Trader lauds planned PAL, Chinese airlines partnership

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Laus Group of Companies Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Levy Laus lauded the planned partnership between Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines, Monday, July 31.

According to reports, PAL, the Philippine flag carrier signed a letter of intent with Hainan Airlines to explore areas of cooperation, in line with China’s $1.4-trillion “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) where Hainan Province will be connected to Manila via a maritime belt.

Laus, also chairman emeritus of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., was part of eight signatories of a BRI trade agreement on July 21 at Makati Shagrila Hotel, where he signed a historic deal with one of China’s renowned automotive brands -- Haima, which the Laus Auto Group exclusively distributes in the Philippines.

Earlier, Laus noted of China’s BRI as not only encompassing trade exchanges but to promote tourism as well, since Hainan province, with a population of about 10 million, is only about two hours by plane.

“And Hainan has Hainan Airlines, which the Province of Hainan announced would make direct flights to Manila and possibly Clark,” Laus said.

“Hainan province is the home base of our Haima. Now it can be said, the signing ceremony last July 21 at Makati Shangrila in which Haima Philippines was one of the eight company signatories, is not just a historic ceremony. Haima Philippines is moving to the same direction to fulfill commitments on that historic day,” added Laus.

Hainan officials led by Haikou City Mayor Ni Qiang of the Haikou Municipal People’s Government, also signed an agreement with the Philippine Ports Authority for the direct shipment of trade merchandize, both import and export, from Manila to Hainan and vice versa, he said.

PAL and Hainan Airlines inked the letter of intent of cooperation during the visit to the Philippines of Communist Party Secretary of Hainan Province in China Liu Cigui, to help promote greater cooperation between China and the Philippines by encouraging Filipino and Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in both countries.

Meanwhile, the same report noted that the letter of intent is an initial step to actual discussions and exploratory talks between the two airlines. “The signing of the letter of intent is a prelude to actual discussions on possible areas of partnership.”

The areas of partnership may cover a codeshare agreement or interline agreement. Under a codeshare agreement, the airlines would have a business arrangement which would allow them to share the same flight. Through the codeshare agreement, each airline will publish and market the flight under its own airline designator and flight number.

An interline agreement between two airlines, meanwhile, allows passengers to purchase tickets for a segment of the journey from one airline and another segment from the other carrier.

Through the interline agreement, airlines are able to facilitate travel for passengers that need to get on flights with more than one airline to reach the final destination. (JTD)
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