Philippine Airlines (PAL) is offering flights to Dubai for the first time in 15 months after signing a codeshare agreement with Emirates. The move comes as the airline seeks to expand its links with other carriers.

From 1 September, PAL will offer seats on each of Emirates' thrice weekly services between Manila and Dubai. The deal also marks PAL's first new codeshare since the implementation on 4 June of the debt-ridden carrier's rehabilitation plan.

PAL says it is in talks with "Philippine, US, European, Middle Eastern and Asian carriers" to establish more partnerships of a similar nature. The Philippine carrier already codeshares with Malaysia Airlines and Egypt Air. It is seeking "to reintegrate itself into the global airline community".

Before entering receivership in June last year, with debts exceeding $2.2 billion, PAL had codeshares with Canadian Airlines, Garuda and Vietnam Airlines and pool agreements with Japan Airlines and Lufthansa. The carrier has now radically shrunk its fleet and route network and operates 22 aircraft. It has restarted debt payments and received a $200 million cash injection from private investors.

Flight International's sister on-line service Air Transport Intelligence (ATI) reports that the main shareholder in Air Philippines plans a domestic airline to challenge PAL. Plastics tycoon William Gatchalian aims to launch the airline as Philippine International Airways, or PhilAir, later this year, using Boeing 737-200s.

Source: Flight International