American Airlines interlines a lot of passengers from Philippine Airlines at Los Angeles. They’re picking up a lot of passengers each day from Manila and sending many of them onward to Manila.
Now American and Philippine Airlines have filed for permission to codeshare.
Under this agreement, American would put its code on PAL flights:
- Manila – Honolulu
- Manila – Guam
- Manila – Tokyo
- Cebu – Tokyo
Philippine Airlines would put its coded on American flights between Los Angeles and:
- Las Vegas
- New Orleans
- Washington DC
About a year ago there was a rumor around American Airlines flying to Manila. I was skeptical at the time because fares tend to be low, and American Airlines had been> reticent to fly ultra long haul routes. (That was before they announced Seattle – Bangalore.) A codeshare operated by Philippine Airlines seems more viable to me, though American is explicitly not seeking to put its code onto PAL services between North America and Manila so perhaps their own long haul flight is eventually in the cards.
LAX-ICN is what I'm expecting, MNL was the "much-more surprising /shocking" one referenced above.
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) March 22, 2019
United Airlines can be expected to push back. United has wanted better landing slots at Manila, and has been frustrated. In response they’ve been pushing back against Philippine expansion into the U.S. This has included PAL Express codeshares on Philippine Airlines Manila – Guam flights and on Philippine’s Manila – Seattle service they’d like to start three times weekly.
Put another way, United wants to punish consumers and competitors because it’s been unable to get what it wants from the Philippine government. United should have more desirable access to the Manila airport, but linking air service to underserved places like Guam is bad for the country.
Personally I’d love to see a reciprocal frequent flyer agreement between American Airlines and Philippine Airlines – while the latter’s business class is far from outstanding, I’ve found award availability to be overall excellent.