The US Department of Transportation has granted the application of Cebu Pacific to fly to the United States, after the restoration of the Philippines’ Category 1 air safety status.
Cebu Pacific was previously restricted from flying to the US after the Federal Aviation Administration downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 six years ago. Only Philippine Airlines currently provides the transpacific service.
The US transportation department issued on notice on June 5, 2014, removingt a provision that Cebu Pacific can only conduct operations in the US through a wet lease agreement. This type of agreement, where another airline would lease a carrier’s plane and crew, is typically used to serve locations where it is banned from operating.
The US notice said Cebu Pacific was originally granted the authority to fly to the US under a wet lease condition while the Philippines was rated Category 2 under the FAA’s safety assessment programme, or IASA.
The Category 1 status was restored in early April 2014 following an audit that recognised the reforms conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.
The FAA has now announced that the Philippines has achieved IASA Category 1 status, and Cebu [Pacific] has accordingly sought amendment of its authority to remove the wet lease restriction.
The FAA said there is no reason why the US should act unfavourably on Cebu Pacific's request.