Philippines Airlines (PAL) could be leaning towards SkyTeam as its possible global alliance of choice.

During a keynote interview at Routes Asia in Cebu this week, PAL VP sales Ryan Uy talked about the pros and cons of alliance options. PAL remains one of the few legacy flag carriers that is not a member of one of the three major global alliances.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) signed for a  9.5% stake in PAL in February, and ANA is a Star Alliance member.

But Uy stressed that network overlap would be an important factor if it decided to join a global alliance.

“Star Alliance is big, but you see a lot of overlaps in the region. While oneworld tends to work with the strong carriers in each geographic regions. SkyTeam seems to have the least overlap, as they have limited members,” Uy said.

“PAL is keen to enter an alliance, but we are not in a rush and will take our time. We know that you need to have a sponsor and to be invited to the alliance,” he said. “Our plan now is to maximize both our both international and domestic networks.”

Uy said PAL aims to be a Skytrax 5-star airline by 2020. ANA has been awarded the top service rating for six consecutive years.

Uy added that PAL plans to carry 19 million passengers in 2019 and is seriously evaluating new long-haul destinations such as Seattle, Paris and Rome. The airline will add 30% more physical capacity, or 17% more ASK, this summer adding new connections to New Delhi, Phnom Penh and Hanoi as well as more frequencies to established routes in the region.

 Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com