights to London, seven times a week flights to Paris and other destinations," Ang said.

Ang, who is also CEO of food manufacturing giant San Miguel Corporation, added that PAL flights will be faster than Middle East-based airlines that take 18 to 24 hours from Manila to Europe.

"Our flights will take you 12 to 13 hours one way compared to other airline flights when you still have to wait for several hours in their hubs," Ang said.

The executive is also confident that PAL's ticket prices will be "very competitive" with other airlines, which offer economy seats from Manila to London at $1,200 or about P52,000.

"All these European flights will improve the profitability of the airline. I think it will improve because right now we have all these long range aircrafts such as Airbuses which we have not been able to utilize," Ang said.

The PAL executive said that the airline will soon start to make arrangements from different airports to grant it a slot.

The Philippines has been in EU's blacklist since 2010 after the 28-nation bloc found a "significant safety concern" after a 2009 aviation audit.

EU lifted the ban Wednesday after observing "improvements" in the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, with flag-carrying PAL being the first company allowed back into European skies.

The Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, meanwhile, said that the "good news" announced by the EU will significantly boost tourism and bring 600,000 more visitors from Europe.

"Looking forward, we are optimistic and confident that other Philippine carriers will progress in their committed endeavor to address their respective safety issues that would allow them to gain access to tourist-rich Europe," Jimenez said in a statement Thursday.

EU lifts ban on Philippine Airlines By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated July 10, 2013 - 6:33pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Airlines (PAL) is now allowed to fly back to countries of the European Union (EU) after the 28-nation bloc officially lifted its ban on the Philippines' flag carrier.

"Following improvements in the safety situation in the Philippines, Philippine Airlines is the first airline from this country allowed back into European skies since 2010," a statement posted on the EU website said on Wednesday.

The EU cited the "improved safety oversight provided by the competent authorities" and the ability of PAL to ensure "effective compliance with relevant aviation safety regulations."

The statement added that the lifting of the ban on PAL followed an on-site safety assessment visit last June.

The EU said the ban remains for all other carriers registered in the Philippines. These include: • Aeroequipment Aviation • Air Asia Philippines • Air Philippines Corp. • Air Juan Aviation • Asia Aircraft Overseas Philippines Inc. • Asian Aerospace Corp. • Astro Air International • Ayala Aviation Corp. • Canadian Helicopters Philippines Inc. • Cebu Pacific Air • CM Aero Services • Cyclone Airways • Far East Aviation Services • INAEL Aviation Corp. • Interisland Airlines • Island Aviation • Island Transvoyager • Lion Air • Marco Asia Air Taxi Services • Magnum Air • Misibis Aviation and Development Corp. • Northsky Air Inc. • OMNI Aviation Corp. • Royal Air Charter Services Inc. • Royal Star Aviation, Inc. • South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) International • Southern Air Flight Services • Subic Seaplane, Inc. • WCC Aviation Company • Zest Airways Inc.

Aside from the Philippines, the European Commission also recognized the efforts of the safety oversight authorities of eight other countries to reform their civil aviation system and to improve safety, in order to eventually become able to guarantee the effective application of international safety standards.

These countries include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Libya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Russia and Sudan.

In 2010, the EU prohibited all airlines based in the Philippines from flying in the bloc due to “serious safety deficiencies” in the country’s regulation of carriers.

For the update list of banned carriers in the European Union click here: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/doc/list_en.pdf

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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