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Old July 18th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #261
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Kalibo airport soon to cater to 9 int'l flights

The Kalibo International Airport (KIA) will soon serve nine direct international flights weekly, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)-Kalibo.


CAAP-Kalibo manager Engr. Percy Malonesio said that a direct plane flight from Seoul, South Korea will be landing again in the airport on July 27.

The China Eastern Airlines is also expected to land at the KIA soon.

“Aside from these flights, the Mandarin Airline still continue to land in Kalibo directly from Taipei in Taiwan,” said Malonesio.

Most of the passengers are bound to Boracay Island.

The CAAP-Manila has restricted the landing of airlines to the nearby Caticlan Airport because of the short runway posing risk to the passengers. Because of this, other airline companies such as the Cebu Pacific, Zest Air and the Philippine Airlines have rerouted their passengers to the KIA.

Only the Southeast Airlines (SEAIR) is allowed by the CAAP to land in Caticlan Airport.

Airline companies that rerouted their flights to KIA have provided free shuttle facilities for tourists bound to Boracay.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 01:30 AM   #262
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If these deals with the UK does fall through, along with the other deals with the countries mentioned above like Singapore, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates; and PAL decides to fly using its equipment to the UK, what could be the possible routings from and in between the UK and the RP and what equipment might PAL use?

I would guess, if we are still under restrictions from the US, that the 777s would be the most probable choice, but can PAL's 777s make a non-stop run from MNL-to the UK or would they decide to make a stop over in any of the Middle East countries. It seems that it would be great for PAL if they can catch some of these markets between the Europe-Mid East-Asia market.

Possible routings from the UK to MNL.

Via Mid. East Countries. Also some of the airlines such as Etihad, Emirates, Gulf Air, Saudia, Qatar Airways etc. that already service MNL or codeshare with PAL, and or the possibilities of more codeshare agreements with PAL? I put Gatwick or Heathrow, because either ways Gatwick is an alternative from the crowded and slot-limited LHR. I also put in the possibilities of Mactan-Cebu Int., why not? It is a tourist destination, it is a gate way to the mostly tourist destinations in the southern and central Philippines, and PAL can easily make the less than 2 hour connection from CEB to MNL. Off subject, but I honestly thought PAL should do a 2x a week LAX-CEB-(MNL) aside from the LAX-MNL daily, might win back some passengers who use CX that route from LAX-HKG-CEB.

LHR/LGW-DXB-MNL/CEB
LHR/LGW-AUH-MNL/CEB
LHR/LGW-DOH-MNL/CEB
LHR/LGW-KWI-MNL /CEB
LHR/LGW-BAH-MNL/CEB

And or possibly Muscat in Oman? I can't remember, but I do believe that PAL used to fly to Muscat in Oman. Can't remember if it was by codeshare or their own equipment.

From the UK via Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, or Kuala Lumpur.

LHR/LGW-SIN-MNL
LHR/LGW-BKK-MNL
LHR/LGW-HKG-MNL
LHR/LGW-KUL-MNL


la lang... made me think about the inevitable possibilities in the near future. would be nice noh? i'm so thrilled and excited about it. it truly puts PAL back to its former days and the possibilities of whats in store in the near future.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #263
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Kalibo International closes airport
Cancels 16 domestic and international flights

July 20, 2009

KALIBO – The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) ordered the closure of Kalibo International Airport (KIA) yesterdayfrom 4 p.m. until 7 a.m. today after loose asphalt debris was reported floating on the recently resurfaced-runway causing cancellation of flights and stranding more than 3,000 domestic and international passengers.

Flight Safety.
CAAP ordered the closure of the airport as a precautionary measure to avoid aircraft accident resulting to Foreign Object Debris (FOD) on the runway, the same runway object that caused the crash of Concorde in Paris, France in 2001.

The asphalted aggregates that was recently laid to the runway the night before was known to have disintegrated by the weight of the aircraft after it made its landing roll early morning Sunday.

Improper curing of the resurfaced runway was attributed to weather conditions causing it to break and disintegrate says Percy Malonesio, Kalibo airport manager. The airport experienced heavy downpour earlier affecting the bonding strength of the laid asphalt.

FOD is any object that does not belong to the airplane, and includes object such as animals and birds, stones and other aircraft parts that can result to aircraft damage, or engine ingestion resulting to engine damage or instability of flight that might cause accident, or airport and airline personnel injury.


After the Concorde crash in 2001, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued a guideline to all regulatory aviation bodies (FAA Advisory Circulars 150/5380-5B, Debris Hazards at Civil Airports, and 150/5370-2C, Operational Safety on Airports During Construction) requiring a daily, daylight inspection of airplane maneuvering areas and removal of FOD.

The airport closure is necessary to clean and repair the damaged areas says Malonesio who promises to reopen the airport at 7AM today.



Cancelled Flights.

Cancelled flights were three Kalibo-bound flights of Zest Air, namely Flights Z2-875, Z2-883 and Z2-897, all of which were supposed to depart the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 2:20 p.m., 3:40 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Three return flights to Manila, Z2-874, Z2-882 and Z2-896 -- scheduled to arrive at NAIA at 4 p.m., 6:20 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. respectively -- were also cancelled.

Also cancelled were four flights of Philippine Airlines, namely PR-324, PR-325 and PR-326, which were supposed to leave NAIA at 3:45 p.m., 4:05 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively. Another flight, PR-323, left NAIA at 1:07 a.m. but was diverted to Iloilo airport and was now on its way back to Manila.

Seven Kalibo-bound Cebu Pacific flights were also cancelled, 5J-341, 5J-343 and 5J-345, set to leave NAIA 3 at 3:30 p.m., 4:25 p.m. and 5:10 p.m. on Sunday. Three return flights to Manila, 5J-338, 5J-342, 5J-344 and 5J-346 -- the last three which were to arrive early Sunday evening -- were also cancelled.

Michelle de Guzman, Cebu Pacific corporate communications manager, said they had two extra flights yesterday to accommodate the passengers of their three Manila-bound flights affected by the airport closure.

Cebu Pacific had seven flights from Manila to Kalibo and their returning flights, and one flight from Cebu to Kalibo and its returning flight that were cancelled.

International flights to Taiwan and Korea was also cancelled due to the airport closure.

Traffic diversion.

Kalibo airport has seen busy operations lately after much of Caticlan passenger traffic was diverted by major domestic airlines in July 9, 2009 after its runway was shortened by CAAP to avoid another accident at the airport. PAL, Cebu Pacific, and Zest were protesting new airport guidelines being implemented in neighboring Caticlan airport in Aklan.

Airlines complained of the landing weight limitations imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). The CAAP designated the Caticlan airport as a one-way airport, which means take-off should be towards the sea, and landing in the opposite direction.

New International flights.
In another development, Malonesio disclosed that Kalibo will soon serve nine direct international flights weekly from the airport with new flights and airline operators. Zest Air and Asiana will be introducing direct flight from Seoul, South Korea from July 27 while China Eastern Airlines is expected to land at the KIA before the end of the year.

“Aside from these flights, the Mandarin Airline still continue to land in Kalibo directly from Taipei in Taiwan,” said Malonesio.

Kalibo International Airport has the following International airlines as operators--- Mandarin Airlines, China Airlines, and soon to be Asiana and China Eastern. Of the local airlines, PAL, CEB and Zest, only Zest Airways flies international flight out of Kalibo to Seoul, South Korea. Most of the passengers are bound to world famous Boracay Island.

First foreign airline.
Kalibo International witnessed the arrival of its first international airline in June 14, 2008 when the maiden flight of Mandarin Airlines from Taipei, Taiwan touched down the Kalibo International Airport Saturday. Boeing 737-800 flight AE7265 left Taipei at 4:20 PM. and reached Kalibo at 6:40 PM.

Mandarin Airlines’ supervisor for passenger handling Richard Ma said many Taiwanese want to visit Boracay Island. “They like to travel to the Philippines because the service standards are very good,” Ma added.

The Mandarin Airlines’ Kalibo-Taipei flight is the fourth Philippine destination of the airline. It also has flights from Taipei to Cebu, Subic and Laoag. Established on June 1, 1991, the Mandarin Airlines services regional short-haul international and domestic routes.

Its second international operating airline is China Airlines which landed at the airport in November 27, 2008. The E-190 flight CI-7913 with 90 passengers arrived at 9:30AM and operates on a twice a week service.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 04:52 PM   #264
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High fuel, hedging costs take toll on PAL earnings
By Zinnia B. Dela Peña Updated July 21, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Earnings of airline companies worldwide, including flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), took a nosedive this year as rising fuel prices and weak demand created an unprecedented crisis for the industry.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, PAL said it booked total comprehensive and mark-to-market losses of $301 million for its fiscal year ending March 2009, mainly due to high fuel and hedging costs.

In recent months, major airlines have also reported massive losses due to their fuel-hedging contracts mainly aimed at shielding them from volatile oil prices. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific reported record annual losses of $1.1 billion in 2008 while Japan Airlines posted a net loss of $673 million in 2008-2009. Thai Airways lost $628 million for 2008 and Korean Air a whopping $1.5 billion also last year.

In spite of these tough economic challenges, PAL managed to post a nine-percent rise in its revenues to $1.63 billion at the end of its fiscal year, driven by higher passenger revenues. Increased seat demand enabled PAL to carry 8.95 million passengers during the year – 17 percent higher than the previous level.

Passenger load factor was at 76 percent, with aircraft cabins filled up by Mabuhay Miles frequent flyers, overseas Filipino workers and balikbayan traffic.

Total expenses went up 23 percent to $1.93-billion, largely due to high fuel cost. PAL continues to keep operating expenses in check but fuel remains its most volatile expense.

In an effort to ride out the crisis, PAL has engaged in various product and service enhancements. It introduced “WAY TO GO” and “Seat All You Can” – two new low-fare promos aimed at boosting travel even during the lean months of the year.

PAL is also reconfiguring all its B747-400 aircraft under a $50-million refurbishment program to incorporate a bi-class cabin layout. The new design features lie-flat seats in business class and brand new ergonomically-designed seats all from Recaro of Germany. Passengers in both business and economy sections will likewise enjoy the new, state-of-the-art entertainment systems with individual LCD screens per passenger.

By November 2009 and January next year, PAL will take delivery of two new and more fuel-efficient B777-300ER aircraft.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 01:45 AM   #265
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EDITORIAL - Stranded in Boracay
Updated July 21, 2009 12:00 AM

Adventurous types may consider being stranded on a resort island part of the appeal of visiting developing countries. But the typical tourist will be dismayed by the inconvenience of being stranded overnight, even in scenic Boracay, because flights can’t land or take off while the airport tarmac is being repaired.

Boracay is one of the most developed tourist destinations in the country. But access to the popular island resort, with its beaches of powdery white sand, has not matched the pace of development in terms of accommodations, telecommunications and forms of entertainment.

Last month a plane overshot the short runway in Caticlan, which is the airport nearest to Boracay. This prompted the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to designate Caticlan as a one-way airport, consequently shortening the portion of the runway that could be used. Airlines with planes too big for the runway moved all their operations to the alternative airport in Kalibo, which is a two-hour drive from Caticlan.

With only one airport left for the thousands of people visiting Boracay, aviation authorities closed the Kalibo airport last Sunday afternoon, citing the runway’s “damaged asphalt” as the reason. The closure forced the cancellation of 14 Kalibo-bound flights. Another flight was diverted to Iloilo before being made to return to Manila.

Safety comes first, and aviation authorities can argue that a damaged runway can put planes at risk on landing or takeoff. But the incident should give urgency to the upgrading of the country’s airports, especially those serving busy destinations such as Boracay.

The country is already lagging behind its neighbors in the quality of international airport facilities. The most recent effort to add a third terminal at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport remains bogged down in litigation. Portions of Terminal 3 were crumbling from disuse when it was finally opened. NAIA is the principal gateway to the Philippines. If upgrading it is such a Herculean task for the government, smaller airports such as those in Kalibo and Caticlan should pose less of a challenge.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 03:57 PM   #266
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PAL Reports $301 Million loss for 2008
Blames fortune on costlier jet fuel

By Darwin G Amojelar
July 21, 2009
PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) said it posted a net loss in the fiscal year ending March this year due to higher fuel expenses.

The Lucio Tan-owned airline company said net loss amounted to $301 million in the fiscal year ending March from a net profit of $30.6 million in the same period last year.

The country’s flag carrier said revenues rose by almost 10 percent to $1.6 billion during the period.

The airline carried close to nine million passengers during the year, which was nearly 20-percent higher than the previous year. It had a load factor of 76 percent.

PAL’s total expenses at end-March this year were higher by 20 percent compared with the previous year as a result of high fuel cost.

In the third quarter ending December, PAL reported a net loss of $219.86 million due to mark-to-market losses from its fuel hedging contracts.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Asian carriers, which included PAL, would register a total estimated industry loss of $10 billion for 2008.

By end 2009, PAL is expecting the arrival of its two, brand new and fuel-efficient B777-300ER aircraft from Boeing Co., Seattle , USA .

Earlier, PAL Holdings Inc. said Trustmark—the majority shareholder of the company—will repurchase up to $143 million zero-coupon notes and bilateral loans due in 2011.

Trustmark owns 84 percent of PAL Holdings.

PAL Holdings’ notes due in 2011 amounted to $160 million while loans outstanding reached $60 million.
The company’s debts will be repurchased between $50 and $58 million, including an early tender premium of $3 million from the price of $47 million to $50 million.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 03:59 PM   #267
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PAL troubled by Flight Cancellations on its Long Haul Routes
Obsolete image

By Juan Mercado

SAN FRANCISCO—“See for yourself,” the Philippine Airlines friend suggested. “Those digs about ‘plane always late’ or shabby service are history.”

They are?

PAL’s slogan is “Asia’s first airline.” Historically, that’s right on the button. It is equally true that early monopoly and avarice dissipated that edge. So were our leads in education, public health, a free press, etc.

Thus, for three decades that shabby reputation saw us and others keep PAL at arm’s length. We hop-scotched all over Asia then as a United Nations officer, invariably on other carriers. For flights to the United States, parents’ passes came from a son, a Northwest Airlines pilot.

“Before our knees give way, let’s revisit grandkids in San Francisco,” we told the wife. From jobs in different time zones, children were gathering there. They gifted us with round-trip business class tickets for July 10 on PAL.

We’re grateful they did. Our obsolete image of PAL crumbled on this trip. The airline has reacquired its competitive edge. Most staffers were efficient and warm. Food wasn’t the slop that one dimly remembered.

We almost missed this tutorial, though. Blame soured booking. “Your parents must fly on July 12 instead,” the lady told our son when he paid for the tickets. She garbled scheduling, and her costing math flopped.

That meant just an additional thousand pesos. Or was it two? “May I pay the excess recomputed fare in dollars?” our son asked. No, snapped the lady. Her attitude was: that’s your worry.

“Nada te turbe / Todo se pasa,” Teresa of Avila says. Let nothing disturb you/ All things are passing.” A sour lemon turns up in every bushel.

Swift fouled-up baggage recovery in San Francisco dulled that acrid experience. Jet lagged, I hefted a similar-looking but wrong bag from the carousel.

“No problem, sir,” said the young man on our return to PAL’s counter. “It will be up in 10 minutes,” he cheerfully added.

And it was. “The wrong bag?” he asked. Our daughter called the name stenciled on the bag. Ms (name deleted) picked it up.

“That’s my ex-wife,” the PAL official said with a wry smile. It’s all in the family. How Pinoy.

That’s a good landing, for a flight that took off 15 hours late. “Don’t worry, sir,” PAL called early on. “You’re rebooked for tomorrow.” They e-mailed the new ticket within half an hour.

Was it yesterday when Garuda’s man at Sukarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta said: “Your 8 a.m. flight is delayed until 4 p.m.” “Today or tomorrow?” we asked. Haryono Suyono, who became minister in President Suharto’s government, explained the mess: “Garuda means great airline under Dutch administration.”

“Punctuality is the courtesy of kings,” Louis XIII once said. A mint-new President Corazon Aquino stunned meetings by coming on the dot. Imelda Marcos would sweep in one or two hours late. That’s “Filipino time.”

“What’s that?” a UN colleague asked. He was being posted in Manila. “It’s like daylight saving time. Only it operates backwards.”

From “15 Ways To Beat Filipino Time,” we read to him “Learn algebra.” He looked puzzled. “If x is the time to leave the house and ETA is the estimated time of arrival, then x = ETA plus one hour and a half.”

Other suggested methods: (a) “Conserve water. Don’t take too long in the shower.” (b) “The first call you’ll receive is not a signal to leave the house. It means you’re already 30 minutes late.” (c) “Avoid the photo-finish arrival. That’s five minutes before the person waiting for you decides to go home.”

But it doesn’t work in airlines, business and 21st-century transactions. Time is money. Delays can swamp firms in red ink.

Flying from Japan’s $2.6-billion Ibaraki Airport costs less, Forbes magazine notes. But what passengers gain in money, they lose in time. It takes an hour and a half to reach Ibaraki by train and bus from central Tokyo. You can fly from Haneda to Sapporo in that time.

On the bullet train’s 40th anniversary, the company apologized for registering an average delay of six seconds. Japan Airlines worried that recent mishaps may have stemmed, “in part, from its excessive focus on keeping to schedule,” The New York Times reported.

“Japanese should relax... But they rush to catch a train even if another is coming in two minutes,” notes Shigeru Haga, professor of transportation at Rikkyo University. “There is no flexibility in our society; people are not flexible, either.”

Is there on the Pinoy side of the spectrum “extreme flexibility”? Why do Filipinos abroad show up on time and meekly line up? At home, we jump queues in movies, malls, parking lots—even when receiving Holy Communion. Perhaps, the shrinks can tell us.
“Northwest Airlines had the best on-time performance among US legacy carriers over the last two months, followed by Hawaiian Airlines, the US transport department says,” I told our NWA pilot-son as he greeted us in San Francisco. “Congratulations.”

He waved that aside with a joke. “Probably, it’s because we don’t take off on Filipino time?”

(E-mail: [email protected])

Connecting Flight that never arrived
Caused Travel headache for 141 passengers at airport


RICHMOND - About 141 passengers spent a long day at the Vancouver International Airport. A Philippine Airlines flight that was supposed to come in from Las Vegas and connect in Vancouver -- never made it due to mechanical [engine flameout] issues.

The passengers were told to stay in the airport because their luggage and paperwork has already been processed.

Arrangements were finally made to fly them out of Vancouver and to Manila at about 1:55 a.m. on Saturday. The original flight was supposed to land late Friday night, it then got delayed to 6 a.m. Saturday. [The Las Vegas plane never came. They were carried from another flight coming from Manila].

Technical Problems haunts PAL's Long Haul operations
By Simon Hradecky
July 11, 2009
Vancouver (Canada) - Philippine Airlines Airbus A340-300, registration RP-C3430 from Manila (Philippines) to Vancouver,BC (Canada), was overhead the Pacific when the crew decided to shut one of the four engines down. Oakland Oceanic Control advised Vancouver about the shut down at about 20:00Z. When the crew checked in with Vancouver center, they advised no assistance and emergency services were needed. The airplane landed safely on Vancouver's runway 26R 83 minutes later.

The Canadian TSB reported on Jul 20th, that the crew noticed a low oil pressure indication for engine #3 (inner right, CFM56) and shut the engine down. Maintenance found oil droplets at the lube pump filter drain during an engine spin. The plug was re-tightened, the engine checked with no metal found in the oil, an engine run performed without any leaks, and the aircraft returned to service.

---
Additional notes:
The A343 stayed in Las Vegas for two days for mandatory repair works before it flew back home.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 04:00 PM   #268
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Cebu Pacific expects to post profit this year
As it reels away from $30 million loss in 2008

Written by Lenie Lectura
22 July 2009

GOKONGWEI-LED Cebu Pacific may post a turnaround this year from a net loss of P3.26 billion last year, despite forecasts of a bleak second-half performance.

In a talk with reporters yesterday, Cebu Pacific president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said passenger traffic and revenues both grew from the period January to June this year. But the remaining months of the year could be “tough,” he said.

“Our revenues for the first half of the year grew by about 20 percent. We are profitable,” said Gokongwei. The airline is due to report its financial performance next month.

He said Cebu Pacific is “very close” to meeting its target of 9 million passengers this year. In fact, passenger traffic grew by 30 percent to 4.4 million since the start of the year until June, registering 4.4 million. Gokongwei said this was aided by the removal of fuel surcharge for both domestic and international flights. Cebu Pacific passengers now pay only for the fare and government taxes.

“Consumers are price sensitive. When you reduce the prices, definitely more will avail. The market, in fact, grew by 30 percent,” said Gokongwei.

The airline celebrated its first-year anniversary of moving its entire operation to Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) yesterday. The transfer of its domestic and international operations bodes well for the airline as it resulted in a 23-percent passenger growth in 2008. “We expect to increase our passenger numbers from 9 million this year to 15 million in 2013,” he added.

Cebu Pacific transported 6.74 million passengers last year. With more planes arriving, coupled with cheaper fares, the airline is confident that it will report a net profit this year.

While Gokongwei acknowledged that the remaining months of the years could be challenging to Cebu Pacific, he is nonetheless confident that the airline will post profit this year.

“The next six months is going to be tough. We expect that because there’s off-peak season, higher fuel prices and low yields. But we still expect to be profitable,” said Gokongwei. Fuel cost is the single-largest cost for Cebu Pacific.

Cebu Pacific currently operates 21 brand-new aircraft from the A320 family with an average fleet age of just 1.9 years. It expects the delivery of two ATRs this year and two Airbus planes next year.

“We expect 15 more Airbus to be delivered from 2011 to 2014. But for this year until 2014, 17 Airbus and two ATRs will come in,” said Gokongwei.

The airline is also looking at new routes this year, particularly Brunei. “We applied for rights to fly to Brunei. We are also looking at additional routes in Japan and in South Korea,” added Gokongwei.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 07:11 PM   #269
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problema sa PAL, medyo limitado ang long haul fleet nila kasi. kunte lang available aircrafts na long-haul nila at ginagamit to the max. kailangan talaga yung mga 777s at dagdag pa ng mga long-haul aircrafts sa fleet nila. medyo tumatanda na rin mga long haul aircrafts nila, give it 5 years more or less they will be 20 years old.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:11 AM   #270
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Cebu Pacific sees profit turnaround in first half
By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes Updated July 24, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Budget airline Cebu Pacific expects its finances to reverse route this year as it posted a 38-percent increase in passenger volume during the first six months of 2009 to 4.3 million, the company’s top executive said.

Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei told The STAR that with this development, they will likely attain their whole year passenger carriage target of nine million. Last year, Cebu Pacific carried 6.7 million passengers for domestic and international routes combined.

At the sidelines of last Wednesday’s celebration of NAIA Terminal 3’s first anniversary, Gokongwei also said they expect their passenger traffic to double to 17.5 million passengers by 2014 on the back of the carrier’s continued expansion of routes and purchase of more aircraft.

By 2010, the airline expects to carry about 12 million passengers, increasing to 15 million passengers by 2013.

He added that they expect revenues to grow 20 percent in the first half of 2009 on the back of higher passenger traffic brought about by cheaper airfares.

The airline is also looking at new routes this year, particularly Brunei . “We applied for rights to fly to Brunei . We are also looking at more Japan routes and in Korea as well,” Gokongwei said.

While Cebu Pacific expects to be profitable this year, Gokongwei added that the next six months is going to be tough. “We expect that because there’s off-peak season, higher fuel prices and low yields. But we still expect to be profitable,” he said.

Last year, Cebu Pacific posted a net loss of P3.26 billion.

Fuel cost is the single largest cost of Cebu Pacific. When jet fuel was priced at $181 per barrel last year, fuel accounted for 60 percent of Cebu Pacific’s total cost. “Fuel hedging will be in 2010. The cost is not too much, about 15 percent,” Gokongwei added.

He also told The STAR that the problems that have beset the global economy have not deterred them from continuing with their planned expansion. Cebu Pacific has programmed about $1 billion for the acquisition of 17 Airbus and two ATR aircraft from 2009 to 2014.

“We continue to hope that such efforts will significantly affect the growth of the travel industry and the Philippine economy,” Gokongwei said.

Currently, the airline operates 21 brand-new Airbus with an average fleet age of 1.9 years.

Earlier, Gokongwei said the airline market would experience slower growth this year due to the economic slowdown and the influenza A(H1N1) virus scare.

“We slowed down our rate capacity addition. We’re a little bit cautious in this kind of environment. If we need an extra lift we can easily lease additional aircrafts,” he said.

Gokongwei said the economic and health crises dragged down the airline industry, particularly the international routes of North Asia like China, Japan and Hong Kong.

The local airline industry, on the other hand, would continue to grow by about 20 percent, defying the projected three-to nine-percent contraction of the global industry.

From January to March, Cebu Pacific’s net income dropped by percent to P330.11 million from last year’s P389.24 million due to foreign exchange losses.

The airline’s revenues stood at P5.30 billion for the three-month period, a 25.1-percent increase over last year’s P4.24 billion brought about by additional routes and flights.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:14 AM   #271
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Int'l airlines not taking risks with NAIA 3
by Lala Rimando, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak | 07/23/2009 9:53 PM


A year after NAIA 3 opened, only local planes are using it
MANILA—There’s a nagging question as the Arroyo government and airline executives here mark the first anniversary of NAIA 3’s commercial operations: Where are the planes?

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA 3), the newest and biggest of the 3 terminals in the country’s main gateway, has been the home of local airlines Cebu Pacific, some units of Philippine Airlines (PAL), and Air Philippines.

The other airlines, however are stuck in the old and congested Terminal 1. The international airlines in particular are playing it safe, not taking risks with NAIA 3 that continues to be hounded by ownership issues.

On July 22, 2008, Cebu Pacific launched its first flight out of NAIA 3. It was considered a major boost to efforts of the Arroyo government to finally see the landmark infrastructure project come to life after 6 long years of legal, political, and financial wrangling with project proponents.

Not long after, Philippine Airlines units, PAL Express, and Air Philippines followed.

Ownership Issue

The local airlines took a big risk then. (Read: Local airlines take risks in moving to NAIA 3 ) And the risk exists up to now. Technically, the lessor of the terminal is the Philippine government through the state-owned Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). But that’s because MIAA made a P3-billion down payment in 2006 to project proponents, Piatco and German firm Fraport, after the Supreme Court ruled that MIAA could expropriate the privately financed terminal building.

Yet, the Philippine government cannot claim total ownership of the terminal until it has paid the full cost of the project.

The total cost of the project is yet to be finalized. A lower court is yet to verify the building’s true value through a court-appointed engineering firm. That “true value” would then be the basis for the “just compensation” due to Piatco.

A compromise agreement—a parallel effort to the court-supervised valuation process—is still in the works. Recently, Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera said that the Philippine government is willing to pay Piatco about $200 million just to resolve the terminal’s ownership issue. (Read: Devanadera: Gov't owes Piatco some $200M)

Lower Amount

That $200 million is way lower than the $425 million that Fraport had supposedly shouldered in the terminal’s construction costs, as it told International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a Washington-based international arbitration court. (In 2007, ICSID ruled that Fraport cannot claim this amount from the Philippine government since the German firm was found to have violated Philippine laws.)

The proposed compromise amount is also lower than the $525 million compensation that Piatco is demanding from the Philippine government in another arbitration case, this time in the Singapore-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Piatco filed the case against the Philippine government for nullifying the airport terminal contract. The case is still pending with the ICC.

While these legal and financial issues are going on, the international airlines are staying put in the 3-decades-old NAIA 1.

In a statement, MIAA General Manager Alfonso Cusi said, “Today, we celebrate not only the success of NAIA T3 start-up operations but also to appreciate and acknowledge the efforts of the distinguished personalities behind the milestone opening of T3 a year ago despite all odds.”

Terminal 3 Manager Florencio Montalbo Jr. said that he and his team had worked together to improve a host of technical, operational, and passenger-oriented improvements, such as appropriate signboard installations, x-ray repositioning, manpower services, and proper office managements. (Read: NAIA upgrades check-in systems)

Biggest Winner

As of June 2009, about 11 months after it opened its doors, Terminal 3 has posted a total of 56,552 domestic flights and 8,802 international flights to various destinations. It has also served a total of 5.73 million domestic passengers and 960,360 international passengers.

Cebu Pacific, a latecomer in the industry but the most aggressive here and abroad, is the biggest winner in the NAIA 3 bet.

The consolidation of its domestic and international flights—used to be separately stationed at the Domestic Terminal and NAIA 1, respectively—meant lower costs and more room to grow its Manila-based operations.

In a previous interview, Cebu Pacific CEO Lance Gokongwei told abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak that the better ambiance in NAIA 3 vastly improved their bookings, especially from their corporate accounts. At the onset of high fuel cost last year and the global economic recession that followed, business travelers and corporate clients who still want to fly their clients or employees to various destinations have made Cebu Pacific an alternative airline to book flights mainly because it now operates in NAIA 3.

Cebu Pacific has since clinched the top spot from PAL for flying the most domestic passengers. The Gokongwei-led airline is expecting to carry close to 9 million passengers by the end of the year.

The delayed commercial operations of NAIA 3 also benefited the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (also known as the Clark airport) in Angeles City, which is just about 80 kilometers from Manila.

The number of flights of budget regional airlines has since leapfrogged. The current terminal has a capacity of 2 million passengers, and Clark airport officials are bidding out a project to create a new terminal to accommodate a fast-growing number of passengers. (Read: NAIA capacity seen rising to 32 million)
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Old July 24th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #272
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DA-Davao 'snubs' proposal to utilize DIA as cargo hub

THE proposal of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) to utilize the Davao International Airport (DIA) as a cargo hub for agricultural produce hit a snag after the regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) remains to be passive on the plan.

Not even a study on the two year old proposal has been undertaken.



"We have been trying to meet with DA since May, but to no avail," Simeon Marfori, DCCCII president, said in an interview during the opening of Smed Week at NCCC Mall of Davao Monday.

The proposal is to utilize DIA as a cargo hub which will directly benefit agricultural producers of Southern Mindanao, particularly the fresh vegetable producers.

"The market will go where producers have their products competitively priced," Marfori said.

Buyers in Metro Manila, which include hotel chains and restaurants, usually source their fresh vegetable produce from Benguet which has relatively lower prices due to its close proximity.

However, the produce from Benguet is subjected to the cold chain facility which is an added cost for the producers and buyers.

"It was even Secretary (Arthur) Yap who brought up the proposal," Marfori said, citing a meeting with the DA chief sometime in early May.

A meeting with Marfori and Yap transpired in May this year during a trade mission conducted by investors from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the region.

"But the regional office has not cooperated, we have been sending correspondence since (May)," Marfori said.

The DCCCII intends that a joint study on the feasibility of the proposed cargo hub be made by the business chamber and the DA regional office.

"We have to study on the volume needed, the seasonalities of vegetables, and the costing," Marfori said. (CPM)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 7, 2009.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 03:21 PM   #273
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Super Cobra coming to PAF fleet
July 26, 2009

Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project

Super Cobra Deal

The Philippine Air Force will be adding 6-8 brand new Bell AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters to its fleet next year in a defense deal worth $68 million (3.2 billion pesos) as part of a negotiated deal with the United States Government.

President Gloria Arroyo has ordered the Defense Department headed by Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. to expedite the acquisition of brand-new attack helicopters after meeting with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, so that these could be delivered before she steps down in 2010.
Meanwhile, Defense Undersecretary General Antonio Romero said in press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo that they are now waiting for the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) final decision on the type of helicopters they want delivered.

He said the Air Force was given the choice to either buy MG-530, the upgraded version of the current MG-520 already in use by the military, or the Super Cobra attack helicopters used by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I cannot give you for now details about the specifications of a Super Cobra but I can assure you this is a very powerful attack aircraft with multiple weapons,” Romero said.

The Bell attack helicopter is worth $10 million dollars at list price. But a Defense official privy to the deal but doesn't have the permission to speak on the transaction said that the Philippines will received 8 export equipment should the government decides for its procurement. Inside sources diclosed that the procurement plan will be included in the agenda between President's Arroyo and Obama discussion in July 30 on her state visit to Washington to seal the deal.

The Air Force had been given three options to consider, the first of which is whether to retain the technical specifications of what they want for an attack helicopter, or reduce the number of aircraft they need to half, or buy second-hand MG-530 aircraft.

The choice was made apparent after the failed bidding on the AHAP procurements.
If the Air Force opts for the Super Cobra, Romero said that the approved budget is good only for four to six units, while if the MG-530 were chosen, 12 second-hand units can be purchased.

But if the technical specifications would be changed, this needs the approval of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro which is unlikely after the scandal that rigged its bidding committee, which led to the cancellations of NCAP procurments, and if the option is to purchase refurbished units, this should be approved by the President.

The last two options however appeared to be a close door to the President having manifested the purchase of brand new attack equipments for the Air Force after getting support from Secretary Gates.


Night Capable Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project
MG-530 Anomaly.
The planned purchase of 1.2 Billion attack helicopters was supposed to have been delivered last year but was temporarily shelved by Secretary Teodoro and the previous award subsequently nullified after the Department’s awards and bidding committee (BAC) found merits in the complaint by a losing bidder, Poland's PZL-Swidnik, of anomalous bidding for an order that was pegged at that time at P1.2 billion ($30 million) for six night-capable attack helicopters. Investigators later found credence of the complaint to be not in accordance with approved Air Force Specifications .

At the heart of the issue is a requirement for the selected helicopter to have a payload of at least 1,360kg (3,000lb). PZL-Swidnik, which had offered its Kania design has a Max takeoff weight of 3,550 kg (7,826 lb) more than the minimum specifications but the MG530F offered by Asian Aerospace which had a Max takeoff weight of 1,361 kg (3,000 lbs) won despite shortcomings in MDHI's bid. The MG530F - a military version of the MD530F - has a payload of only about 680kg which is too light as compared to the competition.

Ariston delos Reyes, an undersecretary at the Philippines Department of Defense who is leading the investigation found the allegations of corruption in the selection of the MD Helicopters MG530F true in a report submitted to Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on the first week of February 2009. Asian Aerospace was also banned from participating in government projects for at least one year with a warning of permanentcy on the next infraction.

The selection committee members, comprising of both DND and PAF officials appeared to extrapolate the MG530 capacity by projecting higher payloads but cannot ascertained when asked how "they exactly arrived at that conclusion" which appears to be without basis at all.

Administrative and criminal charges were readied and filed against those responsible. General Romero was among those investigated in connection with the anomalous bidding. Several officials of the Department of National Defense are now facing graft and falsification charges before the Ombudsman over the scrapped bidding.


NCAP and AHAP purposely made failures?
Under the NCAP procurement, the Air Force should have acquired six (6) night capable attack helicopters but its bidding failed due to incompetence and machinations of some of its technical evaluation committee with inclination to a local supplier affiliated with local agent of Douglas Company.

While under the AHAP procurement plan, The Air Force is to acquire fourteen (14) brand-new Attack Helicopters as part of the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) No. D-07-06412 for FY-2007 and SARO No. D-07-05905, in accordance with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.

These helicopters is supposed to be capable of performing Close Air Support (CAS) during day and night, and navigate safely during inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Condition (IMC). Furthermore, they shall be equipped with armaments and avionics systems suitable for said flying conditions.


Second failed bidding and options.
On March 10, 2009, the second bidding for the night-capable attack helicopters failed again for lack of qualified bidders to the proposed specifications.

For this reason, Teodoro hinted that following the failure of the procurement process, they are considering the purchase of second-hand helicopters with the same night capability to provide the air force with the same number of units it needs for its operations and that means entering into a negotiated deal with foreign governments.

“If the President approves it, we could buy second hand helicopters instead of new ones with the P3.2 billion that we have for that,”says Secretary Teodoro.

Another option, Teodoro said, is to recommend for the lowering of the lot requirement for the said aircraft to make the budget fit the new price in the market, which he did not specify.

“One option is to adjust the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO), and lessen the required number of units because of the budget that we have,” he said.

Teodoro said the air force needs the helicopters for firepower platform that could withstand the rigors of operations as well as in transporting troops and essential equipment needed in the frontlines.

Teodoro said further that a top-of-the-line attack helicopter presently costs around $83 million, which is about P3.7 billion. The best choice would probably be the Cobra helicopter pegged at $10 million. The President also has made her mind on what is to be bought.

The PAF has 24 Nomads, 18 OV-10 “Bronco,” 12 MG-520 attack helicopters, four C-130 “Hercules” transports and three squadrons of UH-1H helicopters.

He said there really is a present need for the AFP to procure helicopters and cargo planes, especially now that the air force only has two C-130 cargo plane working after the other one crashed in Davao last year.

The multi-billion peso Capability Upgrade Program (CUP) is a component of the Philippine Defense Reform Program instituted in 2003 as a comprehensive project aimed at enhancing the equipment and capability of the AFP within a period of five years, starting from 2005 to 2010.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #274
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PAL to resume flights to Europe

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) is mulling over the resumption of flights to Europe after the Philippine air panel completed an air service agreement (ASA) with the United Kingdom, a high-ranking official of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said.


Carmelo Arcilla, CAB executive director told reporters that the flag carrier expressed interest to fly to the UK. “We cannot discount the possibility that PAL [would be] resuming its flights to Europe,” he said.

The Philippine and UK governments have agreed to 14 weekly flights to Manila and or Clark and to other points in the country.

Since the start of the year, the CAB had completed air talks with Singapore, Brunei, Australia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

He said that about 300,000 Filipinos are working in the UK, adding that “there’s really a huge demand.”

PAL’s flight to Europe was discontinued in 1998 after the Asian financial crisis nearly sent the flag carrier into bankruptcy.

At end-March, PAL’s network covered 29 points in the Philippines and 31 international destinations.

It carried an average of 24,508 passengers (14,699 domestic and 9,809 international) and 297 tons of cargo (166 tons domestic and 131 tons international) per day.

The airline held a 45.2-percent share in the domestic market in the fiscal year-ending March, while it cornered 36.6 percent of the trans-Pacific market and 31.6 percent for Asia and Australia.

The airline has 47 operating aircraft, including Airbus 320 and 319, Boeing 747-400, and Bombardiers.

By end 2009, PAL expects the arrival of its two, brand-new and fuel-efficient B777-300ER aircraft from Boeing Co.

PAL earlier reported a net loss of $301 million in the fiscal year ending March from a net profit of $30.6 million in the same period last year.

It said revenues rose by almost 10 percent to $1.6 billion during the period.
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Old July 28th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #275
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Bomb threat grounds SilkAir MI 541 from Cebu to Singapore
By Hoe Yeen Nie, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 28 July 2009 1627 hrs

SINGAPORE: Over 130 passengers and crew from a SilkAir flight have been evacuated following a bomb threat.

MI 541 was due to depart from the Philippines' Cebu airport at 1.30pm on Tuesday for Singapore.

But airport authorities received news of the suspected bomb minutes before take-off.

A hotline caller to Channel NewsAsia described seeing police surrounding the plane.

In a statement to Channel NewsAsia, SilkAir said all 127 passengers and seven crew members left the plane "in a calm and orderly manner", and are now in one of the boarding gatehold rooms at Cebu airport.

"We treat every incident seriously and will take all necessary measures to ensure that the safety and security of our passengers are not compromised," said a SilkAir spokesman.

The passengers have been served meals and refreshments and SilkAir said they are also being updated on the situation as and when there are new developments.

All baggage and cargo have also been offloaded and are in the process of another round of security checks. The plane has been moved to an isolation bay at the airport for police inspections.

The matter is currently being investigated.
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Old August 1st, 2009, 10:30 PM   #276
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 06:53 AM   #277
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Canada's new visa rule contradicts flight policy
As it denies additional Entitlement to Philippine Airlines


August 2, 2009

Vancouver- Canada recently lifted the transit visa with the hope of attracting new carriers and travelers to consider Canada's struggling airports adversely hit by global recession. Already, passenger traffic at Vancouver airport is down by 14.6%.

Nationals from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan traveling with Philippine Airlines, China Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways were made eligible to participate on the exemption program.

Foreign travelers going through Vancouver International Airport en route to or from the U.S. will no longer need a Canadian transit visa, according to a government announcement this week.

"Removing the requirement for a Canadian transit visa will make Canadian airports more attractive for international travelers going to and from the United States," Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says. "This will help airports expand their business, which will in turn have a positive impact on the local economy."

However, Its new policy of enticing airlines to consider Canada as Transit point contradicts its close door policy on opening more its skies to Asian Carriers particularly Philippine Airlines which announced reduction of flights to the western gateway due to disagreements with lease payments on the use of Air Canada's entitlement.

Canada does not have an Open Skies agreement with any Asian country. Virtually all of the Canada‘s bilateral agreements with Asian countries are restrictive, limiting which airlines should be allowed to serve particular airport pairs, how many flights should be allowed and how airfares should be regulated.

Philippine Airlines was granted additional landing rights by the Canadian government at Vancouver airport in May 30, 2008 equivalent to only 6 days a week from the previous entitlement of 4 times a week. According to the Ministry of Transport, the new ASA will provide greater market access options for airlines from both countries but so far remains restrictive.

“We have been asking the Philippine government to negotiate with Canadian government for an additional entitlement of fourteen times a week since 2005 but only two were given to us” Jaime Bautista, PAL president said.

PAL currently flies to and from Canada with seven entitlements as it borrows one flight from Air Canada, which is not utilizing its entitlements. It flies to Vancouver daily while four flights has connections to Las Vegas in the United States. However, the borrowed entitlement will end this October.

Bautista said the additional flight entitlements should allow PAL to revive its operation in Chicago and New York on a four-three split while the other three will go to San Diego, California. But since they are not permitted by the DOT to introduced new route while the FAA downgrade is in effect they are constrained to stop at Vancouver.

ACA's current dispute with PAL appears to anchor on its use of the triple seven in November which is bigger than the current A340-300 which seats 264. Apparently, ACA is negotiating for more from what PAL is presently paying for the right to use the B777 which seats 350.

Air Canada's objection to Philippine Airlines expansion is well founded. Its restraint is benefiting the airline from the current capacity shortage situation on the direct flight to Manila because they route many of Air Canada passengers to/from Manila via Seoul with its code-share partner airlines Asiana which is using the B747 on the route as compared to Korean and Philippine Airlines A330 service.

The 2008 Air Services Agreement with the Philippines list seat capacity as one of the negotiating points in the Confidential Annexes and changing capacity will definitely mixed up things from the present set-up says an Air Canada employee who does not want to be identified. According to the Ministry of Transport, PAL was hoping to fly to Canada twice daily in 2010.

Meanwhile, Canada's Ministry of Transport Policy Report on Bilateral Air Services Agreement in Asia-Pacific Region which was submitted in December 2008, suggest that Canada‘s current bilateral ASA's do not serve the economic interest of Canada by imposing constraints on the growth of Canada‘s trade, investment, tourism, logistics, education and other related industries as well as constraining growth opportunities for the air transport sector itself.

This economic costs imposed by the restrictive bilateral ASAs are especially high in British Columbia, where the economy depends heavily on trade, investment, tourism and the export of education services to Asian countries.

Analysis on Open Sky policy with the Philippines translates in the long run with a 24% reduction in fare and 39% increase of passenger volume within one year. Its flag carrier which has 6 triple seven on order has been very vocal to make Vancouver its hub in North America as it intends to open connecting routes to San Diego, New York and Chicago soon.

With the Canadian government considering open skies agreement with China, South Korea and the Philippines in 2010 leading to the Vancouver Winter Olympic games, PAL's expansion plan to North America remains to be seen as it announces further deferral on the delivery of its four long haul aircraft in 2013.

The Philippines have a significant economic and social ties to British Columbia. The total trade between Canada and Philippines reached $1.2 billion in 2007 ($458 million export and $765.7 million import). 30% of Canada‘s export to Philippines goes through BC. There has been steady increase in the number of travelers from Philippines to BC over the last decade reaching 35,883 in 2006.

The bulk of PAL's flights from the Philippines to Canada are booked by overseas Filipino workers. There are 80,000 Filipinos living in Vancouver. The load factor for the flights has been over 90 percent despite the global recession. Air Canada does not have any immediate plan to use its flight entitlements to open direct flights to Manila due to the shortage of long-haul aircraft.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 02:30 PM   #278
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Canada's new visa rule contradicts flight policy
As it denies additional Entitlement to Philippine Airlines

August 2, 2009

Vancouver- Canada recently lifted the transit visa with the hope of attracting new carriers and travelers to consider Canada's struggling airports adversely hit by global recession. Already, passenger traffic at Vancouver airport is down by 14.6%.

Nationals from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan traveling with Philippine Airlines, China Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways were made eligible to participate on the exemption program.

Foreign travelers going through Vancouver International Airport en route to or from the U.S. will no longer need a Canadian transit visa, according to a government announcement this week.

"Removing the requirement for a Canadian transit visa will make Canadian airports more attractive for international travelers going to and from the United States," Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says. "This will help airports expand their business, which will in turn have a positive impact on the local economy."

However, Its new policy of enticing airlines to consider Canada as Transit point contradicts its close door policy on opening more its skies to Asian Carriers particularly Philippine Airlines which announced reduction of flights to the western gateway due to disagreements with lease payments on the use of Air Canada's entitlement.

Canada does not have an Open Skies agreement with any Asian country. Virtually all of the Canada‘s bilateral agreements with Asian countries are restrictive, limiting which airlines should be allowed to serve particular airport pairs, how many flights should be allowed and how airfares should be regulated.

Philippine Airlines was granted additional landing rights by the Canadian government at Vancouver airport in May 30, 2008 equivalent to only 6 days a week from the previous entitlement of 4 times a week. According to the Ministry of Transport, the new ASA will provide greater market access options for airlines from both countries but so far remains restrictive.

“We have been asking the Philippine government to negotiate with Canadian government for an additional entitlement of fourteen times a week since 2005 but only two were given to us” Jaime Bautista, PAL president said.

PAL currently flies to and from Canada with seven entitlements as it borrows one flight from Air Canada, which is not utilizing its entitlements. It flies to Vancouver daily while four flights has connections to Las Vegas in the United States. However, the borrowed entitlement will end this October.

Bautista said the additional flight entitlements should allow PAL to revive its operation in Chicago and New York on a four-three split while the other three will go to San Diego, California. But since they are not permitted by the DOT to introduced new route while the FAA downgrade is in effect they are constrained to stop at Vancouver.

ACA's current dispute with PAL appears to anchor on its use of the triple seven in November which is bigger than the current A340-300 which seats 264. Apparently, ACA is negotiating for more from what PAL is presently paying for the right to use the B777 which seats 350.

Air Canada's objection to Philippine Airlines expansion is well founded. Its restraint is benefiting the airline from the current capacity shortage situation on the direct flight to Manila because they route many of Air Canada passengers to/from Manila via Seoul with its code-share partner airlines Asiana which is using the B747 on the route as compared to Korean and Philippine Airlines A330 service.

The 2008 Air Services Agreement with the Philippines list seat capacity as one of the negotiating points in the Confidential Annexes and changing capacity will definitely mixed up things from the present set-up says an Air Canada employee who does not want to be identified. According to the Ministry of Transport, PAL was hoping to fly to Canada twice daily in 2010.

Meanwhile, Canada's Ministry of Transport Policy Report on Bilateral Air Services Agreement in Asia-Pacific Region which was submitted in December 2008, suggest that Canada‘s current bilateral ASA's do not serve the economic interest of Canada by imposing constraints on the growth of Canada‘s trade, investment, tourism, logistics, education and other related industries as well as constraining growth opportunities for the air transport sector itself.

This economic costs imposed by the restrictive bilateral ASAs are especially high in British Columbia, where the economy depends heavily on trade, investment, tourism and the export of education services to Asian countries.

Analysis on Open Sky policy with the Philippines translates in the long run with a 24% reduction in fare and 39% increase of passenger volume within one year. Its flag carrier which has 6 triple seven on order has been very vocal to make Vancouver its hub in North America as it intends to open connecting routes to San Diego, New York and Chicago soon.

With the Canadian government considering open skies agreement with China, South Korea and the Philippines in 2010 leading to the Vancouver Winter Olympic games, PAL's expansion plan to North America remains to be seen as it announces further deferral on the delivery of its four long haul aircraft in 2013.

The Philippines have a significant economic and social ties to British Columbia. The total trade between Canada and Philippines reached $1.2 billion in 2007 ($458 million export and $765.7 million import). 30% of Canada‘s export to Philippines goes through BC. There has been steady increase in the number of travelers from Philippines to BC over the last decade reaching 35,883 in 2006.

The bulk of PAL's flights from the Philippines to Canada are booked by overseas Filipino workers. There are 80,000 Filipinos living in Vancouver. The load factor for the flights has been over 90 percent despite the global recession. Air Canada does not have any immediate plan to use its flight entitlements to open direct flights to Manila due to the shortage of long-haul aircraft.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 03:49 PM   #279
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Zest Air eyes DMIA as hub for int’l flights

airline Zest Airways Inc. (Zest Air) intends to make the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark its hub for its international flights starting September this year.

Victor Jose I. Luciano, president and CEO of the Clark International Airport Corp. said that Zest Air will start its commercial flights in DMIA in September this year.

At present, Zest Air’s domestic flights are based at the old domestic airport in Manila except for one flight in Clark for Caticlan.

The airline also plans to mount flights to Hong Kong, Incheon in South Korea, Macau, Xiamen and Shanghai in China and Bangkok in Thailand.

Zest Air’s application for rights to fly the Middle East, particularly Kuwait and UAE is pending approval by foreign governments while its request to fly to Australia is currently applied following new bilateral agreement between Australia and the Philippines.

Zest Air would be able to mount international flights with the starting delivery of two brand new Airbus 320 in October this year.

This is in addition to the first A-320 it purchased earlier. The company is also buying 2 Boeing 767-300 aircraft to bring its total fleet to 11 aircraft by yearend, flying to major tourist destinations in the country.

This is part of the $150 million second wave of capital expansion. Last year, the company invested $170 million.

At present, Zest Air flies to Caticlan, Busuanga, Calbayog, Catarman, Marinduque, San Jose and Virac from Manila. It started flying new routes to Iloilo, Legaspi, Naga, Puerto Princesa, Davao, Kalibo, Tacloban and Tagbilaran.

The Zest-O group of companies, owned by businessman Alfredo Yao, acquired Asian Spirit, a small airline company based in the Philippines last year, and is carrying out an aggressive expansion program amid worldwide economic downturn.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 03:50 PM   #280
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2 investor groups interested in DMIA-NAIA railway


Two groups from the Asia and Europe have expressed keen interest in the planned 120-kilometer speed railway that will connect the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, which is being groomed to be the country's premier international airport, to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

Jose Victor Luciano, president and CEO of the Clark International Airport Corp., could only reveal the nationalities of the interested groups but not their full identity stressing it is still too premature at this stage.

Luciano said the Department of Transportation and Communication is the lead government agency in charge of the project.

''Conceptualization of the project is still being finalized and the government has yet to do the initial bidding for the conduct of a feasibility study before the project could be put on the block,'' he said.

At this early, however, two groups have already expressed interest to bid for the project. Earlier, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has expressed interest in bidding for a 120-kilometer high-speed rail project.

''Right now, we can see that NAIA will become congested. Twenty-five million international and domestic passengers arrive in NAIA [annually].

That will keep on growing,'' Luciano said.
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