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Old August 26th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #301
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Tan ejects brother as turbulence hits PAL

by Roderick T. dela Cruz

PAL Holdings, the holding company of Philippine Airlines, has elected a brother of taipan Lucio Tan as its chairman to replace another brother, Mariano Tanenglian, who was removed from the board.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, PAL Holdings said Harry Tan was appointed the holding firm’s new chairman, replacing Tanenglian as a part of a reorganization of its board committees.

The company did not cite the reasons for the change, but it was believed to have been caused by an unresolved feud between Lucio Tan and his younger brother Tanenglian.

Tanenglian was earlier removed from the board of the Philippine National Bank and Eton Properties Philippines, both of which are controlled by Lucio Tan.

The rift between the two brothers reached a boiling point when Tanenglian threatened to testify for the government in its ill-gotten-wealth cases against his older brother.

Lawyers representing Tanenglian yesterday distributed a copy of a letter to the Presidential Commission on Good Government dated Aug. 19, reminding the agency of their client’s offer to testify against his brother in exchange for immunity for himself and his family.

“Up to the present... after the lapse of more than one month, our client’s offer of cooperation and request for such grant of immunity have not yet been acted upon,” the letter from the Azura Quiroz & Campos law office said.

“In the meantime, the window of opportunity is fast approaching (sic).”

The letter ended with the suggestion that further delay by the commission would be interpreted as the result of pressure “by a very influential party” involved in the case.

In its board reorganization, PAL Holdings also appointed Michael Tan, a son of the taipan, a member of the Audit Committee in place of Enrique Cheng.

Lucio Tan Jr., another son of the taipan, and Juanita Tan Lee were appointed alternate members of the same committee.

Lucio Tan remains chairman of the airline itself while Bautista remains president.

The directors of PAL Holdings nominated for fiscal year 2009-2010 include Lucio Tan, Harry Tan, Jaime Bautista, Domingo Chua, Lucio Tan Jr., Michael Tan, Juanita Tan Lee, and Wilson Young. The independent directors were Johnip Cua, Antonino Alindogan Jr. and Enrique Cheng.

PAL booked a comprehensive income of $35.5 million in the April-June period, which represents the first quarter of its fiscal year.

But the airline said the amount was down by $9.6 million over the same period last year because of declining passenger volume.

The airline incurred a net loss of $301 million in the fiscal year ending March 2009, reversing a net profit of $30.6 million a year earlier.

The airline operates 47 aircraft that fly to 29 domestic destinations and 31 international routes. It employs 8,052 workers and does not expect to hire more employees within the next 12 months.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #302
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Best airports in the Philippines
by Harold Geronimo
Manila Standard

I ’ve always believed that first impressions last. This is my philosophy when I travel. The first thing I see becomes my impression of what I should expect in that particular place.

In this case, I’m talking about airports. I believe airports are a key indicator of progress. When I visit different cities around the country, I always explore the airport’s amenities and see how clean and modern they are. I’m actually proud to see that some of the major cities in our country now have airports that adhere to international standards. I have excluded the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in this list to give way to the regional aviation hubs.

1. Iloilo International Airport

After almost a decade of planning, Iloilo Airport formally opened its doors two years ago replacing the old Mandurriao Airport. Located 19 km north of Iloilo at a 188-hectare site in Cabatuan and Sta. Barbara towns, the new Iloilo International Airport is one of the most modern and best designed airports in the country today. Its all-glass and steel beam structure with curved roofings resembles that of Hong Kong International Airport at a smaller scale. Leading to the terminal is a 3-km access road with landscaped center islands. The terminal also boasts of pocket gardens similar to other modern airports in the world. It’s still very new and clean, so I hope the government will maintain it really well.

2. New Bacolod-Silay Airport


As a Negrense, I am proud to see the province finally having a state-of-the-art airport of international standards in my hometown in Silay City. Located 15 km northeast of Bacolod City, the new Bacolod-Silay Airport opened its commercial operations early last year replacing the old Bacolod Domestic Airport. Today, it is the third largest international airport in the Visayas, just next to Cebu and Iloilo International Airports. The P4.3-billion airport complex is designed to accommodate one million passengers annually. Designed with an all-glass and steel beam structure, the main passenger terminal is equipped with a modern flight information display system comparable to other international airports. It also has a 300-car parking area and a spacious departure lobby.

3. Davao International Airport


The busiest airport in Mindanao, known as Francisco Bangoy International Airport, had a major facelift six years ago to become one of the most modern international airports in the country today. The Malay-inspired architectural design of the airport terminal speaks about Davao’s cultural heritage. This airport has the most spacious departure lobby outside Metro Manila, with 14 domestic and international check-in counters. The 3-km runway of this airport can accommodate 8 to 10 aircraft landings per hour and can handle wide-bodied aircraft including the gigantic Airbus 380. For those who want to do last-minute shopping and dining, there are wide choices of food and retail stores inside the terminal.

4. Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Undoubtedly, the airport of the Queen City of the South would make it in the Top 5. Though the terminal is already old, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport still has the unique charm and hospitality that Cebuanos exude. During my last trip to Cebu, I was so amazed that the airport now provides free Internet stations to departing passengers. The terminal also has adequate pasalubong shops and restaurants to choose from. There are also spas and massage services available to those who want to relax before flying. I just hope though that the government will soon upgrade the airport’s facilities and amenities to be at par with other modern airports in the country.

5. Diosdado Macapagal International Airport

It is surprising to see how this airport has transformed into a premier international aviation hub in just a few years. Situated inside the Clark Special Economic Zone, it is considered to be one of the biggest aviation complexes in Asia with its 3.2-km parallel runways that can accommodate huge aircraft. Today, the airport services major low-cost carriers in Asia such as Tiger Airways and Air Asia. Its terminal may not be as modern as those in this list, but an expansion of the terminal building is underway. If finished, the new terminal may serve up to four million passengers annually.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #303
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Zest Air Opens Cebu and Zamboanga Hub
Expects 2 more A320 Delivery by October

August 25, 2009

Zest Airways. The airline is scheduled to receive 2 more brand new Airbus 320 and 3 additional MA-60 this year as initial part of the company's $150 million capital investment program.

Budget airline Zest Airways Inc. (Zest Air) announces the opening of Mactan-Cebu and Zamboanga hub this October as it recommence Visayas and Mindanao services as well as re-introduce flight to Sandakan.

The airline expects to receive its 6th MA-60 from Xian Corporation of China to serve the southern routes from Cebu with routes to Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga with onward connections to Sandakan.

Meanwhile Zest Air will start flight from Manila-Clark to Hong Kong in September 21 to formally make DMIA its hub for its international flight operations with Seoul, Macau, and Bangkok to be added later when two more brand new A320 join the airline fleets in October. It will have the airline operating 5 A320 by yearend.

"With our plans to expand our operation to the Southeast Asian region, it becomes necessary to grow our fleet size" says Alfredo M. Yao, President and CEO of Zest Air.

Donald Dee, Zest Air chairman, however said that the new fleet acquisition would be serving new domestic destinations as well as existing trunkline routes in the meantime while it weathers the aviation slump in Asia-Pacific region.
Zest Air’s intends to fly Boeing 767-300 which will arrive next year to Kuwait and Abu Dhabi while its request is being processed for approval by Kuwaiti and Emirates governments. It is also applying for rights to fly to Australia also with the use of Boeing 767 slated for delivery next year which will culminate its $150 million investments.

Asiawide Airways controls Zest Airways of the Philippines which is a subsidiary company of AMY Holdings controlled by Alfredo Yao.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #304
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Philippine Airlines may cut jobs, reduce flights

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/170857/p...reduce-flights

Philippines Airlines (PAL) announced it may cut jobs and may mount fewer flights after posting multi-million dollar losses at the end of its fiscal year in March.

“Decisive steps" will be taken to help PAL survive the crisis after the Lucio Tan-owned airline posted $301.4 million in losses as of end-March this year, the company said in a statement.

These steps include cutting its workforce and realigning operations to match demand, the company added.

Management will offer early retirement packages for its employees as a way of enhancing productivity and reducing costs, Jaime J. Bautista, PAL president and chief operating officer, said.

The company is currently reviewing its entire organizational set-up to make the workforce “lean and mean," he added.

PAL shares the same predicament with giant airlines whose operations were severely hit by the slowdown in passenger traffic.

PAL, which claims to be Asia’s first airline, is also set to mount lesser flights to US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia.

“Seven percent of the airline’s total capacity would be reduced effective this month until March 2010," Bautista said.

However, flights to domestic destinations will be increased.

The company is “eyeing new destinations either through charters or regular scheduled operations," Bautista said.

Besides expecting the delivery of brand new and fuel-efficient Boeing 777-300ERs, the company is also in the final stages of refurbishing its current fleet of wide-bodied aircraft to feature a bi-class configuration, new seats, and state-of-the-art entertainment systems.

In the meantime, PAL shareholders approved a quasi-reorganization plan, reducing the par value of PAL shares to P0.20 from P0.80 per share. It will also increase its authorized capital stock from P16 billion to P20 billion divided into 100 billion shares at P0.20 per share.

During the period, PAL’s revenues rose to $1.634 billion, from $1.504 billion the previous year. Revenues rose because it transported more passengers after the company bought additional aircraft.

However, the cost of operating more flights, which involved higher maintenance costs and compounded by record-high fuel prices, raised expenses to $1.9 billion from $1.539 billion the previous year.

Fuel comprises 44 percent of PAL's operating expenses.

When the global crisis led to a travel slump in the latter part of the year, PAL's passenger load factor fell to an average of 76.2 percent, three points lower than the previous year.

PAL also reported paying $165.4 million in principal and interest to its creditors, bringing to $2.4 billion the total paid amount from March 1999 to March 2009.

With the protracted recession, the International Air Transport Association said its member-airlines are bracing for $9 billion in total combined losses by the end of the current fiscal year.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #305
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PAL looking to trim staff, operations

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, Inc. (PAL), which over a decade ago was forced into receivership by the Asian crisis, is once again facing a fight for survival, its president yesterday said.

Burdened with debt and ballooning costs, the company is now looking at various options, including selling aircraft, reducing flights, and letting go of employees. It is also on lookout for potential white knights who can ease its financial woes, PAL President and CEO Jaime J. Bautista said.

"We will take decisive steps like rationalizing [our] workforce, realigning operations to match demand and other cost-cutting measures to survive the crisis currently plaguing airlines worldwide," he said.

In a statement, PAL quoted Mr. Bautista as saying, "Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures."

PAL lost $301.4 million for its fiscal year ending March 2009 as a result of higher expenses brought about by the cost of operating more flights and last year’s record-high fuel prices. Fuel accounts for 44% of the airline’s expenses.

The carrier earned $30.6 million a year earlier.

Revenues went up slightly to P1.6 billion but were not enough to cover operating expenses of $1.9 billion, up from $1.539 billion the previous year. Total liabilities also went up by almost a fifth to $869 million, while total assets decreased by $60.6 million to $1.971 billion.

Mr. Bautista told BusinessWorld the company was considering offering early retirement packages, executive pay cuts, and giving workers "breaks for a few days."

"There is still no definite program how to address this. Normally, when you make decisions to reduce manpower, you look at other possible measures first. [Reducing our employees] is the last recourse," he said.

The airline currently has more than 8,000 employees.

Mr. Bautista said PAL had adopted various measures to cut operating expenses, including the reduction of international flights.

Flights to Los Angeles, for instance, are now down to seven per week from nine, while those for San Francisco have been cut to seven from eight per week.

Next month, PAL will reduce its Vancouver flights to just five per week from daily.

While the number of domestic passengers rose by 17% during the first quarter, the number of international passengers slipped by 8%, mostly because of slowing demand from the US.

The airline will also sell a Boeing 737 to raise some $8-10 million. While it will push through with the delivery of Boeing 777-300ERs this year, Mr. Bautista said plane purchases were on hold.

PAL shareholders yesterday approved a quasi-reorganization plan, reducing the par value of the firm’s shares to P0.20 from P0.80 per share. It will also increase its authorized capital stock to P20 billion from P16 billion, divided into 100 billion shares at P0.20 per share.

"The airline reduced its par value to attract investors to invest in PAL. Hopefully the present shareholders will put in equity," Mr. Bautista said.

Outsiders may be invited to buy new shares, he said.

Tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan owns 86% of PAL.

"There is still no definite figure as to how much [in new shares will be] sold. We are also closely working with our financial advisers to tap the debt market but credit is quite tight right now. There is no definite plan how much we might borrow," he said.

PAL in 1998 was forced to file for receivership, citing the impact of a the Asian financial crisis. It returned to profit in 2000 and was declared in financial health two years ago.

"Hopefully the 1998 incident will not happen again but right now the company is working on a rationalizing program. We have tightened our belt in PAL [because] we really need to [cut costs]. This is another challenging year and hopefully the market rebounds and we will able to generate the cash," Mr. Bautista said. — K. J. R. Liu with JF
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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #306
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PAL aborts plan to fly to Europe
By Lynda B. Valencia

MANILA, Aug. 29 (PNA) – Flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is not pursuing any plans to fly to Europe.

PAL President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jaime J. Bautista told the Philippines News Agency that “We don’t have any plans to fly to Europe, nor Italy and the rest of Europe.”

”Even (though) there is an amended air service agreement (ASA) between the United Kingdom (UK) and the Philippines, we cannot fly there, at this point in time,” Bautista said.

UK and the Philippines amended its air service agreement (ASA) in expanding the frequency to 14 flights per week between the two countries, inclusive of daily flights between the two capitals.

On the other hand, Tourism Secretary Joseph ‘Ace’ Durano said he lauded the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) in their move to improve the ASA between the country and the UK, saying “Identifying these key destinations is a clear indications of the strength of our market in these regions.”

The country’s amended air pact with UK allows seven flights per week on a B747 aircraft, accommodating more than 500 passengers between Manila and four destinations in the UK, which include London, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stanstead.

As of 2008, there are more than 200,000 registered Filipino migrants in Britain.

Durano said the European market, which is considered one of the high spenders in tourism-related activities, would be drawn to the country’s nature and adventure sports.

PAL’s annual report showed an increase in revenues to US$ 1.634 billion, from US$ 1.504 billion in 2008, after carrying 17 percent more passengers due to acquisition of additional aircraft and growth in the domestic market.

However, the cost of operating more flights, which involved higher maintenance expense and compounded by high fuel prices, raised expenses to US$ 1.9 billion, from US$ 1.539 billion the previous year.

When the global crisis led to a travel slump in the latter part of the year, PAL's passenger load factor fell to an average of 76.2 percent, three points lower than the previous year.

PAL also paid US$ 165.4 million in principal and interest to its creditors, bringing to US$ 2.4 billion the total amount paid from March 1999 to March 2009. Total assets decreased by US$ 60.6 million to US$ 1.971 billion, while total liabilities rose by US$ 239.5 million over the previous year.

”PAL, like all other global airlines, is facing the specter of extremely weak passenger traffic and cargo demand amidst the protracted world economic meltdown, “ Bautista said
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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:41 AM   #307
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SEAIR launches 'Buy 1, Take 1' promo

MANILA - Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAIR), the country's premiere leisure airline, is offering promotional fares at the 20th Philippine Travel Mart Sale in SM Megamall on September 4.

Travelers can purchase "Buy 1, Take 1" Batanes round-trip tickets for only P14,344, all in. They can also avail of a 75% discount on Boracay round-trip tickets for P3,500, all in. Travel and ticket validity period for the promo runs until October 15, 2009.

SEAIR is set to increase its flights bound for Caticlan, the nearest entry point to the famous Boracay, to 32 from 27 a day starting October 15. It will also have daily flights to Basco, Batanes from October 12 onwards.

Currently, SEAIR is the only airline flying directly to both locations. PAL Express and Cebu Pacific have diverted their Caticlan-bound flights to Kalibo due to changes in airport operating conditions.

SEAIR has flown almost 3 million passengers to various local destinations.
as of 08/29/2009 6:38 PM
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Old August 30th, 2009, 10:04 AM   #308
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PAL to axe 3,000 jobs!
Starting with airline subsidiary Air Philippines

Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines intends to slash more than a third of its 8,000-strong workforce, reduce its international flight frequencies, and outsource parts of the airline business to cope with a sharp decline in travel demand coupled with higher than expected operating cost despite registering modest net profit of $35 million for the first quarter of 2009, regarded as peak period for the airline, its president said on Thursday.

Jaime Bautista said its profit is expected to dissipate in the next 3 quarters as its yield continue to decline amidst dwindling traffic despite reporting lower fuel bills as recorded during the same period last year. PAL incurred a $301.4 million net loss for its 2008-2009 fiscal year ended March and Bautista said the carrier "will be happy" if it breaks even in the current fiscal year.

"But based on the results of operations for the first three months, traffic remains weak," he said. The airline reported lower yields particularly to its bread and butter destinations in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

To trim costs, Bautista said the airline is planning to transfer several operations to third parties and sell the remaining Boeing 737 they owned to raise some $8 million to $10 million.

"We are considering outsourcing the non-core business of PAL ... like catering, reservation, just like what other airlines are doing," he said saying further that they are one of few Asian carriers that still do their own catering and ground handling. The airline will likewise hold plane purchases except for Boeing 777-300ERs due for delivery this year.

PAL has reduced its total international flight frequencies by 7 percent and plans to cut further flight frequencies to the United States, Canada and Australia to match demand on said route.

Flights to Los Angeles are now down to seven per week from nine, San Francisco down to seven from eight per week, while Vancouver flights will have five per week from daily starting next month. Flights to Japan, Australia and Hong Kong will also be trimmed to reduce the cost of operations.

”We were really affected with the long haul, instead of the medium haul flights,” he stressed, adding that "the airline would rather add more domestic flights in several destinations because of higher traffic volume.” Bautista added.

Meanwhile, as the number of international passengers slipped by 8%, the airline's domestic passengers rose by 17% in the first quarter prompting the airline to upgrade service to some key destinations vacated by its subsidiary low cost airline Air Philippines, which decided to suspend flight operations effective September 1 as part of the organizations operational realignment plan. Air Philippines is managed by Philippine Airlines, and both airlines are owned by Lucio Tan, the second wealthiest man in the Philippines based on the Forbes magazine list.

For this reason, all flights of Air Philippines will be serviced either by PAL and PalExpress starting with daily flights from Manila to Iloilo and for Cebu-Davao and Davao-Cebu destinations that will also be added to PAL's domestic schedule using the wide-bodied Airbus A330 on a triangular route while Surigao will be serviced with Airbus 319 later. PALExpress will handle daily flight to the Cebu-Iloilo-Cebu sectors using the 76-seater Q400 turboprop aircraft and which will grow to twice daily before yearend, while twice-a-day service to Naga will be re-introduced on the Q400. Daily flights to Surigao will be temporarily service by PAL Express in the meantime.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 10:08 AM   #309
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PAL beefs up domestic operations despite job cut
By Darwin G. Amojelar

DESPITE the company’s plan to cut its workforce, Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Friday announced it will beef up its domestic operations with new routes and destinations.

In a statement, the Lucio Tan-owned company said it will introduce a new Cebu-Davao and Davao-Cebu service using the wide-body Airbus A330 starting September 1.

Its budget airline, PAL Express will add another daily Cebu-Iloilo-Cebu flight using the 76-seater Q400 turboprop aircraft.

Surigao and Naga are also being added to the PAL Express network with daily flights to Surigao and twice a day service to Naga.

Earlier, Jaime Bautista, PAL president and chief operating officer, said it would cut its workforce and flight capacity abroad to cope withJustify Full the global economic slowdown.

“We are currently reviewing our entire organizational set-up,” Bautista said, adding that the crisis has changed the face of the industry which is among the sectors hardest hit by the global crisis.

“We don’t know yet how many will be affected. For now, we don’t have a target. I talked to the union about the plan yesterday. In a few weeks, we will know how many will be affected,” he added.

At end-March, PAL had a workforce of 8,052. Of the total, 472 are pilots and 1,593 are cabin crew.

Bautista said the airline’s cost-cutting measures will not infringe on its safety compliance and standards.

PAL will reduce flight capacity to the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, he said.

About 7 percent of the airline’s total capacity would be reduced effective this month until March 2010.

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

The company reported a net income of $35.5 million from April to June, down by $9.6 million over the same period last year.

Revenues dropped by 12 percent to $394 million compared with $446.9 million for the same period in 2008.

PAL blamed the lower revenues on the 25-percent decrease in passenger revenues of $95 million as passenger traffic and yields continued to decline.

For its fiscal year ending March, PAL posted a net loss of $301 million from a net profit of $30.6 million in the fiscal year ending March 2008.

The company’s total expenses for the first quarter amounted to $358.5 million, 11 percent better than the previous year’s $401.8 million. Fuel comprised 44 percent of its operating expenses.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 10:10 AM   #310
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Kalibo airport adds Taichung, Taiwan to its list
Mandarin Airlines sets more flights to Kalibo

By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT
August 28, 2009

More Taiwanese tourists are expected to visit the Philippines this year as Taiwanese carrier Mandarin Airlines is set to offer direct charter flights from Taichung to Kalibo starting on Oct. 16, one of several new charter flight offerings from Taiwanese carriers. The airline also flies to Kaohsiung in Taiwan.

Antonio I. Basilio, Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) managing director and resident representative, said the new flights will benefit the Philippine travel and tourism industry as charter services are proving to be a driver for tourism growth.

Mandarin Airlines is not the only Taiwanese carrier that has introduced direct charter services to the Philippines top holiday destinations.

China Airlines (CAL), Taiwan’s No. 1 carrier, launched charter services to Cebu from Taipei and Kaohsiung last April and July respectively.

This month, CAL launched regular charter services to Kalibo. The carrier flies to Aklan from Taipei every Tuesday and Friday.

“These charter services are expected to bring in thousands of Taiwanese visitors to Boracay, one of the Philippines leading destinations. It’s a win-win for the community and the industry,” said Basilio.

Basilio said MECO in Taiwan is targeting four consumer segments for its tourism offerings: “Double income with no kids households, honeymooners, diving associations, and group tours.

“Although the honeymooners market may not be as big as the other market segments, it remains a potentially lucrative business for our industry suppliers and Taiwan’s destination management companies. This is a low-volume but high-yield market for us,” said Basilio.

MECO Tourism Center Representative Rene Reyes said that Taiwan’s double income no kids households or DINKS is another sub-segment that is driving the travel market.

“DINKS are comprised of young couples, usually between the ages of 30 and 40.They have both the means and the time to take overseas leisure breaks,” said Reyes who adds that Taiwan’s vibrant dive travel consumer market is another priority segment for the Philippines.

“There are about 400,000 licensed divers in Taiwan, not to mention the hundreds of other consumers who want to sign up for diving lessons. The Philippines is a good diving destination because of its mild tides. During the last quarter of the year and during the winter months, Taiwanese divers look for alternative diving sites. That’s an opportunity for us since the Philippines offers excellent year-round sites for divers,” said Reyes.

Package group tours remain the Philippines top market segment according to Reyes.

“This segment relies heavily on the quality, price and the popularity of the destination being marketed,” said Reyes. “Fortunately, our industry partners from tour operators and airlines to destination management companies “offer value-for-money products to Taiwan’s holiday travelers,” said Reyes.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 10:17 AM   #311
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PAL to axe 3,000 jobs!
Starting with airline subsidiary Air Philippines

Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines intends to slash more than a third of its 8,000-strong workforce, reduce its international flight frequencies, and outsource parts of the airline business to cope with a sharp decline in travel demand coupled with higher than expected operating cost despite registering modest net profit of $35 million for the first quarter of 2009, regarded as peak period for the airline, its president said on Thursday.

Jaime Bautista said its profit is expected to dissipate in the next 3 quarters as its yield continue to decline amidst dwindling traffic despite reporting lower fuel bills as recorded during the same period last year. PAL incurred a $301.4 million net loss for its 2008-2009 fiscal year ended March and Bautista said the carrier "will be happy" if it breaks even in the current fiscal year.

"But based on the results of operations for the first three months, traffic remains weak," he said. The airline reported lower yields particularly to its bread and butter destinations in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

To trim costs, Bautista said the airline is planning to transfer several operations to third parties and sell the remaining Boeing 737 they owned to raise some $8 million to $10 million.

"We are considering outsourcing the non-core business of PAL ... like catering, reservation, just like what other airlines are doing," he said saying further that they are one of few Asian carriers that still do their own catering and ground handling. The airline will likewise hold plane purchases except for Boeing 777-300ERs due for delivery this year.

PAL has reduced its total international flight frequencies by 7 percent and plans to cut further flight frequencies to the United States, Canada and Australia to match demand on said route.

Flights to Los Angeles are now down to seven per week from nine, San Francisco down to seven from eight per week, while Vancouver flights will have five per week from daily starting next month. Flights to Japan, Australia and Hong Kong will also be trimmed to reduce the cost of operations.

”We were really affected with the long haul, instead of the medium haul flights,” he stressed, adding that "the airline would rather add more domestic flights in several destinations because of higher traffic volume.” Bautista added.

Meanwhile, as the number of international passengers slipped by 8%, the airline's domestic passengers rose by 17% in the first quarter prompting the airline to upgrade service to some key destinations vacated by its subsidiary low cost airline Air Philippines, which decided to suspend flight operations effective September 1 as part of the organizations operational realignment plan. Air Philippines is managed by Philippine Airlines, and both airlines are owned by Lucio Tan, the second wealthiest man in the Philippines based on the Forbes magazine list.

For this reason, all flights of Air Philippines will be serviced either by PAL and PalExpress starting with daily flights from Manila to Iloilo and for Cebu-Davao and Davao-Cebu destinations that will also be added to PAL's domestic schedule using the wide-bodied Airbus A330 on a triangular route while Surigao will be serviced with Airbus 319 later. PALExpress will handle daily flight to the Cebu-Iloilo-Cebu sectors using the 76-seater Q400 turboprop aircraft and which will grow to twice daily before yearend, while twice-a-day service to Naga will be re-introduced on the Q400. Daily flights to Surigao will be temporarily service by PAL Express in the meantime.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 02:33 PM   #312
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Cebu Pacific posts turnaround amid global recession
09/01/2009 | 03:28 PM

Gokongwei-led Cebu Pacific Air Inc. reversed last year’s losses as it increased routes, flight frequencies and capacity with the purchase of more Airbus A320 and ATR72-500.

In a statement, Cebu Pacific said it had posted a P1.82 billion net income during the first semester from P15.66-million net loss the same period last year.

“We are very happy that despite the economic recession, and the dynamic changes in foreign exchange and fuel costs, we remain a profitable and financially strong airline," Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog.


Revenues grew by 21.3 percent to P11.39 billion from P9.39 billion.

Asia’s third largest low-cost carrier transports more passengers to 32 domestic and 14 international destinations from its Manila, Cebu, Clark and Davao hubs.

It currently operates the newest fleet in the country, composed of 21 Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft as well as 8 ATR72-500 aircraft. It expects delivery of 17 more Airbus and two ATR aircraft from the last quarter of 2009 until 2014.

Recently, it increased its Manila-Hong Kong service to four times daily, its Manila-Singapore service to thrice daily and its Manila-Kuala Lumpur service to daily flights.

“Our low-cost carrier strategy has made more and more people utilize air travel for business and leisure travel. We will continue to offer our value fares and convenient routes for the benefit of our passengers," she added. -Ruby Anne M. Rubio, GMANews.TV
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Old September 3rd, 2009, 03:36 PM   #313
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Shenzhen Airlines launch Jinjiang - Manila

Shenzhen Airlines on 07SEP09 is operating Jinjiang - Manila service, marks the first international service for Jinjiang airport in China. Service will begin to operate 4 times a week from 21SEP09.

Schedule as follows:
ZH9069 JJN1100 - 1300MNL JET x246
ZH9070 MNL1400 - 1600JJN JET x246

Service begins 21SEP09

http://airlineroute.blogspot.com/200...-jinjiang.html
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Old September 4th, 2009, 06:31 PM   #314
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Our aviation safety rating still sucks
DEMAND AND SUPPLY By Boo Chanco (The Philippine Star)
Updated September 04, 2009 12:00 AM

Remember when the US FAA declared our aviation safety standards leave much to be desired? Today, I will do very little writing. I will instead reproduce past news stories and past press releases from Malacañang. I will let Malacañang hang by their own words to prove my point that government cannot be run by press releases.

Ate Glue does not follow through. After she issues orders for the benefit of the TV cameras and the reporters around her, she thinks she has done her job. Ate Glue and her minions are of the impression they can get away with mediocrity and the mere semblance of doing something because we, the people, don’t care one way or another.

Remember how Ate Glue announced she fired the officer in charge of the office responsible for regulating our aviation industry? She also announced she assigned DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza to head it to make sure, daw, that we get back our world class rating in three months. It must be about two years now since we were downgraded and as far as the American FAA is concerned, we are still “an unsafe port of origin” and the US Embassy is still advising its citizens flying to and from the Philippines to use airlines from countries that meet international safety standards.

Congress passed the bill creating a new agency that Ate Glue said is needed as a first step to regaining our rating. But nothing much happened after Congress did its part. As the FAA press release indicates, we were in compliance in 2002 or at about the time Ate Glue came into office and no longer in compliance by 2007 or right in the middle of Ate Glue’s watch. In other words, she cannot blame the problem on past administrations.

Let me begin by reproducing a story in Philippine Star bylined by Marvin Sy published January 18, 2008… “President Arroyo sacked yesterday Air Transportation Office (ATO) officer-in-charge Daniel Dimagiba in connection with the recent ratings downgrade by a US aviation watchdog of the Philippines over compliance with international air safety standards.

“Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza has been designated ATO chief in concurrent capacity. The President gave Mendoza three months to address the technical and administrative issues raised by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as justification for its downgrading of the Philippines international aviation safety rating from category 1 to category 2.”

Here is a Jan. 24, 2008 press release from Malacañang: “Malacañang expressed confidence today that the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) would reverse its decision downgrading the Philippine aviation standards from Category 1 to Category 2 and the country will regain its Category 1 status within three months.

“Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro Mendoza, who is also acting Air Transportation Office (ATO) chief, said that the government is doing everything possible to comply with the international air safety standards in the interest of the riding public. He said that with the support of Congress and the commitment of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he is confident that the ATO would overcome the problems that led to the FAA’s downgrading of the country’s aviation safety rating.”

Here is how the US government sees it in a Jan. 31, 2008 posting in the FAA website http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/...?-newsId=10154.

“The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently found that the Philippines does not comply with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

“The FAA had previously assessed the Philippines’s civil aviation authority in September 2002, and found it in compliance with ICAO standards. However, after a consultation in November 2007, the agency determined that the Philippines was no longer overseeing the safety of its airlines in accordance with international standards.

“The Philippines’s safety rating has been lowered from Category 1 to Category 2 under the agency’s International Aviation Safety Assessment program. A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards.

“A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority — equivalent to the FAA — is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures.”

Another US government advisory had this to say:

“The decision gives the Philippines a Category 2 rating along with countries such as Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia. It means Philippine carriers can continue flying to the US but only “under heightened FAA surveillance,” the embassy said in a statement. The embassy also advised Americans flying to and from the Philippines to use carriers from countries whose civil aviation authorities meet international standards.”

The Arroyo administration owes us an explanation for its failure to regain our category one status within three months, the time they themselves promised to do so. We hear that budgetary problems are the cause of the delay. But if Ate Glue can still gallivant all over the world in style and her porkers in Congress are still getting their pounds of fat, the budget problem excuse does not hold water.

Why is this problem critical? One, we don’t want to be in the same category as Bangladesh and Ivory Coast. Even Ate Glue said we are among the upper middle income countries of the world.

Two, this subpar rating negatively affects our tourism program. Who will want to go here and ride our airplanes when the FAA says we do not have an ability to assure safety that follows world class standards?

Three, staying on this rating is costing Philippine Airlines money and that in turn, negatively affects our economy. PAL has explained in the past that the subpar rating affects PAL’s planned flight expansions. Because we are in Category 2 status, PAL is prohibited from increasing its flights to the US and from changing the type or number of aircraft used on these services.

PAL is to take delivery of six new Boeing 777-300ERs between 2009 and 2011. PAL cannot even use these new fuel efficient planes to fly its current routes to the US. The only route for these new planes is the US because PAL no longer flies to the Middle East and Europe.

PAL would like to fly to San Diego, Chicago and New York, where there are large expatriate Filipino communities and that won’t happen with our current rating. But PAL must still take delivery of and pay for the planes as provided for in its contract with Boeing.

On Jan. 24, 2008 Malacañang issued this press release: “Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday ordered the Department of Budget and Managaement (DBM) for the immediate release of some P110 million (US$2.66 million) for the upgrading of the Air Transportation Office (ATO). The President issued the order before leaving for Switzerland where she will be attending the World Economic Forum (WEF).

“Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo, in a statement, said the amount was meant ‘to fund and support the upgrading of the Air Transportation Office.’”

So, how come they are now saying, almost two years after, they can’t do anything about our Category 2 rating because there is no budget? Has Ate Glue become such a lame duck that even her own budget officials will ignore her orders to provide funds for this purpose? Or is the order for press release purposes only? Reports have it that our do-nothing government is going to request the FAA to defer again its scheduled review of the local aviation sector next month (originally scheduled for November 2008) to a yet undisclosed date.

Given all these kapalpakan, Joey Salceda is right about how his Lola is being badly served by her trusted lieutenants. And they have no shame for failing to deliver in three months as promised or even after over a year. Yet they stay in office as if lack of performance is the most normal thing.

Maybe the project to upgrade our international standing in aviation safety is not interesting enough for Ate Glue’s bureaucrats… if you know what I mean. If it were as juicy as the ZTE contract, baka mas mabilis pa sa alas kwatro!
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Old September 4th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #315
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Cebu Pacific Air partners with Hong Kong Disneyland
(The Philippine Star) Updated September 04, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Thanks to a new partnership, Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) is the only Philippine carrier to partner with Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL) for corporate events.

Now, business executives can fly to Hong Kong on special online packages that will give them the unique experience only Disneyland theme park resorts offer.

CEB VP for passenger sales Edwin Bautista said, “We want to make traveling to Hong Kong Disneyland affordable to Filipinos, thus allowing them to stretch their travel budget through our fun tour packages with HKDL online.”

“Coupled with CEB’s trademark low fare, they can stay at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel or the Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, and benefit from their dynamic corporate packages. At the same time, they get the chance to unwind and have fun at the HKDL theme park,” he added.

Cebu Pacific currently offers companies an overnight package at the Disneyland Hollywood Hotel; a three-day, two-night package with an optional tour of the HKDL; and a four-day, three-night package with overnight stay at the Disney Hollywood Hotel, plus a full-day tour of HKDL as well as other optional tours.

With the Fun Tours packages, a person only needs to spend approximately P15,000, for example, for a round-trip Cebu Pacific Manila-Hong Kong ticket, three-night hotel accommodation, and a one-day HKDL tour.

HKDL VP for sales and travel trade marketing Aliana Ho considers the Philippines as their most important Asian market after greater China, especially because majority of Filipinos travel for pleasure to Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong Disneyland is popular among Filipinos. They associate it with fun, innovation, creativity, and entertainment. Also, HKDL is a good 15-minute land travel from the Hong Kong International Airport and 1.5 hours away from the city proper,” said Ho.

Since Cebu Pacific started flying to Hong Kong in November 2001, the low-fare leader has increased its flight frequency from once to four times daily between Manila and Hong Kong.

It also flies once daily between Cebu and Hong Kong and six times daily between Clark and Hong Kong, while servicing 13 other Asian destinations.

The lowest year-round fare to Hong Kong is P2,299, exclusive of government tax. For the latest promo seat sales and news on Cebu Pacific, check out www.cebupacificair.com.

For group bookings (20 people or more), call (02) 290-5241 or e-mail [email protected].

HK Disneyland Fun Tours packages are also available on the Cebu Pacific website.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 06:33 PM   #316
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OFWs to benefit from AirAsia flight to Abu Dhabi
By Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) Updated September 04, 2009 12:00 AM

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — A cheaper passage to the Middle East is now open to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) with a Malaysia-based budget airline opening direct Kuala Lumpur-Abu Dhabi flight five times a week starting this November.

Azran Osman-Rani, chief executive officer of budget airline AirAsia X, the long-haul flight unit of Asian budget airline AirAsia, announced recently their online promotional offer of a number of seats through their website airasia.com, at a low, all-inclusive 99 Malaysian ringgits or 99 dirhams, equivalent to about P1,440, for one-way travel between Nov. 23 and July 31, 2010.

Osman-Rani said they are very optimistic about the new route, expecting it to boost tourism between Abu Dhabi and its neighboring emirates in the UAE and Southeast Asia.

“We are ecstatic with our first long-haul route into the Middle East from Kuala Lumpur. This clearly indicates that our expansion plans are on track which represent our determination in providing truly low fare on our long-haul, low-fare services across the globe,” Osman-Rani said in ceremonies to formally launch the online sales of the Kuala Lumpur-Abu Dhabi seats at the Shangri-La Hotel in Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi last Aug. 19.

Rani explained that the R99/AED99 offer was an introductory offer for about 10 percent of the seats during the concerned travel period.

He gave assurance that the seats for sale beyond the introductory promo will be 40 to 60 percent lower than those in the market.

“It is a promo price which we will keep revisiting similar to what we do with our other flights during our frequent promo sales,” he said.

Kathleen Tan, AirAsia group regional head for commercial, said the Kuala Lumpur-Abu Dhabi route will be a big benefit for OFWs working in the Middle East, especially those bound for or working already in the UAE, especially in the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, and even in neighboring states such as Bahrain and Kuwait.

“With our low fare, they can go home to the Philippines or send for their families to visit them more often because air travel will be more affordable,” Tan told The STAR.

AirAsia operates a daily flight to the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport at the Clark Freeport in Pampanga.

Filipinos are second to Indians in terms of expatriate population working in the UAE, where 80 percent of the population comprises expatriate workers.

According to Dubai and Abu Dhabi-based OFWs, the usual fare going to the UAE costs from 2,400 to 3,000 dirhams (a dirham is worth P13.25 to P13.50).

The Kuala Lumpur-Abu Dhabi route is the latest addition to AirAsia X’s long-haul flights operating out of Kuala Lumpur’s low-cost carrier terminal.

AirAsia X also flies to Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne in Australia; Hangzhou and Tianjin in China; Taipei, London, and now, Abu Dhabi.

The opening of the Kuala Lumpur-Abu Dhabi flight was made possible with the support of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), which both expect the new route to boost tourism in the emirate.

Ahmed Al Haddabi, ADAC senior vice president for airport operations, said the AirAsia X flight from Kuala Lumpur could help them attain their goal of doubling the two million tourists they had in 2008 by 2015.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #317
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CAAP to defer FAA Review Again
Lack of Qualified Flight Safety Inspectors or trying to hire own men?
September 3, 2009


WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the Philippines Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) has officially requested the agency to defer again its Safety Assessment review scheduled in October for next year after failing to hire qualified flight safety inspectors for civil airliners.

"The safety assessment review for the Philippines is scheduled next month October 2009" says Les Dorr Jr., a spokesman for the FAA in Washington."But I think its not gonna happen anytime this year."
This is the third time the Philippine government asked for deferral of compliance verification pursuant to the FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program after it found the country's aviation agency non-compliant with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in December 2007.

Philippine Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza invited the FAA to make the review in June 2008 but got a schedule set for November 2008 to give the Philippine aviation agency ample time to complete its deficiencies but only to be told later by the Philippine government to move the review date to October this year citing "failure to hire qualified personnel" which include among others flight safety inspectors otherwise known as the "Check ride" pilot examiners in the aviation world. The examiner is responsible for airline pilot's certification and rating.

The FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that operate flights to the United States and determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines is addressing the issues, including working with the FAA an action plan on how to correct the areas of concern so that their safety oversight system fully complies with standards and practices set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

But according to ICAO flight safety consultant James Hooker, formerly hired by the Philippine government to address the problem, told that he was not surprise of the numerous deferrals as CAAP officials had been very dismissive of ICAO recommendations in the past that they would probably be rejected by FAA if they come.

Consultant Peter J. Weiss from ICAO, who currently coordinates Flight Operations Quality & Safety Systems in CAAP, replaces Hooker on the post but share the same sentiment to the extent of disapproving outright unqualified applicants to the examiner position and his assent to some qualification issues remain a thorny subject against the world regulating body. CAAP has yet to fulfill the technical requirements in areas of certification because of his objections.

ICAO is the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation. It establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance, which includes pilot rating and certification procedures from qualified pilot instructor.

A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards while Category 2 safety rating means that the country’s civil aviation authority does not comply with ICAO standards.

A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with international standards, or that its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, recordkeeping or inspection procedures.

The inspection aspect tied CAAP to the wall that unless they adhere to ICAO standards, the Philippines dream of Category 1 will just remain well a dream.
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Old September 4th, 2009, 06:43 PM   #318
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Legacy Jet for the next president?
TAKIN' CARE OF BUSINESS

By Babe Romualdez

September 1, 2009

The P1.2-billion budget they were planning for GMA’s executive jet no doubt had bad timing because it came on the heels of criticisms regarding the president’s trips abroad and the lavish dinners in New York and Washington. At this time, it would be more practical and cost effective for the president to lease because she will not have to worry about the problems that have to go with maintaining an executive aircraft.

But perhaps when all the furor has subsided and when the effects of the global recession are starting to subside, people will not be so resistant to the idea of a private jet for the country’s new president – whoever he or she may be. For one, there’s the question of safety. No one will argue that the current fleet at the president’s disposal is composed of half-a-century old planes that are in dire need of some serious refurbishing – problems that afflict even the Philippine Air Force as a whole with their outdated fleet of choppers, fighter jets and other equipment.

An aircraft worth considering would be the Legacy Executive jet from Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers. From the time the company was privatized in 1994, it has become one of the best known companies and a top exporter in Brazil. ATR Kim Eng Financial Corp. chairman Ramon Arnaiz has been quietly working through his Rako Trading Corp. to successfully acquire the exclusive distributorship of the Legacy Executive jet series in the Philippines. The new super midsize aircraft (with a $27-million tag price) on display at the Domestic Airport would be appropriate for the travel needs of the next president of this country.

Derived from the commercial jetliners ERJ-135 and ERJ-145, the Legacy Executive is configured with up to 15 seats, with a full glass cockpit that includes a Honeywell Primus 1000 digital avionics suite and color weather radar with turbulence detection. It also has a Global Positioning System and satellite communications capability. The interior cabin is built with fine-quality hardwood finishes. The cabin can be configured into a 12-seater with sideboard, tables and a three-seat sofa, and it would be perfect for any president who is not over six feet in height.

In 2004, Embraer delivered its first Legacy Executive jet in Macao through the Legend Development Company of David Chow, and Ramon is hoping the Philippines wills see its first Legacy aircraft in the next couple of years. Although the market for midsize jets may still be relatively small, they will try to market it aggressively and simulate the success of Embraer over the years. Although the flagship line is the popular Legacy 600 which began flying in 2002, Embraer has announced two new models, the Legacy 500 and the Legacy 450, which will enter service in 2010 and 2013, respectively. In November last year, the Brazilian conglomerate (with headquarters in Sao Paolo whose facilities boast of a 5,000-m runway that is said to be the third longest in the world) received a total value order of over $208 million for its Legacy series, including from Middle East customers.

While the Brazilian conglomerate’s closest competitor is Canadian manufacturer Bombardier, it has been cutting into the US market and is giving Boeing and Lear jets a run for their money. As a matter of fact, the company has maintenance and commercial offices in Fort Lauderdale in the US and in Paris, Singapore and Beijing. The market in the US however may be a little difficult at this time considering the global financial crisis, with American businessmen selling off their private aircraft. About two weeks ago, the US Congress also announced it was scrapping plans to buy four new executive passenger jets worth $550 million for the Air Force. It’s also dropping plans to refurbish jets for the use of government officials.

It can be recalled that some Congressmen almost went ballistic when automobile executives asking for government bailout money flew into Washington with their executive jets – prompting one irate lawmaker to comment that it was ironic for auto executives to fly to Washington with a begging bowl in hand. Early this year, Citigroup had to drop plans for the purchase of a $50 million Dassault Falcon jet it ordered in 2005 even though it would have to pay huge penalties due to severe criticism from legislators and ordinary Americans, with Barack Obama also commenting that buying jets was not the best use of money by companies receiving government bailout funds.

Embraer though continues to be optimistic with the future of the company, breaking ground for its first US assembly plant in December last year. According to former Embraer president and CEO Mauricio Botelho (who is credited for turning the flagging, state-owned company into the 4th largest aircraft manufacturer in the world), their strategy has been to take on the competition by “offering products with the latest technology and more competitive operating costs,” anticipating better profit margins in the area of executive aviation than in commercial aviation. There are now over 130 Legacy aircraft operating in more than 23 countries, including China and India – and hopefully soon, the Philippines.
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Old September 5th, 2009, 06:09 AM   #319
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PAL offers discounted tickets for INC members


MANILA - Flag carrier Philippine Airlines is offering special discounted tickets to members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) abroad who wish to travel back to the country to pay their last respects to the late INC leader Erano “Ka Erdie” Manalo.

"Upon instructions of our Chairman Dr. Lucio Tan, PAL is offering special discounted ticket prices to INC members who may wish to come home,” said PAL President Jaime Bautista.

In a press statement, PAL said the move is to show the flag carrier’s “goodwill gesture”.

“This is PAL's modest way of showing respect and camaraderie with millions of INC members worldwide who are mourning Ka Erdie's passing," Bautista added.

Manalo, the INC's second executive minister, died of cardiopulmonary arrest on Monday at 3:53 pm. He was 84.

Eraño is the son of Felix Manalo, founder and first executive minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Manalo took over the administration of the church after his father's death in 1963. He was instrumental in the expansion of the church internationally.

PAL’s special “all-in” round-trip economy fares, excluding government taxes, for INC passengers are as follows: Ex-US, USD 699; Ex-Australia, AUD 799; Ex-Hong Kong, HKD 1,099; Ex-Macau, MOP 1,099; Ex-Singapore, SGD 399; Ex-Guam, USD 299; Ex-Bangkok, THB 7,999; Ex-Japan, PY 49,999; and Ex-Taipei, TWD 4,999.

Sales, ticketing and travel are valid from September 2 to 9, 2009. Other fare conditions include a minimum of three days and a maximum of 14 days for US and Australia; a minimum of three days and maximum of 8 days for regional flights.

Additional information and ticket sales are found on the PAL website, PAL Ticket offices and selected travel agents.
as of 09/04/2009 6:31 PM
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Old September 5th, 2009, 06:10 AM   #320
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International air passenger traffic falls during first half, govt says
09/03/2009 | 01:11 PM BusinessWorld

The number of passengers on international flights who passed through the country’s airports dipped just slightly in the first half from the same period last year, despite the feared double impact of the global economic slump and the pandemic scare, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said on Tuesday.

CAB data show that total international passenger traffic dipped 0.48 percent to 6.26 million in the first six months from 6.29 million in the same period last year, though still higher than 2007 level of 5.76 million.

Incoming passengers totaled 3.25 million, 0.6 percent less than last year’s 3.27 million, accounting for a little more than half the total international passenger traffic flow.

Outgoing passengers, on the other hand, went down 0.33 percent to 3.01 million from 3.02 million in the same comparative periods.

"Decline in international passenger traffic was better than expected despite forecasts that overseas travel will be impacted [sic] by the global crisis and the A(H1N1) virus scare[but] the second wave of A(H1N1) remains a threat to airlines’ international operations...in the second half of this year," CAB deputy executive director Porvenir P. Porciuncula said in a phone interview.

The International Air Transport Association said international passenger traffic in June fell 7.2 percent year-on-year, amid a bleak outlook for the rest of the year.

The group saw the biggest decline in Asia Pacific, where the drop was 14.5 percent in June.

Philippine Airlines (PAL), which topped the passenger traffic of 32 other carriers on CAB’s list, accounting for more than a sixth of the total, saw its traffic dipping 9 percent year on year to 1.74 million in the first half.

PAL officials were not immediately available for comment.

Cebu Pacific Air, which came in second, saw its traffic rising 18.7 percent to 797,523 passengers from 671,738.

Candice A. Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice-president for marketing and distribution, said in a phone interview that the growth can be attributed to low fares and more aircrafts.

She said customers who took advantage of the carrier’s "Go Lite" fares, which offer low all-in rates for passengers without check-in baggage starting mid-last year, accounted for 15 percent-20 percent of its total.

She clarified, however, that the rise in international passengers of almost a fifth did not contribute significantly in the carrier’s revenues because the average ticket price is lower by a tenth.

The rest of the top 10 carriers on CAB’s list were: Cathay Pacific Airways, down 0.8 percent to 735,817; Singapore Airlines, down 5.2 percent to 272,008; Asiana Airlines, up 74.89 percent to 252,273; Northwest Airlines, down 11.54 percent to 233,870; Emirates Air, up 4.15 percent to 226,800; Japan Airlines, down 3.08 percent to 215,746; Qatar Airways, up 19.98 percent to 212,798; and Korean Air, down 13.67 percent to 196,507. - J. F. de Guzman
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