EU lifts air ban on Philippine Airlines


HELLO, EUROPE   Philippine Airlines can now fly to Europe after the European Union on Wednesday partially lifted a ban imposed against Philippine airline companies. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The European Union (EU) has partially lifted the air ban on Philippine Airlines (PAL) paving the way for flights to European countries as early as September or October.

EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux made the formal announcement of the lifting of the air ban along with PAL President and CEO Ramon Ang and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director William Hotchkiss III.

“Today the EU has decided to lift the air ban for Philippine Airlines. The decision will be effective starting Friday, July 12, 2013,” Ledoux said.

“This decision is very encouraging and is a first success for both CAAP and Philippine Airlines,” he said.

Ang said that they are planning to establish direct routes to Paris, London, Rome, and Amsterdam, among others. He cited their recent purchase of new long range aircrafts that can serve direct flights to Europe.

“I think we are entitled to seven flights a week to London, six to seven times a week to Paris and we will have to review our agreement with other countries,” he said.

The first flights to Europe by PAL could begin in September or October, Ang added.

PAL President and CEO Ramon Ang shakes hands with CAAP Director General
William Hotchkiss III as the ban on Philippine Airlines was lifted by
the European Union Wednesday. EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux (left) formally made the announcement along with French Ambassador Gilles Garachon. PHOTO/MATIKAS SANTOS

Philippine airlines were banned from flying to countries in the EU after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) found “significant safety concerns” in the aviation standards of the Philippines.

Philippine carriers have been blacklisted from the EU since 2010.

“Corrective actions were progressively undertaken by CAAP, particularly after the appointment of [Hotchkiss] in June 2012. An assessment by ICAO in October 2012 showed improvements,” Ledoux said.

“In February 2013, a further ICAO audit found that the Philippine aviation authority undertook sufficient corrective actions to meet international norms. This led the UN organization to remove all remaining significant safety concerns in April 2013,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the United States (US) lowered its rating of the Philippines from Category 1 to Category 2 last 2008 preventing the country from expanding its routes to the US.

Present during the announcement are French Ambassador Gilles Garachon, Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq, Romanian Ambassador Valeriu Gheorghe, Czech Republic Ambassador Josef Rychtar, and other Ambassadors from EU member countries.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • dequis

    kausap na ng ninong kong si RAMON ANG ang airbus, omoorder ng isang dozenang airbus 380, pang status symbol ng PAL natin.

  • Fred Cua

    I hope that the government will finally buy PALs proposal of building the Philippines world class airport away from Manila. Bigas na ang lumalapit sa manok eh, ayaw pa.

  • AllinLawisFair

    We wish that PAL could also have flights to the German cities of Duesseldorf or Frankfurt.

    • AlexanderAmproz

      May I remember you,
      Fraport is running the Frankfurt Airport, they know too well the Philippines aviation world partnership business way and Government, only donkeys will forget it…

      • xxxriainxxx

        Very surprising that Fraport did not get fined in the EU for equally being partner to corruption and bribery in the Philippines. That company is as guilty as the government agencies in the Philippines.

    • Diepor

      They should use amsterdam, copenhagen and London.I hope.

      • AlexanderAmproz

        Amsterdam is the most convenient transit Airport,

        Few minutes to down town with a cheap train,

        Amsterdam is a walking city,

        It is one of the most beautiful cultural capital with fantastic exhibits.

        World best coffee shops for Marijuana smokers.

        Some morning caught fresh raw haring’s with shops onions(Dutch kilawin)

        Airplanes coming from Asia are usually landing early morning,

        Take a night flight to your final destination with some chocolates and Dutch ginger-cakes…

      • Diepor

        Its a nice city. The good thing about the airport is that you can still smoke.

      • panhase

        But not Marijihana :)

      • Diepor

        It is not allowed but people still do it when the smoking lounges is not so crowded. Usually its better just to go out on the sidewalk and then go back in.

      • bok

        Gadverdame! !

    • Luthmar

      If I understand it correctly, Frankfurt is included in the route. Thus: Paris, London, Rome, Madrid, Frankfurt and Amsterdam

  • jerry

    Just a reaction to the remarks of most of my kabayans here with regard to the flight attendants, which among others, complain about mga hindi daw maganda ang mga attendants, nakasimangot daw, etc. etc. … Thank you

    May I please request them to open the below link, the highlights of which were below

    ……in short, did what the flight attendants were trained to do: save lives, not make drinks.

    ……the courts ruled that making passengers feel comfortable is not the primary job of a flight attendant.

    ……And, by the way, it’s also not making sure you get a good dinner or a stiff drink the minute you sit down.

    …. Flight
    attendants are there for safety. They are trained for the moment no one
    ever wants to experience, the moment passengers on Asiana Airlines experienced last week at San Francisco International Airport, the moment when safety is all that matters.

    • xxxriainxxx

      Asiana FAs were proven to be topnotch. Cant say the same for its pilots.

  • punto_lang

    They banned the Philippine’s flag carrier for safety concern but thank God there was no incident happened involving PAL. Sometimes the judgement of this big economic countries are pathetic and baseless.

    • xxxriainxxx

      In the whole time that PAL was banned (when it stopped flying to EU in the ’90s anyway_, Air France had a plane crash in Brazil, Moscow Airport was bombed, Polish plane crashes killing its government ministers. Asiana was allowed to fly into EU, and so are other numerous airlines with very spotty safety records like the Chinese airlines, Vietnam Airlines.

      It’s all political. I guess with PAL on the shopping spree for planes, the lifting of the ban was a reward for choosing Airbus over Boeing.

      • punto_lang

        It makes sense my friend.

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