UNITED Airlines, Inc. filed its opposition to plans by Air Philippines Corp. (APC), also known as PAL Express, to codeshare with parent company Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) on services between Manila and Guam.

In a document published by the US Department of Transportation (DoT) on Nov. 18, United said it “objects to the application” of APC for a statement of authorization allowing it to display the airline designator code of its parent PAL on scheduled flights between Manila and Guam that the Philippine carriers plan to introduce in March.

United requested the DoT to “defer action” on APC’s request which was filed on Nov. 6.

“United objects to the application to the extent it seeks benefits that are currently being denied to United and its customer base,” the American carrier said in its communication to the DoT.

United, which currently operates flights between Guam and Manila, said it also wants to “increase its Philippine service by an additional daily flight” at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, but it has been “refused slots and other airport infrastructure necessary for its additional flight plans.”

“Philippine carriers have increased capacity to the US. For example, PAL has increased US-Manila flights by 25%, seats by 30%, and available seat miles (ASMs) by 35%,” it noted.

United said the Philippine carrier also launched New York-Manila service in late 2018 and “added frequencies in the Los Angeles-Manila and San Francisco-Manila markets.”

It said the slot and airport access challenges it has experienced in Manila “must be rectified before the Department approves” the APC’s application.

In its request filed on Nov. 6, as published by the DoT, APC said: “APC and PAL intend to introduce code-sharing on Manila-Guam flights operated by APC beginning on or about March 5, 2020, and APC requests prompt approval of this application to facilitate PAL’s earliest possible marketing and sales services.”

“APC requests that the code-sharing statement of authorization remain in effect indefinitely, consistent with the Department’s standard practice pertaining to code-sharing statements of authorization,” it added.

APC said its parent PAL already “holds necessary economic authority” to engage in a code-sharing arrangement, noting that it has a foreign air carrier permit from the DoT which allows it to transport persons, property, and mail between the Philippines and Guam.

PAL did not immediately respond when asked to comment. — Arjay L. Balinbin