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Old August 4th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #281
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Local airline carrier secures flight to Middle East; starts first flight in September
By Marie S. Neri

MANILA, Aug. 3 (PNA) — Local carrier Spirit of Manila has secured the permit to fly the Middle East routes starting next month.

Basilio P. Reyes, chairman of Spirit of Manila Airlines, in an interview said the Civil Aeronautic Boards (CAB) has granted them the unused entitlements of the Philippines to Middle East via the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark, Pampanga.

Reyes said their first flight will be in September and this will cover the Clark-Dubai and Bahrain routes and vice versa.

”We will be flying the Middle East routes in particular Dubai and Bahrain,” he said.

Last Saturday, August 1, 2009, the 147-seat MD83 aircraft was delivered to Spirit of Manila Airlines in Clark Field, Pampanga.


Reyes said they are also expecting the arrival of three more airplanes by October and December for their Macau, Hongkong and Taipei entitlements.

Initially, there will be three weekly flights for their Middle East routes, but Reyes said they expect to increase their frequencies next year with the arrival of their Widebody 747-400 aircraft.

Recruitment companies had been urging the government to provide direct flights to the Middle East for the OFWs leaving the country due to shortage of seats and higher airfare being charged by foreign airline carriers servicing the Middle East routes.

Meanwhile, Reyes said aside from helping the OFWs, the company is likewise helping boost further the country’s economy.

Currently, Spirit of Manila has 135 employees, mostly coming from the province of Pampanga but they expect it to increase in the next two to three years by more than 700 workers with the arrival of their airplanes.

”For each aircraft, we will be hiring 60 employees and as the aircrafts arrive, we expect to add more workers,” Reyes further said.

”We wanted to help bring more jobs to Pampanga and to participate in the enlargement of the [country’s] economy,” he added.(PNA)
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Old August 7th, 2009, 08:21 AM   #282
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Private group proposes new airport to serve Boracay

ILOILO CITY — A private firm is pursuing the construction of a P6-billion airport in an island resort near Boracay Island.

The Aklan-Romblon Properties Corp. (ARPC) is eyeing to put up an airport on Carabao Island in San Jose, Romblon.

ARPC Chairman Delfin Wenceslao, Jr. said the proposed Carabao Island International Airport Project will reduce travel time to Boracay since the airport is just 1.5 nautical miles, or a 10-minute ride by pumpboat, north of Boracay Island.

Mr. Wenceslao said the project is now on the design phase. The firm has already fully acquired 120 hectares for the airport site and the entire area has been fenced in and ready for land preparation.

Mr. Wenceslao said their firm is currently selecting from three duly accredited multinational engineering firms to provide detailed drawings.

"Within 60 to 90 days, the detailed drawings will be submitted to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) for approval. From there, we expect the international airport to be operational within 24 months," he added.

The municipal council of San Jose, the Romblon provincial board, and the Regional Development Council of Region 4-B (Mimaropa) have all unanimously passed resolutions approving the establishment and operation of an international airport in Carabao Island.

The DoTC’s Air Transportation Office has also granted locational clearance for the project.

Esteban Tajanlangit, Jr., ARPC vice-president, said the Carabao Island airport will ease access to Boracay by eliminating the costly and tedious travel experienced by foreign and domestic tourists going to the island.

Carabao Island has a total land area of some 3,000 hectares of mostly flat terrain. Mr. Tajanlangit, who described Carabao Island as "shaped like an aircraft carrier," said it can become a tourist destination in itself when developed in a way similar to Mactan and Lapu-Lapu Islands in Cebu.

"The place has a natural cove wide enough and deep enough to be ideal for international marina development. The new international airport can make this prospect viable," Mr. Tajanlangit said. — Francis Allan L. Angelo
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Old August 7th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #283
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PAL raising capital to P20B

by Jenniffer B. Austria

Philippine Airlines Inc., owned by tobacco magnate Lucio Tan, is increasing its authorized capital stock to P20 billion from P16 billion after posting a huge loss last year.

“[PAL] is currently exploring various options to raise additional capital to help improve its equity position after the loss incurred in the fiscal year 2008-2009. By increasing the authorized capital stock, the company will have additional shares available for future investors,” PAL said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

PAL has an authorized capital stock of P16 billion divided into 20 billion common shares with a par value of P0.80 a share.

PAL plans to reduce the par value of the shares from P0.80 to P0.20 and later increase its authorized capital stock to P20 billion, divided into 100 billion common shares at par value of P0.20 a share.

The airline firm has not finalized the number of common shares to be offered to potential investors.

PAL reported a net loss of $301 million in fiscal year ending March, a reversal from a profit of $30.6 million in the previous year.

Revenue rose 8.7 percent to $1.6 billion on higher passenger sales.

Expenses, however, jumped 23.4 percent, or $361 million, due to higher fuel cost.

“The rise in fuel cost by 77.7 percent over the last year’s figure of $470 million was a result of an increase in the average fuel price per barrel of $89 in 2008 to $123 million in 2009,” PAL said.

The flag carrier launched several initiatives to counter the impact of high energy prices, including the creation of a fuel conservation watchdog within the company, and reduced the free baggage allowance on trans-Pacific routes.

PAL is a subsidiary of PAL Holdings Inc., a listed company.

The flag carrier flies to the most popular domestic airline routes and to international and regional points that are either mostly visited by Filipinos or a good source of visitors to the Philippines.

PAL’s route network covered 29 points in the Philippines and 31 international destinations, including Guam, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Melbourne, Sydney, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, Pusan, Seoul, Hong Kong, Macau, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Taipei, Bangkok, Saigon, Singapore and Jakarta.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #284
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DOT hails newly opened UK-RP air pact
August 11, 2009 10:04 pm

By Lynda B. Valencia

MANILA, Aug. 12 — The Department of Tourism (DOT) lauds the newly amended air pact which allows seven flights per week on a B747 aircraft, accommodating more than 500 passengers, between Manila to points in the United Kingdom (UK) which include London, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stanstead.

DOT Secretary Joseph 'Ace' Durano, said “We support the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) in their move to improve the air agreement between the country and the UK. Identifying these key destinations is a clear indicator of the strength of our market in these regions.”

The European market, tagged as one of the high-spending tourism segments, is targeted for its preference of adventure tourism which includes aquatic activities such as kayaking, scuba diving, board sports, surfing and white water rafting; and land adventures such as mountain biking, rock climbing, cave exploration and trekking, Durano said.

“In addition to aggressive promotion of our products, we are continuously developing new tourism ventures, such as birdwatching, for this major segment,” he added.

On the other hand, Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque, Jr., said “The air pact amendment is very timely as well, since we have more leisure travelers beginning August when summer season in Europe starts."

In light of the new agreement, Jarque also said, “Some of our domestic airlines have already expressed their desire to open flights in the United Kingdom.”

At present, Philippine Airlines (PAL) has conveyed plans to launch direct flights to UK, according to a source from the CAB.

Part of the agreement is the inclusion of fifth-freedom rights, which means that aircrafts can pick up passengers in a third country before proceeding to its destination.

Since the beginning of the year, CAB has held several air bilateral negotiations with the following destinations Spain, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.(PNA) LDV/LBV
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Old August 14th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #285
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DOT hails newly opened UK-RP air pact
August 11, 2009 10:04 pm

By Lynda B. Valencia

MANILA, Aug. 12 — The Department of Tourism (DOT) lauds the newly amended air pact which allows seven flights per week on a B747 aircraft, accommodating more than 500 passengers, between Manila to points in the United Kingdom (UK) which include London, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stanstead.

DOT Secretary Joseph 'Ace' Durano, said “We support the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) in their move to improve the air agreement between the country and the UK. Identifying these key destinations is a clear indicator of the strength of our market in these regions.”

The European market, tagged as one of the high-spending tourism segments, is targeted for its preference of adventure tourism which includes aquatic activities such as kayaking, scuba diving, board sports, surfing and white water rafting; and land adventures such as mountain biking, rock climbing, cave exploration and trekking, Durano said.

“In addition to aggressive promotion of our products, we are continuously developing new tourism ventures, such as birdwatching, for this major segment,” he added.

On the other hand, Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque, Jr., said “The air pact amendment is very timely as well, since we have more leisure travelers beginning August when summer season in Europe starts."

In light of the new agreement, Jarque also said, “Some of our domestic airlines have already expressed their desire to open flights in the United Kingdom.”

At present, Philippine Airlines (PAL) has conveyed plans to launch direct flights to UK, according to a source from the CAB.

Part of the agreement is the inclusion of fifth-freedom rights, which means that aircrafts can pick up passengers in a third country before proceeding to its destination.


Since the beginning of the year, CAB has held several air bilateral negotiations with the following destinations Spain, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.(PNA) LDV/LBV
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Old August 14th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #286
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Yes, Love can stop a plane from flying!
[B]
Davao City- For Davao International Airport, it was a regular Friday night of operations as PR flight 822 prepares to depart for Manila at 10PM, the airlines last flight. For the Airbus 320 Pilot Captain De Guzman, it was a routine red eye flight check for a 90 minutes flight. But for Dubur Mollik, a 21 year old Bangladeshi national, it was his only chance to reconcile with the love of his life.

But the boarding gates was already closed by tired agents and the pilot was already preparing his final check for take-off as he planned to be home by midnight, while the groundcrews tow the aircraft away from its stand hoping to call it a day.

Finding futility to his request to deplane, Dubur started to cry. “He was crying and begging the crew to allow him to get off the plane,” says Superintendent Elias Abad, chief of the Aviation Security Group (ASG), quoting stories from the flight captain, the crew and several passengers.

Knowing love himself, the Pilot finally agreed to grant his wish after failing to appease Dubur, but the long delay started apprehensions on other passengers that they too started disembarking the plane.

“Many got mad and argued with the captain about his decision,” said Marj Reyes, one of the passengers.

As a security precaution, the foreigner's luggage had to be removed from the aircraft and the Aviation Security Group had to run a security check once more.

As it turned out, Dufur has a lover's quarrel with his Filipino girlfriend who were vacationing in Davao. He decided to leave ahead of their August 28 flight for Kuwait where they both work. Dufur was already on the plane when he suddenly realized that he could not possibly leave without the woman he loves so he begged the crew to allow him to get off the plane.

The girl was called and the two lovers were reunited at the ASG office a few hours later said Superintendent Abad whom he spoke with and the Filipino girlfriend assured him that Dufur Mollik is a good person.

He told the couple not to fight anymore and to see him in his office before their scheduled flight on August 28. “I just want to make sure they’re together when they leave and the incident will not be repeated,” Abad said in jest.

Asked if the foreigner faced any charges, Abad said Mollik did not commit any crime so he was free to go after the investigation.

Abad said he asked PAL if it was filing a civil case against Mollik for economic loss because only half of the original passengers decided to push through with their flight, "but they too decided not to file any case."

"Who says this can only happen in the movies?" Abad Added. --- with reports from Dennis Jay
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Old August 14th, 2009, 04:49 PM   #287
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Fueled by Aggressive Airline Pricing Strategy

11 August 2009

The Philippine domestic passenger air traffic rose 31 percent in the first six months of the year to almost 7.6 million compared to almost 5.8 million recorded in the same period a year ago. The phenomenal growth in its domestic traffic have been attributed to the airlines’ aggressive pricing strategies. The total load factor or the number of seats occupied during a flight rose to 76 percent in the first quarter from 75.6 percent in the same period last year.


Cargo traffic is however down 1.08%, from a total of 60,275,261 kilograms (kg) that were recorded in the first half of 2009 as against 65,185,354 kg reported in the same period last year. Of the number, Cebu Pacific transported 31,620,955 kg; PAL, 27,231,331 kg; Pacific East Asia Cargo, 815,096 kg; Air Philippines, 407,100 kg; and Seair 200,779 kg.
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Old August 15th, 2009, 06:25 AM   #288
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PHILIPPINE AIRLINES...Asia's sunniest...





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Old August 15th, 2009, 06:49 AM   #289
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i love the "Shining Through" slogan better

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Old August 15th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #290
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Afriqiyah Airways Receives Airbus A330, Moves Ahead Into High Skies in Aviation World
14/08/2009 20:10:00

Afriqiyah Airways' long awaited delivery of Airbus A330 took place last week. The handing over ceremony of the aircraft from the Airbus officials to Afriqiyah Airways was held at the premises of Maitiga Airport. Libyan and Airbus officials attended the ceremony.

In his opening speech during the ceremony, Captain Sabri Shadi, the CEO of the Libyan-African Aviation Holding Company attributed the successful delivery of the airbus A330 to the Libyan banks for their courageous financial support in buying the contracted twenty three aircraft. He said by doing so, the Libyan banks have entered the era of financing strategic projects in Libya, a venture that the government banks didn't undertake before.

Afriqiyah Airways considers the delivery of Airbus A330 as a major step forward not only to the company's operation of long haul routes but also to the history of Libya's aviation since it is the first aircraft of its kind to be delivered in Libya.

"This is the first kind of this aircraft to be delivered to Afriqiyah Airways. We ordered three of them and we will receive the second one end of September and the third one end of October. We will also receive other three A319, smaller than the A330 on the18th of August," said Eng. Rammah Ettir, the CEO of Afriqiyah Airways.

"This new aircraft will place Afriqiyah Airways in the global market of aviation. We want to come out of short medium range, small airline operation. We definitely look forward to operate long haul flights as a pioneer airline and else a class beyond.

The same thing we offer in the economy class can only be found in the business class of other airlines and the same thing we provide in the business class, can only be found in the first class of other airlines," said Mr. Muhammed ElMeshkhi Afriqiyah's Director of the Public and International Relations Department.

The new Airbus A330 has a capacity of 230 passengers, thirty in the business class and the remaining two hundred in the economy class with more cargo capacity. The aircraft also can fly 6000 nautical miles and has with it stretcher facilities for the sick ones and special toilets for people with disabilities.

"This is a long range aircraft, wide body with very luxurious two cabins, one for the business class, very comfortable, high end very close to the first class where the seats can be fully extended to a bed of 180 degrees, with separate reading lights, separate electrical power supply for PC, separate 12.1 TV screen where you can watch your own selection of video games and program," explained Eng. Rammah Ettir and added, "The economy class is also a very relaxed.

It is a 32 inch each between seats, fully reclinable to 8 inch, each with 9.6 inch screen."

Eng. Ettir also revealed that, the new aircraft will start its operations in a week's time after concluding the official formalities with the Civil Aviation Authority.

The first six weeks the aircraft will start with short routes like London, Paris, Lagos and Accra. Then on the 19th of September, the aircraft will begin operating long haul routes among them Johannesburg, Manila, Pekin and Dakar.

"We will start with two flights in a week to Johannesburg, and we will increase if there is a market demand. But definitely South Africa will be connected through Tripoli to Europe, Middle East and south East Asia and this will decrease some fatigue and long time spending while waiting for flights," confirmed ElMeshkhi to the Tripoli Post.

Afriqiyah Airways is also improving its cabin services with new menus, new programs, new faces of the crew members who have gone through a rigorous training in order to bringing their standards to the required level. All these efforts are geared at satisfying the customers' needs.

Considering Libya's strategic location, many airline stakeholders look forward to the prospects of Libya's aviation with the finishing of the new Tripoli International Airport come the year 2010.

"Tripoli as a hub, is doing a phenomenon growth and with the opening of the new terminal that will give the capability of 20 million people terminal bear that will give the capacity for Libya to develop as an international hub, basically taking passengers from all around Africa and then sending them to Europe, Middle East, Asia.

So there is a lot of potential for development. There are a lot of potential for airlines to develop their markets here and so we see Afriqiyah is on the right track," remarked Francois Cognard, Vice President Sales-North Africa, Airbus Middle East.

Cognard also hailed a good business relationship that prevails between Afriqiyah Airways and the Airbus Company.

Afriqiyah Airways, a Libyan airline established in 2001 designed to link Africa with regional and long haul routes and connecting Africa with Europe, the Middle East and Asia, does not only aim to expand but also to provide its best available services to an increasing number of customers.

Story by Aboubakar Famau
Source: http://tripolipost.com/articledetail.asp?c=2&i=3474
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Old August 15th, 2009, 12:03 PM   #291
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PAL to Introduce Europe flight by 2010
Eyes London next Summer

London- Philippine Airlines (PR Holdings, PSE) has filed with the UK's Department for Transport (DfT) an application for an operating permit to fly regular scheduled flight between London Heathrow Airport and Manila International Airport, Dft said over the weekend.

The airline which last flown in 1998 is returning to Heathrow on the same weekly frequency it previously operates almost 12 years ago. The application states that the airline will fly using the Boeing 777-300ERs' on the route on a thrice a week service initially commencing summer of next year says International Aviation and Safety Division (IASD) of DfT. No further information was disclosed.

Airport Co-ordination Ltd. (ACL) which also received PAL's application for airport slot categorize its status as "new entrant" says Peter Morrisroe, Managing Director of Airport Coordination. He further confirmed that the time schedule for the airline has not been fixed yet as its requested landing and take off slots at London Heathrow is still being evaluated by ACL. Its docking point was however confirmed at Terminal 3. Request for additional information was denied.

Financial services firm Deloitte & Touche valued a peak-time Heathrow slot at an all-time high of £25 million in 2008 but the recession forced the numbers to settle around £10-15 million in 2009.

ACL is the regulatory authority responsible for slot allocation and schedule facilitation at Europe's busiest airport. According to ACL, an airport slot is the scheduled time of arrival or departure available or allocated to an aircraft movement on a specified date at an airport as allocated by them.

The United Kingdom and the Philippines recently amended its Air Service Agreement in July 9, 2009 expanding the frequency to 14 flights per week between the two countries, inclusive of daily flights between the two capitals.

Virgin Atlantic does not fly to Manila while British Airways ceased flight operations in 2000. There is no indication that the two British carriers will fly the route in the immediate future thereby making Philippine Airlines as the only operator for the route.

There are more than 200,000 registered Filipino migrants in Britain in 2008 based on the figures released by the Home Office.

Source: http://philippineairspace.blogspot.c...t-by-2010.html
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Old August 15th, 2009, 12:06 PM   #292
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PAL Reports $35 Million Profit for Q1But Revenues dropped by 12%

15 August 2009
Manila - Philippine Airlines reported yesterday that its net profit for the first quarter of fiscal year 2009 fell 21.29% or more than a fifth it earned in the same period last year equivalent to $35.5 million.

The airline cited decreasing yields and dwindling international passenger traffic which account to almost 78% of its revenue generation. The cause of its revenue shortfall is attributed to global recession affecting legacy airlines worldwide and travel fears over the swine influenza outbreak.

The low yield is attributed to the airline's decision to cut fare prices to international destinations to stimulate travel demand and consequently earned its way as one of few world airliners to register profit during the period. International Air Transport Association (IATA) has already projected that the combined losses of all member-airlines for the year would reach $9 billion. Meanwhile, its domestic operations enjoyed double digit growth amidst global uncertainty.

PAL said total revenues for the quarter dropped by 12% to $394 million against the 2008 level of $446.9 million. The airline's expenses was relatively lower by 11% to $358.5 million mainly due to lower fuel prices.

Meanwhile, PAL took delivery of its third reconfigured B747-400 aircraft equipped with enhanced cabin amenities that include Recaro "lie-flat" Business Class seats and modern inflight entertainment systems. It seeks to complete the reconfiguration of all its B747 this year.
The airline operates a mix fleet of 48 Boeing and Airbus aircraft for domestic and international destinations.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:44 PM   #293
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CEB expands on board
offerings with Duty Free


Leading value airline Cebu Pacific (CEB) launches its Duty Free offerings on board all international flights from Manila on August 21, 2009.

Joining the Fun Shop are a wide range of world-class Duty Free cosmetics, skin care products, fragrances for men and women, jewelry, watches, travel accessories, children’s gifts and chocolates.

Aside from this diverse Duty Free selection, snacks, drinks and other CEB merchandise are also sold in flight.

Brands to be carried by CEB include Estee Lauder, Lancôme, L’Oréal, Swarovski, Pierre Cardin, Hello Kitty, and Godiva, among others. Prices range from as low as P300 to P4,950.

“Cebu Pacific wanted to make it easier for its passengers to shop for souvenirs for their friends and family. Now, with Duty Free, they no longer have to rush shopping. They can enjoy it from the convenience of their seats while in flight,” said Candice Iyog, CEB VP for marketing and distribution.

From Manila, the airline flies to Bangkok, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Ho Chi Minh, Incheon (Seoul), Osaka, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei.

CEB, the leader in innovation and creativity in the local aviation industry, was the first local airline to introduce E-ticketing, prepaid excess baggage, and seat selection in the Philippines.

Customers have also learned to anticipate a uniquely upbeat flying experience with CEB, as this is the only domestic carrier that offers fun in the skies with its games on board popularly known as ‘Fun Flights’ together with its entertaining in-flight magazine - Smile.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:45 PM   #294
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Turkish Airlines lines up and wait for Manila departure

ISTANBUL, Aug 20 - Flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) is lining up and waiting for the approval of the Air Service Agreement between Turkey and the Philippines this year as it announces plans to introduce new destinations in the far east.


"We are definitely flying to the Philippines next year" says CEO Temel Kotil. "This month we already started flying five times a week to Jakarta via Singapore, and hopefully we can arrange a deal with the Philippines for rights to Thailand" he said, as the airline intend to service Istanbul-Manila via Bangkok at the initial stage of their operations. "We probably fly direct if got no choice." he added.

The airline which is Europe's fourth-biggest airline in terms of passengers carried, is expanding its fleet, especially long-haul wide-body aircraft, and aims to increase its European market share by one-fifth to 10 percent next year. It is aggressively pursuing the transit passenger traffic by transforming Istanbul to become a major hub between Europe and Asia in competition with gulf-based carriers.

At present, Turkish Airlines serves points in Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and lately Jakarta. It plans to resume service to Kuala Lumpur together with new services to China, the Philippines and Vietnam. It has also plans to make Bangkok its Asian hub for flights to Australia by 2011.

Kotil added that the carrier intends to double its frequency in Asia within the next two years, starting with Tokyo Narita from four-weekly flights to daily operations, to Bangkok which will have an equipment upgrade to double daily triple seven in December 2009, with 4 flights extension probably to Saigon while the additional 3 flights intended as flight extension either to Manila or Guangzhou, depending on the services agreement that will be discussed later between the Philippines.

As a back up plan in case the Philippines would not agree to open up Bangkok, the airline intends to fly the Airbus 330-200 which will join the fleet in February and April next year to fly straight from Istanbul. The actual launch date was not however disclosed.

Turkish Airlines this week confirmed the contract for the purchase of additional seven Airbus A330-300 aircraft that was signed in Paris during Le Bourget Airshow in June 2009. The aircraft that is due for delivery from September 2010 will be powered by Rolls Royce engines and will carry 289 passengers in a two-class configuration.

Meanwhile, its Boeing order for seven extended range 777-300s worth $1.9 billion at list prices was finalize last July that adds to an order for five 777-300ERs placed in April this year or a total of 12 triple seven orders. Its delivery date starts from October 2010. The airline currently operates a fleet of 65 Boeing planes.

The airline publicly disclosed that passenger numbers increased to 9.7 percent in the first seven months of 2009 to 13.7 million, reflecting ambitions to grab market share from European rivals.

"Despite many problems in the industry, we grew at 9 per cent in the first half in terms of passenger numbers both domestic and foreign. However, our yields dropped due to lower demand from premium passengers," Kotil said.

Turkish Airlines flew 21.3 billion RPKs during the first seven months of 2009, up 12.4% over the year-ago period. Capacity rose 19.7% to 30.6 billion ASKs and load factor fell 4.5 points to 69.5% as the company increased capacity.
Its financial results for 2008 reported a net profit of US$874 million, up a strong 26% compared to 2007 figures. Gross Revenue was also up to US$4.719 billion, with proceeds from international traffic accounting for 78% of total revenue, while 22% was from domestic traffic. Shares in the state-run carrier also rose 3 percent to 2.72 lira as of this date.

Dr Kotil credited the company’s very careful oil-price hedging policy as one of the reasons why it was able to grow its 2008 net profit by 328% to USD874 million while other heavy weight world airliners slump.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:47 PM   #295
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SMA prepares maiden flight to Taipei
Spirit of Manila unveils its new aircraft at Clark
By FRED ROXAS

August 20, 2009

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga – Spirit of Manila Airlines unveiled last Friday its new MD-83 aircraft at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here.

Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano said that more Spirit of Manila airplanes, which include an MD-83, Boeing 747-300, and 747-400 will be arriving in September and November to complete the airline’s fleet in time for its operations in December, this year. The MD-83 aircraft arrived at DMIA last Aug. 1.

The aircraft is expected to fly to Taiwan and Macau and in the Middle East via Qatar, Dubai, Baharain, and Kuwait to serve the transport needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), many of them coming from Central and Northern Luzon.


“This will benefit our OFWs working in the Middle East, most of whom are from the Central and Northern Luzon, and will also attract more tourists to visit our country using DMIA,” Luciano said.

Luciano led other officials who included Transportation and Communication Secretary Leandro Mendoza, Spirit of Manila Chairman Basilio Reyes, President and CEO Jimmy Matibag, and Vice President Rene Ocampo, and foreign partner Vice Chairman Hamad Altani in the unveiling event.

Spirit of Manila Airlines is the first large local carrier that will base its operations in Clark, and its airplanes will start flying out of DMIA very soon, he said.

Luciano said the MD-83 aircraft would be used for the Clark-Taiwan flights. “There wiil be no flight between Taiwan and Clark, and this is the right time that we will now have flights to Taiwan.”

“This is the first time, and even former President Fidel Ramos has been proposing Clark-Taiwan flights,” Luciano said.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:49 PM   #296
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Afriqiyah Airways to arrive Manila September 19
Attributes Financing Glitch for Delay
.

August 20, 2009

Tripoli- Aircraft Financing glitches caused Afriqiyah Airways delayed maiden flight to the Philippines which was announced to arrive in July 17, 2009, but was re-scheduled back to its original arrival date.

Captain Sabri Shadi, CEO of Libyan-African Aviation Holding, the Company that controls Afriqiyah Airways, said that they just received its first Airbus 330-200 on August 10 after funding assistance from government banks which agreed to finance three (3) out of the six (6) aircraft orders.

Shadi said that they encountered finding funding for its twenty three (23) aircraft orders which resulted to delivery deferrals. He said that at first, Libyan Banks were reluctant to finance their massive orders until they agreed to scale it down thereby reducing orders to only three 330's.

"This is the first kind of this aircraft to be delivered to Afriqiyah Airways. We ordered three of them and we will receive the second one sometime in September and the third one will be delivered at the end of October. We will also receive other three (3) A319, smaller than the A330 on the18th of August," said Eng. Rammah Ettir, Afriqiyah Airways' Chief Executive Officer.

The new A330 will seat 230 passengers in a two-class cabin and will serve long-haul operations on routes from Tripoli to Africa and Europe and later on to the Far East of Asia.

The first A330 will start serving London, Paris, Lagos and Accra within the next six week. It will then fly to Johannesburg and Cape Town on the 4th of Sept 2009 while its second A330 will fly on September 19 to Manila and the third A330 to Beijing on October 28.

"Afriqiyah Airways has achieved impressive growth since it first entered the market in 2001, and we are very proud to have been their partner during this time, " said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer.

"The A330 has unbeatable economic efficiency and will enable Afriqiyah’s continued expansion. We look forward to continuing our partnership.” said Mr. Leahy at the handing over ceremony of the aircraft at the premises of Maitiga Airport.

Afriqiyah Airways delivery of its first Airbus A330 is considered a milestone in the history of Libya's aviation since it is the first large aircraft of its kind to be delivered in Libya. It is also a major step forward of the company's long haul operations after its establishment in 2001.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:51 PM   #297
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Tawi-Tawi airport runway upgrade completed
Prepares to Welcome Major Airlines!

August 21, 2009

The country's southernmost airport in Tawi-Tawi kicks into high gear Monday the 17th of August as it open its door to accommodate bigger aircraft on its runway.

The airport situated in Barangay Sanga Sanga to which it was named from has its runway upgraded and extended from 1,608 meters to 1,920 meters aimed to accommodate narrow-bodied jets such as Airbus 319 and Boeing 737's. Its landing strip was also widened from 18 to 30 meters sufficient to upgrade its aerodome classification to 3C.

The project cost was financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Growth with Equity (GEM) Program amounting to P100 million while the Philippine government chipped in P92.2 million as its counterpart.

US Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney graced the airport opening aimed to improve the province’s air links with the rest of the country, and should help strengthen the local economy.

"We are happy to be part of the development of this island province," said Kenney, who was the guest of honor on the inauguration of the extended runway.

Abdelnooh K. Hadjirul, president of the Tawi-Tawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the airport upgrade will give Tawi-Tawi’s emerging aquaculture and eco-tourism industries a competitive advantage.

“There is great potential in eco-tourism here, especially if air links to neighboring countries are established,” said Abdelnooh Hajirul, president of the Tawi-Tawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

On the same tone, Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, Sr., chairman of the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) is optimistic of its growth potential. Mr. Leyretana oversees the implementation of the GEM Program.

“These improvements will ensure safer airport operations and higher-capacity air linkages as well as open up more trade, tourism and investment opportunities in the region.” he said.

According to Carlos Canda Tan, GEM’s deputy program manager for infrastructure, the airport will also have new passenger terminal facilities soon and it will be equipped with baggage conveyors and x-ray machines for efficient, effective, convenient and reliable aircraft operations.

Meanwhile Philippine Airlines’ Flight Technical Division Manager Selino S. Jalalon has inspected the facilities at Sanga-Sanga airport to update flight plans and landing and take-off procedure of the airline when they start operating at the airport.
Jalalon said that they would fly the Bombardier Q300 to the airport on a thrice a week service should passenger traffic to the airport becomes economically viable considering that its still very thin today because of its peace and order situation, but entertained the idea of bigger aircraft when there would be demand for it mostly from domestic or foreign tourist. The airline is still evaluating traffic projections to determine what type of aircraft to be used in opening a route to Tawi-Tawi.

At the same time, Cebu Pacific manifested its intention to fly the route with its ATR 72-500 aircraft and possibly preempting PAL on a thrice a week service when new aircraft arrives to join their fleet. Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific CEO, said that 2 ATR turbo prop planes are expected to join their fleet this year.

Cebu Pacific is preparing a hub in Zamboanga for services to Tawi-Tawi, Jolo, Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro, Sandakan, and Kota Kinabalu for connections to Cebu, Davao and Manila.

Zest Air which previously operated at the airport using YS-11 aircraft has also plans to re-introduce Zamboanga as its Mindanao hub for destinations such as Jolo, Tawi-Tawi, and Sandakan.

Presently, Seair is the only airline that serves Tawi-Tawi airport utilizing 19-seater LET plane.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:52 PM   #298
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Cebu Pacific Revenues Up
First-half profit soars to $321 Million

August 20, 2009

Philippine low cost carrier Cebu Pacific has reported its first-half profit of $321 million, up 21% than 2008 figures according to the disclosures of its holding firm JG Summit.

JG Summit Holdings said Cebu Pacific’s gross revenue jumped 21.3 percent to P11.39 billion as a result of its additional flight frequencies and opening of new route destinations as a result of its extensive expansion program.

Cebu Pacific Chief Executive Officer Lance Gokongwei said the airline expects delivery of 2 new airbus 320 and 2 ATR aircraft his year to support its domestic expansion which already carried 4.3 million passengers in the first half of the year. He said that they are expecting a full-year target of nine million passengers this year but challenges remained in the second half most notably due to increase competition by other low cost operators in the country.

Cebu Pacific operating expenses also increased because of new aircraft joining its fleet to P9.28 billion($193 million) from P8.19 billion a year earlier. It however incurred foreign exchange losses of P223.38 million, but is 77 percent lower than last year’s P958.72 million figures.

Its biggest break came from fuel hedging gains of P471.43 million against P77.11 million last year.

“All these factors contributed to the turnaround in the airline’s bottom line, from a net loss of P15.66 million last year to a net income of P1.82 billion this year,”Gokongwei added.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 07:59 PM   #299
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Why arroz caldo is on PAL’s menu?

By Gil Carolino

In 1987, Malacañang appointed me to be a member of The Committee on State Visits of President Corazon C. Aquino. I was then with Philippine Airlines and this unexpected appointment gave me the distinct privilege of going with Tita Cory on all her trips abroad. She made only a handful, less than a dozen (nothing compared to the more than 50 and 30 trips of two Philippine presidents), but they were more than enough for me to know Tita Cory up close and personal.

Tita Cory never gave the PAL crew any problem. She never demanded anything as far as service was concerned, like asking for special and elaborate meals. The only thing that she asked to be served was arroz caldo which, after that, became a standard feature of PAL’s inflight meals.

Tita Cory was very pleasant with the crew and everyone on the plane, including the regular passengers whom Tita Cory sought so she could have even a short conversation with them inside the plane. Everyone was awed by Tita Cory’s simplicity and pure heart.

Lunch at Arlegui


I am neither a close family friend nor an official of her administration, yet, very early on during her presidency, Tita Cory invited me and my wife to have lunch one Sunday with her children (Noynoy and Kris were not there) at the Arlegui residence inside the Malacañang compound. There we saw a fine lady, not the President of the land, but the loving mother to Ballsy, Pinky and Viel and their spouses, and the very doting lola (grandmother) to her apos (grandchildren).

And, how could you not be forever grateful to Tita Cory if she showed genuine concern for your safety and welfare of your family?

A few weeks before the outbreak of the 1991 Gulf war, I was all packed up to be based in Dubai, UAE, to be PAL’s regional vice president/GM for the Middle East. As a matter of respect, I called up the Office of the President and told Tita Cory’s eldest daughter Ballsy to inform the President about it. Before I could even hang up, Tita Cory was already on the line and asked me, “O, gusto mo ba yan?” to which I answered in the affirmative. She might have felt differently because a few minutes after we talked, then PAL Chair and now Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte called me to his office and told me, “O, tumawag si Tita Cory, ayaw ka niyang ma-assign don kasi may guerra daw don.”

Out of harm’s way


I could not describe my feelings. I was simply overwhelmed because, to me, it was unimaginable that the President of the Philippines, who had far more important things to attend to, would personally go out of her way to do that.

Napakahalaga ng buhay ng tao sa kanya. She showed it again when she, subsequently, directed PAL to operate special flights to evacuate her countrymen who had no way out as they were stranded in the region during that most critical period. Tita Cory personally followed up the developments and actual operations of the special flights
which, I thought, she could just have assigned to her Cabinet and staff to coordinate with PAL.

Tita Cory is gone. However, our spontaneous outpouring of grief and sadness is solid proof that we fully embrace the ideals and aspirations she wholeheartedly and endlessly fought for. Let us keep the fire brightly glowing until another Tita Cory comes, though I feel sad realizing the fact that that time will be beyond my lifetime.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 07:47 AM   #300
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