"Examples of lack of reciprocity
Now, let me cite a few examples of the consequences of non-reciprocity:
- Seat limitations skewed to favor foreign carriers over local carriers.
The existing agreement between the Philippines and Hong Kong limits local carriers to only 2,500 seats per week on the Hong Kong-Cebu route; Hong Kong carriers get the same number. Under EO 29, Philippine carriers will still be limited to 2,500 per week but all Hong Kong carriers can now fly this route without any limit.
- Exhaustion of air rights in major destinations and routes.
An early EO in 2008 declaring "open skies" sans reciprocity in Clark resulted in Hong Kong Express flying into Clark without limitations. CEB was unable to compete because air rights to Hong Kong were fully utilized at that time. CEB could not use Clark unless it reduced its HK services from Cebu. This was solved only after subsequent bilateral air talks resulted in additional air rights. This undue delay in CEB’s ability to compete with a foreign carrier should not have happened if reciprocity was in place. CEB has been flying to HK every day since and offering the lowest fares out of Clark.
- Inability to offer lower fares to potential high yield tourist markets.
The problem is, how can we now effectively negotiate for reciprocity when we’ve unilaterally opened up our skies already? Who would pay for something that they already got for free? A better way of making policy should be had rather than this.