Philippine Airlines, American Airlines launch codeshare partnership – Travelers seeking convenient connections between the Philippines and the United States have a new option with the launch of a codeshare partnership between Philippine Airlines (PAL) and American Airlines (AA). This agreement marks a significant development, coming after the previous proposal faced roadblocks from United Airlines (UAL).

Handout photo from American Airlines

The agreement allows PAL to place its "PR" code on American's flights between Los Angeles and seven U.S. cities: Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, and Washington, D.C. This provides seamless connections for passengers traveling on PAL's trans-Pacific routes.

"This partnership with American Airlines unlocks more options for customers traveling between Asia and the United States," said Eric David Anderson, PAL's Chief Commercial Officer. "We are delighted to deliver on our long-term strategy of continuing to build our global reach. We look forward to creating more opportunities for travellers to discover the wonders of the Philippines."

For American Airlines customers, the partnership opens up access to Manila and Cebu via Tokyo on codeshare flights operated by PAL. Additionally, American customers will be able to fly to Manila from Honolulu and Guam directly.

“We are excited to partner with Philippine Airlines, which will provide our customers seamless connections to Manila, the capital and economic hub of the region, and Cebu, the gateway to countless tropical islands with pristine beaches,” said Anmol Bhargava, American’s Vice President of Global Alliances and Partnerships. “The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, and we look forward to continuing to enhance our partnership with Philippine Airlines.” 

This new codeshare agreement builds upon existing service between the two airlines. Philippine Airlines currently operates twice-daily nonstop flights to Los Angeles, daily flights to San Francisco, and multiple weekly flights to New York, Honolulu, and Guam.

Roadblocks and challenges

The initial proposal for this partnership in April 2020 faced opposition from United Airlines. UAL cited concerns about "unfair" treatment by Philippine aviation authorities regarding slot allocation at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). UAL was seeking additional slots to expand its own service to the Philippines.

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However, the situation has since changed. UAL has launched direct flights from San Francisco and Manila, addressing its initial concerns. This allowed the path for the PAL-AA codeshare partnership to be cleared, with UAL rescinding their protest.