Philippine Airlines, soon to fly direct Manila-Saipan, is open to the idea of flying a route through Japan should they be given the authority to do so.
According to PAL senior vice president for airline operations Ismael Augusto Gozon, the route would be subject to negotiations between the two countries.
“So long as we’re given freedom traffic between the two countries, that might be a possibility,” Gozon said.
“But that’s also subject to negotiations between the Philippines, Japan, the Saipan government or the U.S. government in general if that could be given,” he added.
According to Gozon, it all depends on getting rights to fly between the two points: Japan and Saipan.
“If that’s an opportunity for us, obviously we’d like to take it,” Gozon said.
PAL has been given rights to fly between the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan and will start with its Manila-Taipei-Osaka route also in June.
To ensure traffic to and from Saipan and Manila, Gozon said it is important to promote and to know the destination and features of both places as well as have the support of the tourism agencies.
“By having and knowing these things in both countries, we believe that’s what will spur on the travel,” Gozon said.
“The idea for Philippine Airlines is to promote the Philippines as a country—not only Manila as a destination. We have beautiful sceneries in the Philippines and we have asked the Department of Tourism to be our partner in promoting the Philippines to the different parts of the world, Saipan included,” he added.
“For Saipan, we wanted ourselves to be known in this country as linking Saipan to the Philippines,” Gozon added, “In the recent event in the Philippines, we felt the support not only of Century Travel but also of the travel bureau, MVA (Marianas Visistors Authority).”