Lawmaker concerned over airline project-A A +A
Monday, September 17, 2012
CAGAYAN de Oro Representative Rufus B. Rodrigues (Second district) expressed apprehension over the “Project Winter” that an airline company is set to launch in October.
Rodriguez said he already wrote a letter to the top management of the airline company airing his concern.
Philippine Airlines will reportedly launch its “Project Winter” on October 28, 2012.
It was learned that under “Project Winter,” domestic flights of both Philippine Airlines and Air Philippines will be rationalized and that flights to Cagayan de Oro will now be operated by Air Philippines.
In a letter to Philippine Airlines President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang dated September 5, 2012, Rodriguez said that as representative of the second district, he is very much concerned when he learned about the project.
Rodriguez said he have no doubts on the capability of Air Philippines to handle the flight operations to Cagayan de Oro.
However, he believed that flights to the city have to be operated by Philippine Airlines.
According to him, consumers and tourists may get the impression that Cagayan de Oro is not as important as both Davao and General Santos, which are both carried by Philippine Airlines, if the operation will be handled by Air Philippines.
“It will also affect the city’s economic growth as lesser passengers will come to Cagayan de Oro if it is not served by Philippine Airlines,” Rodriguez said in his letter.
Rodriguez also wrote a letter to Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr. as he cited that Cagayan de Oro, being one of the premier cities in Mindanao, is the gateway to Northern Mindanao region where huge influx of tourists, both local and foreign, had been recorded.
The lawmaker believed that Cagayan de Oro is too big a market to hand off to Air Philippines.
He said as the P2-billion Laguindingan International Airport will be opened next year, it will not achieve the status of a truly international airport if the Cagayan de Oro flights are downgraded to Air Philippines instead of the Philippine Airlines.
“I hope the good Secretary bring this matter up with the management of the Philippine Airlines and show them that removing Cagayan de Oro from the route is a big mistake and an anti-Mindanao and anti-Cagayan de Oro,” he said.
Philippine Airlines has yet to issue any statement on the matter.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 18, 2012.