As Philippine Airlines is looking to expand its presence on the US territory of Guam following Cebu Pacific's withdrawal from the market, its plans are facing opposition from United Airlines.

According to a filing to the US Department of Transportation made on November 18, the Chicago-based airline is protesting a planned codeshare between Philippine Airlines and its subsidiary PAL Express for additional twice-weekly flights operated by PAL Express on the Manila-Guam route starting March 5, 2020.

In its filing, United stated it has not been able to carry out its growth plans in Manila as Philippine Airlines has been able to increase capacity over the years with new flights between the Philippines and the United States.

Among the issues United pointed out is the carrier being denied “slots and other airport infrastructure necessary for its additional flight plans.”

“Given these facts, United believes that the slot and airport access challenges it has experienced at Manila must be rectified before the Department approves the APC application,” United stated in its filing.

At present, United - which operates 9 weekly flights including a daily non-stop flight on the route - competes with Philippine Airlines' own daily services and Cebu Pacific's thrice weekly service.

The field of three airlines will be narrowed as Cebu Pacific announced during the summer it will end its thrice-weekly Manila-Guam flights starting December 7.

United currently has a majority share of the weekly flights on the route, and around 45% of the capacity offered by the three carriers currently serving the market. 

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