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Old January 13th, 2010, 03:59 PM   #441
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NAIA Security Breached
teen dressed as pilot arrested


By Jerome Aning
January 13, 2009

Hani Bokhari, a Saudi national and a flying school student of Master Flying School. Image courtesy by Eric Apolonio
MANILA - The Bureau of Immigration (BI) BI) has taken custody of a 19-year-old student pilot from Saudi Arabia who was arrested on Monday night for entering a restricted area at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) without the required clearance.


BI-Naia operations chief Ferdinand Sampol said Hani Bokhari would soon be transferred to the BI detention center in Bicutan, Taguig City, after it learned that his visa expired two weeks ago.

“He’s an overstaying alien and he will be deported without prejudice to the charges that airport authorities may file against him,” Sampol added.

He said Bokhari was initially detained at the immigration holding area but he was brought to a nearby hospital after he collapsed and complained of feeling unwell.

“Once we confirm that his vital signs are normal, we will bring him to Bicutan. We did not bring him on Monday night because of security concerns about transporting him at night,” the BI-Naia official told the Inquirer on the phone.

“We are treating this [incident] as a serious breach of [security]. We find it alarming because just by being dressed as a pilot, he went to place where he’s not supposed to be found,” Sampol said.

Based on an initial report, Bokhari, who was dressed in a pilot’s uniform, entered the Naia Terminal departure area at around noon on Monday and went into the arrival section without obtaining the required pass.

He was apprehended by airport security at around 6 p.m. as he leaving the gate reserved for airline employees. He was then placed under arrest when he failed to show any authorization or passport. All that he presented was an identification card showing that he was the dependent of a Saudia Airlines’ crew member.

The Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) which runs the Naia terminals said it was conducting a security review to prevent similar incidents, Miaa General Manager Alfonso Cusi said.

Bokhari, a student of the Master Flying School in Pasay City, said he was just waiting for his father, Abdullah Bokhari, a former Saudia pilot, who was due to arrive in Manila on Monday night.

He explained that he was wearing a pilot’s uniform because he wanted to surprise his father.

He later called up his brother, Mohammad, and asked him to bring his passport to Naia.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 04:00 PM   #442
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Pacific Flier, up and almost away!
Ownership issues defers flight plans!
January 11, 2010

Koror- Newly formed airline Pacific flier suffered a stumbling block in its bid to launch international flight services to the Philippines after the FAA refused to grant it a foreign air carrier's permit.

The FAA decision prompted the Palau-based carrier owned by Aviation Matters to suspend and defer its flight plans from Koror to Brisbane, Manila and Guam scheduled for January 12 launch due to ownership issues as found by the FAA, an airline executive said Monday.


"We are still waiting for the FAA's approval but unfortunately they wont be coming any time soon due to some technical and legal issues with them" says Eckert Seamans, Legal representative for the airline.

Pacific Flier Airline is supposed to start flight on January 12 using an Airbus A310-300 from Hi Fly-Transportes Aereos, S.A, a Portuguese-based leasing firm. But Continental Micronesia protested said application on grounds of ownership as effective control of the airline belongs to HiFly, a charter airline based in Lisbon Portugal.

The FAA said that while Aviation Matters, the holdidng company of Pacific Flier, is incorporated in Palau, majority of its owners are not citizens of the island making it a foreign controlled airline. Due to ownership issues, the operators permit was denied killing the airlines hope of flying the pacific skies under the current corporate regime.

"We already filed a petition to the FAA for an exemption to the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) for a foreign air carrier permit and they are pending resolution" says Seamans.

While the airline waits for its approval, they were prevented from selling airline tickets for the proposed destination until a permit is issued.

The leased aircraft (cn495) with registry CS-TEI is capable of accommodating 18 business and 176 economy passengers says Shane Styles, the airline’s marketing head.

"The Airbus 310 is supposed to arrived from Lisbon to Clark airport in Manila via Dubai tomorrow as it start scheduled flight to Koror" says Styles. One way fare from Clark has been pegged at $230 per person and $459 return, exclusive of government taxes.

Pacific flier scheduled departure every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday from Palau to Manila Clark at 7:00 AM with arrivals at 10:35AM for a travel time of 2 hours and 30 minutes. Schedule for departures from Clark is every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday leaving at 5:40PM arriving Koror at 7:10PM Local time. It was then scheduled to leave for Brisbane in Australia and back to Koror before proceeding to Guam and back to Koror then Manila in that rotation.

Styles said that flyers were already circulated to travel agents in a 16-page brochure offering packages in Guam and Palau but the airline's booking engine was disabled by FAA preventing them to take online bookings.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #443
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Airport restrictions hurting Boracay tourism
By Daxim Lucas
First Posted 20:27:00 01/13/2010

FLYING TO THE WORLD-FAMOUS Boracay Island for a weekend getaway in one of its many resorts used to be a fast, convenient and affordable experience for hundreds of thousands of foreign and local tourists each year.

Up until the third quarter of last year, visitors could fly from Manila to nearby Caticlan airport in as little as 35 minutes, take a short ferry ride to the island’s white sand beaches, and check into a hotel room within an hour and a half of leaving the metropolis.


All this changed when aviation authorities imposed flight restrictions on Caticlan airport after a string of aircraft accidents and “near misses.” That left only high-end niche carrier Southeast Asian Airline as the sole operator to the gateway of Boracay.

More affordable flights operated by PAL Express, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air—all of which charged cheaper fare—had to be diverted to Kalibo Airport which is a two-hour land trip away from Caticlan.

“The effects of this flight diversions really hit the local tourism industry badly,” said Ike Guanio, who is the chief operating officer of Boracay’s sprawling Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Country Club.

“At one point, [reservation] cancellations [for local resort hotels] reached as high as 70 percent,” he added. “We were all affected.”

In an interview with the Inquirer, Guanio explained that a large number of tourists who visit Boracay Island do so during weekends, flying in on Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings, and returning to Manila or Cebu on Sunday afternoons.

The limited operations of Caticlan airport—which forced most airlines to fly tourists in via Kalibo—had turned off many potential travelers, putting a dampener on the island’s multimillion-peso tourism industry.

“Time is precious for weekend tourists,” Guanio said. “They don’t want to spend half of Saturday getting to Boracay and half of Sunday getting out of Boracay.

“Right now, it has become really inconvenient for people to come to Boracay, especially if they fly in via Kalibo,” he said, pointing to the approaching peak summer travel season. We need Caticlan to resume operations to restore, or even improve, tourist traffic.”

Over the long term, what is needed is for Caticlan airport’s 900-meter runway to be extended to at least 1,800 meters for it to be able to accommodate the Airbus A320 aircraft.

For the short term, a 50-meter-high hill on one end of the runway has to be reduced in size. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (Caap), the hill prevents larger turboprop aircraft from flying in and out of the airport.

The challenge was taken up by the the Caticlan International Airport Development Corp. (CIADC), a consortium majority-owned by businessman George Yang, more famously known for bringing the McDonald’s fastfood chain to the country.

With a P2.5-billion bid, CIADC secured a 25-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) deal to extend the runway and build a new terminal for the airport.

Recently, however, the deal has come under intense attack from critics who claim that the airport expansion will adversely affect the environment on Boracay Island, which is separated form Caticlan by a deep channel.

In particular, critics of the deal have presented to the media one environment official who claimed that the development plan would eventually cause Boracay’s white sand beaches to be eroded.

In several interviews made with local stakeholders, however, another motive has emerged for the opponents of the Caticlan airport expansion: property speculation.

“There’s another group that’s pushing for the development of an international airport on Carabao Island,” said Aklan lawmaker Florencio Miraflores. “It’s just a proposal [at this point], but it’s being aggressively marketed as an alternative project.”

Along with other local officials, Miraflores believes that business—and not the environment—is the root of the opposition to the Caticlan airport expansion. (To be concluded.)
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #444
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Old January 16th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #445
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16 January 2010
PAL returns to Saudi March 28
MANILA – Philippine Airlines resumes a long-awaited service to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on March 28, 2010, heeding the clamor of the large Filipino community in the Middle East and marking a return to the region after an absence of four years.

The non-stop service will operate four times weekly, with flight PR 658 departing Manila every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 6:20 p.m. It arrives in the Saudi capital at 11:00 p.m. (Riyadh time)

The return service, PR 659, departs Riyadh at 12:30 a.m. every Wednesday, Friday, Sunday and Monday, and arrives back in Manila at 3:00 p.m. (Manila time)

Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which seat 50 passengers in Mabuhay Class (business) and 383 in Fiesta Class (economy), will be deployed on the service.

PAL last served Riyadh, its final destination in the Middle East, on March 2, 2006. The service was suspended for commercial reasons.

The flag carrier’s return to the region has been welcomed by Filipino expatriates, who number about 2 million – one of the largest foreign communities working there.

PAL has been traditionally favored by Filipinos in the Middle East because its direct service to Manila means that they get home faster compared to other carriers, whose flights can involve up to two stops in intermediate cities before proceeding to Manila.

PAL first flew to Riyadh on March 1, 1987 and over the decades the Saudi capital became one of its most important points.

From March 28, with the addition of Riyadh, the PAL network will count 25 international destinations as well as 29 points in the Philippines.

For booking requirements, passengers are advised to visit www.philippineairlines.com or call (02) 855-8888.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 10:25 AM   #446
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Zest Air to expand fleet
before resuming Clark-HK flights
BY GENIVI FACTAO

Philippine carrier Zest Air has committed to expand its fleet before resuming its Clark-Hong Kong flights, said Victor Jose Luciano, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) President and CEO.

Luciano confirmed that Zest Air need to cease operations since it has to undergo capacity building to properly serve its passengers.


"Its two aircrafts are fully utilized for Manila, so they need to stop operating Clark. They really need more aircrafts," Luciano said at the sidelines of yesterday’s Tourism Congress.

He added that Zest Air has committed to acquire six to seven aircrafts, targeting to deliver at least 2 to 3 planes beginning next year.

The low cost carrier started servicing Clark-Hong Kong on October 24, flying three times weekly, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, using its Airbus 320, with a seat capacity of 168.

Zest Air attributes lower than average sales out of Clark airport barely two months after it started flying out to Hong Kong

The firm’s marketing department official said they launched the Hong Kong destination to service the Overseas Filipino Workers from Hong Kong who usually go home during Christmas and New Year.

The firm’s marketing manager claimed it has offered $60 holiday round trip promo to its faithful clients. But its load capacity only reached 30 percent, lower than the projected load factor of 80 percent.

Besides Hong Kong, it flies to Malaysia and Singapore. The airline will extend its network to international destinations in Southeast Asia and plans to fly to Shanghai, Japan and Singapore.

Zest Air’s first brand new single aisle Airbus 320 arrived only last July, joining an existing fleet of two A320s that the airline purchased in the open market in 2008.

"With our plans to expand our operation to the Southeast Asian region, it becomes necessary to grow our fleet size," said Alfredo M. Yao, president and CEO of Zest Air in previous interview.

A320 provides added space and comfort to its passengers, aside from being a reliable and cost efficient aircraft.

John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer – customers, said " With the lowest operating costs in its class and the highest levels of passenger comfort, the A320 will position Zest Air well to offer competitive and profitable service on its growing route network."

Zest Air flies to 21 destinations from both its Manila and Cebu hubs.

Its domestic destinations include Bacolod , Boracay, Busuanga, Calbayog, Catarman, Cebu, Clark, Davao , Iloilo , Kalibo, Legazpi, Manila , Marinduque, Naga, Puerto Princesa, Mindoro Tablas, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Virac and Zamboanga.[/QUOTE]
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Old January 16th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #447
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Airline passengers mad over diverted flight
SS-CDO January 15, 2010

ANGRY passengers of Cebu Pacific's Manila-Cagayan de Oro flight recounted Thursday hours of ordeal with the airline after inclement weather condition forced their plane to divert to Cebu's Mactan airport.

Wednesday's flight 389 expected to arrive in Cagayan de Oro at 4:25 p.m. carried 160 passengers, who complained of shabby treatment from the airline after being told to deplane in Mactan airport without being given accommodation for the night whatsoever.


"They just unceremoniously want us to get out of the plane and take it from there," said American David Kent, who was with his Filipina wife, Eva, on the flight. "We refused unless they book us to some hotel, and it all went downhill from there."

Prior to being told to deplane, the passengers were assured that the flight would head back to Manila, Kent said.

It all changed minutes later, he said, this time with the airline management telling passengers they would be booked on the earliest flight the day after and their tickets honored for 30 days.

Eva, Kent's wife, said this did not sit well with most passengers, who reminded the airline staff that not all of them can afford to sleep in hotels.

"Where do we sleep then? In the airport lounge?" she answered.

The airline, she said, would not foot the bill for the accommodation since the flight's diversion was "an act of God."

"We can't control the weather," Mrs. Kent quoted one airline crew as saying.

"It was all harrowing--an experience I'd rather not have again," she said.

The irate passengers and the airline staff traded arguments for hours, she said, while some passengers opted to get out of the plane.

Agnes Roa, a columnist of this paper who was on the flight, complained of the crew's "rudeness".

"They're (airline crew) all bastos, and you could see and hear how disrespectful they were to the passengers. Instead of resolving our complaints, they added a great deal to our troubles," she said.

Already fuming, some passengers, she said, brandished their videocameras and threaten to have the whole scene uploaded on Youtube.

The airline only relented to bring them back to Manila past 10 p.m., she said, "after the shouting and all."

Throughout the ordeal, the airline crew only managed to give them a pair of doughnuts and water for dinner, Roa said.

"But I'm thankful I've survived it all," she said. "I'd never be on that plane again!"

This paper contacted several Cebu Pacific spokespersons but their phones run unanswered.

Last week, Cebu Pacific was in hot water for refusing to board a special child.

According to Marites Alcantara, the Gokongwei-led carrier's purser and cabin crew pressured her and her son, John Arvin, to get off the plane bound for Manila from Hong Kong.

Alcantara said the crew members flatly told her that John Arvin is a special child and is banned from boarding Cebu Pacific planes, citing company rules.

Days after the incident, Cebu Pacific said it would train crews on handling special children.

"We are in the process of creating a training program for our people to avoid similar incidents from happening again," Cebu Pacific spokesperson Candice Iyog said in a statement.
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Old January 16th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #448
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Seair offers anniversary promos

abs-cbnNEWS.com | 01/14/2010 10:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines - In celebration of its 15th anniversary, Southeast Asian Airlines (Seair) is offering special promos for Boracay flights.

Travelers can avail of Seair's special "morning" rates of as low as P1,999.20 per way when they book as early as February for travel starting March onwards. The special rates are available for limited seats for flights to and from Boracay before 7 a.m.

Seair is also giving away online booking discounts. A P1,500 discount per way for all seats, flights and routes will be awarded to travelers booking via www.FlySeair.com.

"This is Seair's way of thanking travelers for their continued support. The airline has been serving key tourist destinations since 1995, most notably Boracay, and has the longest history of uninterrupted service to Boracay direct via Caticlan," the carrier said.

Seair now offers up to 27 flights per day to Boracay (Caticlan) and is now flying daily to the island paradise of Batanes. It also flies to El Nido every Wednesday and Sunday, as well as Marinduque every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Seair, the nation's second-oldest airline, has flown almost 3 million passengers to local destinations including Tablas (Romblon), Cebu, Clark, Zamboanga, Jolo, and Tawi-tawi.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 03:16 AM   #449
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ASEAN ‘open skies’ accord expected in April—Durano
By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 19:21:00 01/16/2010 Filed Under: Air Transport, Tourism, ASEAN

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is to sign an "open skies" agreement with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in April, a pact that the Department of Tourism said would dramatically increase tourist arrivals in the country.

Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said the ASEAN member countries and the Philippines could sign the policy around April. The agreement, he noted in a statement, would liberalize air space among ASEAN member countries.


The open skies agreement, Durano explained, would encourage more airlines to land in the country by removing certain tariffs and add-on expenses, increasing flights and providing more options for passengers.

“We are taking positive steps towards the signing of the agreement, as the benefits of air space liberalization for the country signal a region-wide increase in cooperation and tourism activity,” he said.

Durano also noted that the open skies deal would mean greater trade between the Philippines and its ASEAN neighbors and innovations in the aviation industry.

“The sealing of this deal strengthens not only tourism but more so, economic relations between the country and our ASEAN counterparts. We see this as a welcome development, contributing to the growth of the airline industry through increased availability for more passengers.”

DoT officials said the Philippines was late in liberalizing its airline sector, compared to other ASEAN countries.

“Our neighbors in the region have seen the benefits of the open skies agreement, and we hope to replicate the same success here in the country, ” Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque, Jr. said.

He noted that Singapore and Malaysia, which were among the first to restructure their airline industry, have been reaping rewards. The two countries, Jarque said, have enjoyed robust tourism growth in the past years.

The DoT said it is prepared to host steady influx of domestic and foreign tourists in the coming years.

Rolando Cańizal, Director of Tourism Development Planning, said there has been an increase in interest and investments in the local tourism sector.

“Investments in hotels, resorts, and tourism-related establishments have continually progressed from the past years, which added to the country’s capacity to host more guests,” Cańizal he said.

In 2009, at least P36 billion poured into investments in tourism facilities and projects from the private sector, the DoT said. The projects, which will open between 2010 and 2014, are expected to generate 15,000 jobs and will provide 4,000 additional rooms.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 07:28 AM   #450
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Major Brazilian jetmaker appoints Philippine agent
January 17, 2010, 12:25pm

Embraer’s Phenon 100 executive jet

Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A.’s (Embraer) has announced the appointment of Raco Trading Phils., Inc. as the exclusive Philippine agent for its line of executive jets covering the Lineage 1000, Legacy 650, Legacy 600, Legacy 500, Legacy 450, Phenom 300 and Phenom 100 aircraft.

Established in Brazil in 1969 as a direct outcome of the government’s strategic aircraft manufacturing project, Embraer was eventually privatized in 1994. Today, the company is a publicly traded company manufacturing aircraft catering to the corporate, commercial and defense aviation industry.

Embraer employs over 17,000 employees with manufacturing and service centers in Brazil, France, USA, Singapore and China. In 2008, the company generated sales of over US$6.3 billion delivering 204 aircraft to satisfied clients around the world.

In order to promote its products, Embraer will bring the Phenom 100 executive jet to the Philippines next week.

The jet is scheduled to be in Cebu on January 19 and in Manila from January 20-22. Premium comfort, outstanding performance and low operating costs are key design drivers of the Phenom 100 best-in-class jet.

The aircraft offers unprecedented comfort and style in its category.

Developed in partnership with BMW Group DesignworksUSA, the innovative interior design and relaxing ambience are enhanced by large windows and the most ample cabin in its class.

The Phenom 100 was introduced by Embraer in 2005, and is the most comfortable business jet in the entry level category, accommodating four passengers in the club seat configuration.

The aircraft is capable of flying at 41,000 feet, attained by a direct climb, even when fully loaded. In addition, the Phenom 100 is designed to perform short-field takeoffs or landings and to fly at a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.70, or 390 knots. It can fly nonstop from New York to Miami, in the US; from London to Rome, in Europe; from Brisbane to Melbourne, in Australia; from from Cebu to Taipei or Hong Kong, or from Manila to Shanghai or Hanoi in Asia. With a 2010 delivered price of US$3,830,000.00, the Phenom 100 is one of the most cost effective planes in the market today.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 07:29 AM   #451
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Hurry!! Limited seats only!!!
Available at www.philippineairlines.com or call PAL Reservations at (02) 855-8888 or visit PAL ticket office.

Selling and Ticketing Period: 18 to 25 January 2010 only.
Travel Period: 01 February to 15 March 2010 (For outbound travel)

MANILA TO FARE BASIS ROUND TRIP
ALL-IN FARE
(USD)
TAIPEI WELUVPAL 128
HONGKONG 128
MACAU 128
BANGKOK 158
SAIGON 158
SINGAPORE 178
JAKARTA 178
OSAKA 258
SHANGHAI 258
BEIJING 328
TOKYO X777TYO 518
LOS ANGELES ULUVPAL 798
SAN FRANCISCO

Fares listed above are INCLUSIVE of surcharges but EXCLUSIVE of Philippine Travel Tax, other airport fees and charges.

For US travel, fare does not also include USD56.70 U.S. Government Taxes and Fees including the September 11th Security Fee.

Travel Conditions for Fare Basis WELUVPAL

•Minimum of two (2) days and maximum of eight (8) days stay
•Confirmed reservations are required for bothways
•Rebooking permitted at USD 50 per transaction
•Fares and surcharges are non-refundable
•Original non-refundable amount remains non-refundable in case of upgrading
•Reissuance fee at a charge of USD 25
•No Show Fee at a charge of USD75 or 1/2 of the round trip fare whichever is lower
•No children/infant discounts
•Free Baggage Allowance is 15 kilograms per passenger
•25% Mileage accrual applies
•Service Class upgrade award do not apply on this fare

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Travel Conditions for Fare Basis X777TYO
•No minimum stay requirement and maximum of thirty days (30) stay
•Confirmed reservations are required for bothways
•Cancellations
Before departure - Refund service fee of USD 100 applies
After departure - Ticket is non-refundable
•Changes
Rebooking permitted at USD 50 per transaction
Reissuance fee at a charge of USD 25
No Show Fee at a charge of USD75 or 1/2 of the round trip fare whichever is lower
•Children/Infant discounts
Accompanied Child 2-11 years old -75% of the fare
Unaccompanied Child 8-11 years old - 100% of the fare
Infant under 2 with a seat - 75% of the fare
Infant Under 2 without a seat - 10% of the fare

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Travel Conditions for Fare Basis ULUVPAL
•Minimum of three (3) days and maximum of three (3) months stay
•Confirmed reservations are required for both inbound and outbound sectors
•Fares and surcharges are non-refundable
•Original non-refundable amount remains non-refundable in case of upgrading
•Changes
Rebooking permitted at USD 150 per transaction
Reissuance fee at a charge of USD 25
No Show Fee at a charge of USD75
•Rerouting not permitted
•Children/Infant discounts
Accompanied Child 2-11 years old -80% of the fare
Unaccompanied Child 8-11 years old - 100% of the fare
Infant under 2 with a seat - 80% of the fare
Infant Under 2 without a seat - 25% of the fare
•25% Mileage accrual
•Service Class upgrade award do not apply on this fare

http://www.philippineairlines.com/sp.../valentine.jsp
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Old January 18th, 2010, 07:38 AM   #452
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 04:00 AM   #453
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IMG]http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4006/4281067078_3bea7d1d02_b.jpg[/IMG]

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


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Old January 22nd, 2010, 04:00 AM   #454
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P5M civil suit vs CebPac for offloaded child
by Tetch Torres


MANILA, Philippines—A civil suit for P5 million in damages was filed Thursday against Cebu Pacific for offloading a mother and her son December last year.

Lawyer Salvador Panelo, counsel for Teresita Alcantara, said the suit filed before the Antipolo City Regional Trial Court is “for compelling mother and child to get off the plane last year.”


He said refusing to convey a passenger with disability is a violation of Article 3 Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that “the liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired except upon lawful order of the court. Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.”

Panelo said the airline also violated Republic Act 7277 or The Magna Carta for Disabled Persons which considers “discrimination for the franchisees or operators and personnel of sea, land, and air transportation facilities to charge higher fare or to refuse to convey a passenger by reason of his disability."

Panelo added that there is also a violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law which protects a child against any form of discrimination, among others.

Teresita Alcantara and her 10-year-old son with Down Syndrome were asked by Cebu Pacific to get off the plane because the airline allegedly disallows “mentally ill” passengers.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 04:03 AM   #455
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Delivery Flight for Philippine Airlines' Second B777-300ER
RP-C7776




777 takes Tokyo flight
As PAL takes delivery of second triple seven

January 21, 2010

Philippine airlines takes delivery of its second Boeing 777-300ER (RP-C7776) aircraft today. It is scheduled to exclusively service most of the Manila-Narita route and vice versa. It will begin flight rotations to Hongkong and Sydney in March.

In commemorating its arrival, the airline is launching the short-term promotional fares on flights to all its domestic jet destinations in Luzon and Visayas with P777 one-way flat rate on Fiesta Class (economy), dubbed as “Valentine Special.” The promo is also available for flights between Cebu and Davao. While Mindanao will have a promo fare rate of P1,777 in Fiesta class.

Covered by the promo are PAL-operated flights between Manila and Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Legazpi, Ozamiz, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, Tacloban, Tagbilaran and Zamboanga; as well as between Cebu and Davao.

These fares are available for ticketing until Jan. 25, 2010 and are valid for travel from Feb. 1 to March 15, 2010.

Meanwhile, PAL is also offering a promotional round-trip deal for its flight overseas, with Fiesta Class fares between Manila and choice destinations as follows:
$128 for Hong Kong, Macau or Taipei;
$158 for Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City;
$178 for Singapore or Jakarta;
$258 for Osaka or Shanghai;
$328 for Beijing;
$518 for Tokyo; and
$798 for Los Angeles or San Francisco.

The promotional deal excludes flight to Australia, Guam, Hawaii and Vancouver.

The promo fares are exclusive of government taxes and are non-refundable although rebooking is allowed.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 04:05 AM   #456
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JAL comforts Philippine passengers

Amidst bankruptcy declaration

January 22, 2010

TOKYO - Japan Airlines (JAL) sought to reassure the traveling public in the Philippines that it will keep flying despite declaring bankruptcy as it plans to keep flight to Manila which the airline said is not one of its unprofitable routes.

The national carrier also announced that it intends to retire its 37 Boeing 747-400s, axe 15,700 jobs almost equivalent to one-third of its workforce, and cut unprofitable routes.

JAL has a fleet of 279 aircraft with more than 70 on order, including 35 Boeing 787s. It serves 217 destinations in 35 countries. It intends to continue flying the Philippines using a much smaller Boeing triple seven and B767 series planes.

The debt-laden carrier has apologized for causing "tremendous worries to customers" and promised that "JAL will keep flying" and that passengers' air miles will remain valid.

"Please be reassured and use us as before," the company pleaded.

The once iconic airline, a symbol of Japan's rise to prosperity, filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday with 26 billion dollars in debt in the country's biggest post-war corporate failure outside the financial sector.

JAL, which carries more than 50 million passengers a year, is set to receive almost 10 billion dollars in public funds and emergency loans under a three-year turnaround plan.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange will delist JAL shares by February 20, a move expected to wipe out shareholders' investments.

The company has made no announcement regarding its tie-up talks with American and Delta Air Lines, which are in a bidding war for a slice of the carrier, eyeing its lucrative Asian landing slots.

JAL is understood to prefer switching its alliance from the American Airlines-led oneworld grouping to SkyTeam with Delta.

But it is expected to take some time for JAL and Delta to clear anti-trust hurdles and get approval from US authorities for joint operations.

The government has tapped Kazuo Inamori, a 77-year-old entrepreneur, business guru and ordained Buddhist monk, to run the stricken airline during its overhaul, replacing Haruka Nishimatsu, who resigned as president Tuesday.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 04:07 AM   #457
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Embraer opens RP branch
Names Raco Trading as its agent

January 22, 2010

RACO TRADING PHILS INC. was recently appointed the exclusive Philippine sales agent for Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A.’s (Embraer) line of executive jets.

The Brazil based aircraft manufacturer offers the Lineage 1000, Legacy 650, Legacy 600, Legacy 500, Legacy 450, Phenom 300 and Phenom 100 aircraft.

Established in Brazil in 1969, as part of the government’s strategic aircraft manufacturing project, Embraer was privatized in 1994. It is now a publicly traded aircraft maker catering to corporate, commercial and defense aviation sectors.

"Embraer is marketing the Phenom 100 executive jet to the Philippines" says Ramon Arnaiz who heads the Embraer sales team.

The company recently lost its major sale to the Philippine government when the Office of the President deferred its plan to purchase a new generation jet said to be Legacy 600 for the use of the Chief Executive valued at 1.2 billion pesos.

Arnaiz said they hoped to offer the legacy jet to the next President of the Philippines.

Embraer did a marketing blitz of select Asia-Pacific countries, including the Philippines, to showcase one of their new line of executive jets particularly the Phenom 100 which was on display at Mactan airport in Cebu last January 19 and in Manila from January 20 to 22.

The Phenom 100 was introduced by Embraer in 2005, and is the most comfortable business jet in the entry-level category, accommodating four passengers in the club seat configuration. The aircraft is capable of flying at 41,000 feet, attained by a direct climb, even when fully loaded.

The executive jet is also designed to perform short-field takeoffs or landings and to fly at a maximum cruise speed of Mach 0.70, or 390 knots which is ideal for Presidential and senatorial bets for their election campaigns. It can fly nonstop from New York to Miami, in the US; from London to Rome, in Europe; from Brisbane to Melbourne, in Australia; from Cebu to Taipei or Hong Kong, or from Manila to Shanghai or Hanoi in Asia.

With a 2010 delivery price of $3,830,000, the Phenom 100 is one of the most cost effective planes in the market today. And the ultimate (and most desirable) business tool for those in the corporate world who can afford it.

Embraer employs in excess of 17,000 employees with manufacturing and service centers in Brazil, France, US, Singapore and China.

In 2008, the company generated sales in excess of $ 6.3 billion delivering 204 aircraft to satisfied clients around the world.
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Old January 22nd, 2010, 04:08 AM   #458
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PAL plans to outsource 4,000 regular jobs
By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
January 19, 2010, 3:21pm

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has to outsource operations and lay off 4,000 regular jobs to cut costs or go bankrupt.

This has been a nagging concern of the PAL Employees Association (PALEA), according to President Edgardo C. Oredina in his letter to PALEA members last month (December, 22, 2009).


Without a new capital infusion, the flag carrier will go bankrupt, the union chief quoted PAL President Jaime J. Bautista as saying to the National Conciliation and Mediation of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) board two months ago.

PAL Chairman Lucio Tan usually infuses capital into the flag carrier as a temporary relief to sustain its operations. But now, the airline plans to outsource some of its operations to avoid being in the red.

PALEA wrote to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo requesting her to intervene to prevent the layoff of thousands of workers, Oredina revealed. When Malacanang did not respond, the union sought the help of DOLE and asked whether it is possible for the government to take over PAL if the need arises.

However, the possibility of a state takeover of the flag carrier is “very remote,” DoLE Secretary Marianito Roque told PALEA. “The government has no capacity to operate an airline.” He assured them instead that DoLE will help on the issue of job preservation and that no worker will be displaced.

PALEA was also concerned that the gains of low fares no frills airlines like Cebu Pacific are the loss of legacy airlines and flag carriers like PAL.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 01:51 AM   #459
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PAL flies RP medical team to Haiti
Contributes to relief effort!


PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) will fly a team of Filipino medical specialists on the trans-Pacific legs of its journey to Haiti on Monday, where they will aid in treating survivors of the devastating January 12 earthquake.


The 21-member team, organized by the Department of Health and comprising of trauma experts, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, will depart Manila at 10:30 p.m. on flight PR 104 to San Francisco, where they will board a connecting flight to Miami and then to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

From there, the team will travel to Port-au-Prince, capital of Haiti, where they will join an international corps of medical specialists and aid workers already on the ground helping the disaster-shocked population recover from the worst natural calamity to hit the Caribbean nation.

The Philippine contingent will stay for just over two weeks in Haiti. They will return to Santo Domingo on February 11 for Miami and San Francisco, where they will board PAL flight PR 105 at 9:05 p.m. local time. The team will arrive in Manila at 5:25 a.m. on February 13.

The cost of transporting the Philippine medical mission to and from Haiti will be borne by PAL as the flag carrier’s contribution to the international relief effort for the battered country.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #460
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What lies ahead for PAL?
Shining Through!

January 25, 2010

2010 has been dubbed by Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation as the year of the Asian Airline bailout headed by Japan Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air India in guise of a financial term called "restructuring program".

Garuda Indonesia, Thai Airways and Malaysia Airlines are also seeking government assistance A.K.A "bailout" of its huge financial losses to help them support fleet expansion and operations.

All these six airlines are set to receive well over USD10 billion in bailouts in the first three months of 2010, according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation's estimates.

Justify Full


Lucio Tan owned Philippine Airlines on the other hand is happy where it is, except for some indifferent labor unions who does not know the word "recession","globalization" or "job outsourcing strategy" which could potentially make or break the airline for good.

PAL’s union members have been hoping for a similar bailout strategy from the Philippine government to infuse funds with same losing structure to keep PAL flying. Unfortunately, the government, with its huge fiscal deficit, cannot gamble its limited financial resources to an inefficient airline, like what the Japanese government is now doing to support JAL or other government airline such as Thai and Malaysia airlines. It did not do so in 1998 when it filed for bankruptcy, it will not intervene now even if President Arroyo wants to.

PAL has been Lucio Tan's biggest headache despite the wealth he generates for his business empire. He has been quoted by Boo Changco saying that "airline is bad news" for him. And he is not into spending mode unless management fixes its loopholes that drains his investments away. With Cebu Pacific profits soaring and his profits diving, there must be something wrong with the airline which need fixing fast.

Jaime Bautista, PAL President, found a pill for its nagging headache, a fixed labor cost, which could potentially cut half their expenditure for ground related services.

Philippine Airlines announced their plans to outsource non-essential jobs in the airline in an attempt to improve its profitability and chances of survival against the growing treat of low cost airlines.

Despite the union's vigorous opposition to the plan, they have no choice but face the reality that PAL or Lucio Tan for that matter isn't bluffing on the state of legacy airlines around the globe.

In fact, it was Philippine Airlines union president Edgardo Oredina who broke the bad news to the members of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) last year that most legacy airlines around the world, among others labor unions from Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, Thai International Airways, Air India and Garuda Indonesia are resorting to pay cuts, retrenchment, reduction of working hours, and job outsourcing to survive the business downturn and compete to the challenges of low cost airlines.

“Ironically, ITF’s presentation also dealt with the great impact to the operating revenues made by the so-called ‘low-cost and no-frills’ airlines in the region like Cebu Pacific, Air Asia and the likes, leading to the heavy losses on the legacy airlines and flag carriers like PAL,” Oredina said

It took the International Transport Workers Federation meeting in Sri Lanka to convinced Oredina that they are working indeed on borrowed time. He said that “unions worldwide, especially in the aviation industry, must be more dynamic, proactive, innovative and aggressive adapting to the current changes in the industry, within the framework of maintaining the essence of unionism...,”

Now, the union is starting to cooperate with the airline and its plan for survival. New planes are coming and passengers are growing. Certainly, it should be a win-win situation for the airline and its soon to be dismissed employees as jobs would still be available for them and to others, only that they will be working with a new employer other than acceptance of pay and benefits cuts. According to Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, that should be the best deal for some PALEA members rather than having no work at all.

The recession that hit the airline industry worldwide changed operating dynamics drastically taking its first toll to the most inefficient one, Japan airlines. There is only one rule of the game, and that is stay competitive or your out. Legacy airlines must adapt to the new rules of the game by changing their business models to match the efficiency of budget airlines or suffer the ignominy of history.

Its been incredible already that PAL weathered the crisis without the government's assistance, financial or otherwise. There should be no other way but up. Tan promised new investments if its resolved. There is no doubt that PAL's future is shining through.
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