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Old July 23rd, 2010, 01:40 AM   #621
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PAL open to partnership for flag carrier

By Mary Ann LL. Reyes (The Philippine Star) Updated July 23, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Lucio Tan-led PAL Holdings is open to partnerships insofar as owning flag carrier Philippine Airlines is concerned, top company officials said yesterday.

PAL chief finance officer Susan Lee said the holding company has been entertaining inquiries, mostly from international airline companies, on the possibility of putting in fresh capital into PAL.

Earlier, PAL president Jaime Bautista revealed that some international airlines have expressed interest in partnering with PAL Holdings, which owns 83 percent of PAL, and have made inquiries regarding this matter.

Bautista said that the equity needed from a possible investor should be at least 25 percent, but should not exceed 40 percent, of PAL’s total assets which stood at $1.1 billion.

He added that if there is a good offer to buy the entire business of PAL, the company’s owners, led by Tan, are willing to give the company up. Tan is reportedly not interested in shelling out more funds for PAL considering his already substantial investment in the airline.

Bautista, however, emphasized that PAL is not a bankrupt company. “It only needs to have additional equity,” he stressed.

But Lee pointed out that nothing definite has been agreed upon and discussions are still mostly in the exploratory stages.

PAL is in talks with several fund managers and Asian carriers for possible investments but according to Bautista, instead of the shareholders selling their stocks, they will be considering issuing new shares.

Bautista, however, explained that at this point, it is not clear whether the shares will be that of PAL or of publicly-listed PAL Holdings.

Although issuing new shares could dilute the Lucio Tan group’s stake in PAL, Bautista said Tan is more concerned with the fresh funds being put into the airline than the ownership aspect.

About a decade ago, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. had contemplated on investing in PAL but this plan failed to materialize. Now, Bautista revealed that Cathay is now among the carriers that PAL is in discussions with.

PAL Holdings’ share prices has been climbing, from P3 per share at the start of the month to P4.60 last Friday, as rumors circulated that new investors were about to come in.

Despite its financial difficulties, Bautista said PAL settled $40 million in maturing debts last month, on top of the $10 million it has been paying monthly. PAL was able to bring down its liabilities to about $1 billion since entering corporate receivership.

The company emerged from receivership after recording a profit in 2007 but the airline’s finances spiraled in the succeeding three years as it incurred over $350 million, or at least P15 billion, in losses during its last two fiscal years. Its equity also dropped precipitously to a little over $1.1 million as of February this year.

With this, the company decided to let go of at least 3,000 employees with the spin-off of its three core businesses. The affected workers belong to the in-flight catering services, airport services (including ground handling, cargo terminal/cargo handling and ramp handling) and call center reservations.

Although the industry is improving, Bautista said PAL has to continue implementing more measures to generate more revenues and reduce costs.

Aside from its debts, the airline is also dealing with the problems brought about by the downgrading by the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) of the Philippines, from Category 1 to Category 2, and the consequent blacklisting by the European Union. The downgrade has prevented PAL from mounting additional flights to the US.

Earlier, PAL’s chief executive explained that the move to outsource non-core units is essential to attract investors that will put in fresh capital for the financially strapped carrier.

PAL explained that it was constrained to pursue the restructuring plan due to several factors beyond its control that include, among others the unabated liberalization of the commercial aviation industry to the detriment of local players like PAL, the worldwide economic recession that led to a crippling slowdown in passenger traffic, as well as the record-high oil prices in 2008-2009 and the continuing increase in the price of aviation fuel, which account for nearly half of PAL’s operating expenses.

In April, Bautista said that apart from a series of cost-cutting initiatives, PAL approached several investors but none were interested given the fact that in 2009 alone, more than 20 airlines went bankrupt. “We approached government for help but it, too, was in dire financial straits,” he added.

To stave off failure and protect company assets, PAL said it had to act quickly. “Given this grim scenario, PAL has no choice but to restructure. It must also sell and/or cease operations of non-core businesses since no airline in Asia, or the world for that matter, continue to operate non-core businesses. Moreover, PAL has to meet its huge outstanding obligations as they fall due to prevent creditors from taking over the business,” it stressed.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 01:42 AM   #622
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2P to fly Cebu- Surigao
Flight starts Nov.1

July 22, 2010

Airphilippines Express is flying to Surigao by November. The Cebu-Surigao-Cebu flight begins on November 1, 2010. Meanwhile, a second daily Q400 flight for Manila will also commence operation on the same date.

It will leave Cebu for Surigao at 9:20 a.m. and arrive at 10:20 a.m. with a return flight expected at 10:40 and arrival at 11:40 a.m. The second daily Manila flight will fly in the afternoon for Surigao at 1:30 p.m. and arrive at 3:10 p.m. Its return flight to Manila is scheduled at 3:30 p.m. with arrivals at 5:10 p.m.

Airphil Express intend to double its market share with the arrival of five more airbus A320 to their fleet, with one joining in September and two others in October and November.

The merged airline, formerly Air Philippines and PAL Express, added new flights by re-introducing Cebu, and Davao yesterday July 21 in an effort to consolidate its market position.

“Cebu and Davao is vital to our development if we are to grow as a respected budget airline" says Maria Rodriguez Java, the airline's head for Marketing, Product and Media.

"We will increase the number of frequencies for Cebu and Davao later on as we are expecting more aircraft to join our fleet this year,” adds Java.

Airphil Express will fly daily from Manila to Cebu at 9 p.m. and Cebu to Manila at 10:40 p.m. An additional two flights will be opened on Oct. 1 and another one starting Oct. 28.

The airline will also start flying to Legaspi and Tagbilaran in October and Zamboanga by November. Meanwhile, new domestic flights are being planned for General Santos, Tacloban and Dipolog. Flights to Dumaguete, Pagadian, and Butuan are also being considered.

"The new routes are being evaluated right now. There are just too many unserved markets like Pagadian for example. We need to be where the people need us,” she added.

International flight from Manila to Singapore will start operating this year and Cebu to Singapore by next year. Also on the planning stages for next year are flights for Manila to Hong Kong, Seoul, and Japan, while Kalibo-Incheon is also being considered.

The airline currently operates a fleet of 2 airbus A320's, 5 Bombardier Q400' and 3 Q300's planes that flies to 24 domestic destinations from its Manila and Cebu hubs. They are currently on the fourth spot after Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Zest Airways.

With its re-branding in March and aggressive no-frills campaign, Philippine Airlines’ low-cost unit intends to at least double its market share at present 8 percent by the end of the year.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 01:43 AM   #623
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RP airlines keeping fares steady amid rising oil prices - CAB
07/22/2010 | 08:01 PM

Share Local airlines are keeping fares steady to encourage more Filipinos to travel in the face of rising oil prices.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said Thursday that carriers will not increase fares while Philippine market conditions are improving.


"Prices will stay low because of the competition. The industry is attracting a lot of first-time flyers. There are also a lot of new domestic routes," said Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of CAB.

"Our domestic travel sector has been very vibrant. It could grow by a double-digit rate this year," said Arcilla, who was reappointed head of the air transport regulator earlier this week.

Statistics showed that domestic air passengers rose in numbers by 14.22 percent to 3.89 million in the first quarter from 3.4 million a year earlier.

Still, industry leaders said that airline profits will likely slip on low fares and higher fuel costs.

The industry remains fragile also because of poor ratings from international aviation organizations in the last three years.

"This is one of the darkest times for the sector because this is the first time that we have low grades from all three air travel groups," Arcilla said.

He was referring to the US Federal Aviation Administration, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the European Union Air Safety Committee. The low grades from the three groups means local airlines are now banned from flying to Europe and expanding operations in the US. —JE/VS, GMANews.TV
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 01:44 AM   #624
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S 211 down
Pilots Safe!

July 19, 2010

Clark - A Philippine Air Force (PAF) S-211 jet with tail number 024 crashed in Concepcion, Tarlac this morning.

No casualties were reported. But PAF's only Jet fleet was a total write-off . The jet were piloted by 1st lt. Jose Wilbert Martinez and trainor Maj. Wilfred Donato of the Air Defense wing's 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron .

Both safely ejected from the aircraft and were brought later to the Air Force City Hospital in Clark Pampanga for treatment.

Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol said the plane took off from the Clark Air Base around 8 a.m. for a training flight. When the plane did not return as scheduled, PAF sounded an alarm to search for the aircraft and the pilots.

The unscathed pilots were later found 11:45 a.m., and were subsequently brought back to Clark Air Base for medical checkup.

An order has been made grounding all S-211 pending an investigation to the cause of the crash. AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said the aircraft suffered “mechanical problem” while on air but was in good flying conditions when it took-off at Aur Force City. The exact cause is however being determined by investigators.

The recent crash left the PAF with only six S-211s including three that are undergoing maintenance.

The Italian made Aermacchi S-211 is designed as a two-seat jet trainer aircraft powered by a Pratt and Whitney JT15D-C turbofan engine. The aircraft was later modified by the PAF as a secondary close air support units that can be armed for weapons training or light ground attack duties. A total of 25 S-211’s were purchased by the PAF in 1988, including 15 that were assembled locally by the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 01:46 AM   #625
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Housecleaning can be deadly
But Cusi is unperturbed

By Recto Mercene
July 20, 2010

SINCE exposing the million-peso activities of a syndicate preying on foreign students taking up flying lessons in the Philippines and subsequent scrutiny by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), death threats have been sent to Director General Alfonso Cusi of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

“Kung tatanungin mo ako kung totoo…totoo [If you ask me if it is true…it is true],” Cusi said, referring to the threats he has received since assuming the Caap post on March 3.

Asked if he is not afraid that somebody might try to kill him, Cusi said: “Matagal na tayong takot eh [We’ve been afraid for a long time].”

He did not elaborate, fearing that the issue would be blown out of proportion or he might be accused of inventing the threats.

However, Cusi said there are several fronts which he is currently fighting at the moment, such as the corruption issues at the Flight Safety Inspectorate Service, the previous Flight Safety Division of the defunct Air Transportation Office (Ato), the cancellations of certificates of some local air carriers and the exposé on bogus flying certificates and licenses issued by flying schools.

“In the history of the Ato, when did anyone revoke the permit of an airline, who canceled the registration, airworthiness certificates of aircraft?” Cusi asked.

He said in the issue of the LET 410, there were 19 of such planes that were grounded for lack of safety standards.

“Who decides that these airplanes could no longer fly?” Cusi asked, saying that had he wanted, he would have accepted bribes just to allow these aircraft to continue to fly.

Cusi said the NBI is needed to determine if some Caap personnel are involved.

“We need to know the truth. We are like this [where the Caap had been reduced to Category 2 status] because of wrongdoings by some,” he said, adding that “this incident in the Caap would not have happened if we keep on believing that we have been right all along.”

“Obviously, somebody did something wrong and what we want to do is to find out who committed the mistakes, the corruption, so that we would not be accused that we are right all the time, that we have never committed any mistake.”

“However, I did it, because the lives of the Filipinos are at stake.”

He said it is a heavy responsibility that he is willing to accept.

“Kaya may NBI para malaman ang truth. Matagal na ang problemang iyan. What is needed is the political will to correct it. Here we are trying to correct it now and I hope everybody will be with us to correct the problem. But ’yung tatamaan magagalit. Bakit nahihirapan ka...first we have to follow the process, everybody have rights and we got to follow the process and that is the system that we have. We will follow the system,” Cusi added.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 01:48 AM   #626
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2 hurt as another spray plane crashes in Davao del Norte
By Frinston Lim
Philippine Daily Inquirer
July 22, 2010


TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte – Two persons were injured when another light plane used for spraying fungicides over banana plantations crashed in Panabo City, Davao del Norte early Thursday, police said.

Supt. Alexander Serrano, Panabo City police chief, told the INQUIRER in a text message, that the plane hired by banana giant Lapanday was about to take off for a spraying run when its engine lost power.

He said the pilot, Capt. Carlito Caballero, tried to make an emergency landing but the plane crashed into the house of a resident. One person inside the house was hurt, Serrano said.

He said Caballero was also slightly injured in the incident.

Banana companies in Davao del Norte regularly use planes for their operation and accidents involving aging aircraft are common.

Several crashes involving spray planes had been reported in recent months but the worst accident so far took place in 2007, when two spray planes collided in mid-air in Kapalong town.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 01:53 AM   #627
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DoTC backs DMIA development
By FRANCO G. REGALA
July 22, 2010, 4:42pm

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga – The Department of Transportation and Communication (DoTC) vowed recently to support the development of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here as the country’s future premiere international gateway to the Philippines.

DoTC Secretary Jose “Ping” de Jesus made the declaration at the testimonial dinner feted for him by the business sector in Central Luzon last week at the Tower Club in Makati City.

In his speech, De Jesus said vowed to support the project to upgrade the DMIA terminal facilities into a world-class airport

He also vowed to bring back transparency, honesty and good business practices back to the DoTC so that corruption will no longer interfere in vital development projects such as the DMIA.

The Capanalig Foundation, business leaders in Central Luzon and Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) officials welcomed De Jesus’ pronouncements.

CIAC Chairman Nestor S. Mangio said he was very thankful to the new DoTC Secretary because his pledge to enforce the advocacy of the Aquino administration to get rid of corruption will surely hasten development projects pushed by the CIAC.

Mangio also gave De Jesus a briefing on the modern navigational aides installed at DMIA, the newly completed terminal 1, and the proposed terminal 2 and high speed train project.

Their meeting led to an agreement to boost transparency in the bidding of contracts and procurement of equipments by posting them on their websites.

Attending the testimonial dinner for De Jesus were Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, Cita Miranda, Mrs. Ping De Jesus, , Naty Ng, Niza Vergel De Dios, Nona Ricafort, Vice Governor Yeng Guiao, Congressman Tarzan Lazatin, Former Cong. Peping Cojuango, Gen. Rene Cruz, Gen. Romeo David, Mr. Dave Mercado, Mr. Leo Baluyut, Mr. Pastor Guiao, Mr. Conrad Pereiras, Mr. Nilo Ching-cuanco.
http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/268285...ia-development
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 09:13 PM   #628
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Here's my observations about the Phuket International Airport and that other airports in the Philippines can look at it as a model.

http://cardiacdelight.wordpress.com/...uket-thailand/
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Old July 24th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #629
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PAL narrows losses by 95% due to cost-cutting measures

By Daxim Lucas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:31:00 07/23/2010

FLAG CARRIER Philippine Airlines Friday reported a significantly improved financial standing at the end of its recently concluded fiscal year, where drastic cost-cutting measures reduced its losses by more than 95 percent.

In its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), PAL said its total comprehensive losses for the fiscal year that ended in March 2010 fell to only $14.3 million.

This marks a sharp decline from the comprehensive net loss of $297.8 million in the previous year, after the airline implemented cost reduction measures.

According to its SEC filing, PAL experienced weak passenger demand mainly in its international operations, as well as lower fares, which drove revenue down to $1.36 billion this year from $1.60 billion the year before.

“Worldwide capacity cuts during the year did not keep pace with declining traffic demand thus exerting significant pressure in pushing down fares and yields,” PAL said.

Due mainly to lower fuel prices, cost cutting and one-time gains recognized during the current period, PAL’s total expenses by the end of March 2010 dropped by 28 percent to $1. 35 billion.

The airline also recognized provisions for income taxes and fair valuation losses on outstanding fuel deals.

PAL said it was continuing to look for ways to improve its financial condition and the results of its operations. It has lined up and implemented various revenue enhancement programs, cash generation strategies and cost control initiatives, the airline stressed.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently reported strengthening traffic demand. It expects airlines to post profits in 2010. However, it says the airline industry still has a long way to go to achieve sustainable profitability.

http://business.inquirer.net/money/t...tting-measures
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Old July 24th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #630
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Labor clouds PAL future
By AMADO P. MACASAET

July 24, 2010

Philippine Airlines, the national flag carrier, is undoubtedly the most overstaffed airline in the world.

With only 39 aircraft for domestic and international operations, it has 7,500 people in its payroll. That averages 192 employees per airplane. Worldwide, the average is 100 to 120.

As if the large number were not bad enough, PAL’s labor force is probably the most strident in the airline industry all over the world.

In 1998, PAL retrenched thousands of employees including 1,400 cabin crew personnel. They accepted the retirement pay in amounts somewhat more than what the law requires.

They signed quit claims which by any stretch of the imagination leaves PAL in peace.

The quit claim provides in very clear terms that the furloughed employee "hereby voluntarily, irrevocably, and unconditionally release and forever discharge PAL and PAL owners, partners, stockholders, predecessors, successors, assigns, agents, insurers, directors, officers, employees, representatives, subsidiaries affiliates and all persons … from any and all complaints, claims, demands, liabilities or rights…"

Unmindful of their commitments, the members of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) went to court asking for reinstatement.

The National Labor Relations Council ruled in favor of PAL. FASAP appealed to the Court of Appeals. The CA affirmed the ruling of the NLRC.

The case went up to the Supreme Court on appeal.

On July 22, 2008, the Supreme Court reversed the decisions of the NLRC and the CA. It found PAL guilty of illegal dismissal. PAL filed a motion for reconsideration. The motion was denied.

A second motion for reconsideration is now pending resolution in the Supreme Court.

While the case is pending resolution, a labor arbiter made the illegal conclusion that the ruling of the SC has become final. Forthwith, he issued a writ of execution ordering the NLRC sheriffs to reinstate 582 cabin crew personnel to their former positions.

The arbiter took the move in spite of the objection of PAL for NLRC to issue a writ of execution.

On July 5, 2010, the NLRC sheriffs, complying with the writ of execution, went to PAL’s ticket office in Cubao and other ticket offices, posted a sheriff’s notice of levy/sale on execution of personal property.

The sheriff also served notices of garnishment on the depositary banks of the airline.

PAL filed a motion for a restraining order with the NLRC which was granted on July 12, 2010. The TRO is valid for 20 days from date of issue or receipt by the parties.

While all these were happening PAL president Jaime Bautista announced to media that the airline was seeking foreign partners to bolster its capital stock. The plan is to increase paid capital expected to be subscribed and paid by foreign partners, with Lucio Tan who now owns about 90 per cent of the airline retaining majority of the shares.

Some leaders of the business community who requested not to be named saying they have nothing to do with the problems of PAL, nevertheless expressed alarm over what they thought is the denial by the courts of the rights of owners of enterprise to plot the future of their companies toward the path of growth.

They also said that the decision of the Supreme Court declaring PAL guilty of illegal dismissal will definitely discourage local or foreign investors from putting in money in the national flag carrier.

The employees signed a quit claim. They abandoned their right to strike, the business leaders said.

They explained that large companies such as Standard Electric and Novelty Philippines closed shop and went to China after their operations were paralyzed by a strike.

More than 3,000 jobs were lost in the two companies. They also pointed out that strident labor is one of the major reasons the country has not attracted enough local and foreign investments.

The owners of large manufacturing companies have decided to go into trading precisely to avoid labor troubles. The result, the business leaders claimed, is a slowdown in the creation of jobs.

The Supreme Court ruling states that PAL failed to substantiate its claim of actual and imminent substantial losses. The decision also states that the quit claims was clouded by fraud or mistake.

Strangely, FASAP itself is known to have admitted that the airline incurred financial losses. These losses were confirmed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the labor arbiter, the NLRC and the Court of Appeals.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 10:11 AM   #631
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Travel agencies plead with PAL to stop promos

abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 07/28/2010 4:48 PM | Updated as of 07/28/2010 4:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Travel agencies are asking the Philippine Airlines (PAL) to stop directly competing with their sector by offering similar promotions and packages.

The Philippine Travel Agencies Association (PTAA) said that PAL has been undermining the sector through its highly discounted travel tours, airline fares, hotel accommodations as well as other accompanying perks and substantial benefits.

"The association’s members could not help but notice the incessant use by PAL of the foregoing types of travel and tours promos/packages, which to their mind is in direct contravention with the well established and long existing business principle that have always been observed by and between the country’s travel agencies and the nation’s leading airline companies such as PAL," Maria Paz Alberto, president of PTAA said in a letter dated July 26, 2010, to Richard Miller, chief commercial group adviser of PAL.

PTAA told Miller that PAL's actions "is not in consonance with the concepts of fair play, fair competition and equity."

Alberto said that the flag carrier has broken the long-established understanding between the travel and tours industry and airlines, that there will be no unfair competition.

"Each and every business practice must carefully take into consideration, not just the economic and beneficial welfare of the airlines concerned, but as well as the inherent rights and existing business interests of the country’s travel travel agencies."

PTAA said that its members were affected by the global slowdown, and their plight is aggravated by the competition posed by PAL.

"It is our most respectful and humble request to please include in the airline authorities’ agenda to formulate appropriate measures of relief that could possibly be extended by PAL to the unfortunate plight of the associations’ members," PTAA said in its letter to Miller.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 10:11 AM   #632
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PAL flight attendants threaten to go on strike

abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 07/28/2010 7:16 PM | Updated as of 07/28/2010 7:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Flight attendants of flag carrier Philippine Airlines may go on strike over management's discriminatory policies, which includes a lower compulsory retirement age for attendants and stewards.

The 1,600 members of the PAL- Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (FASAP), said in a statement on Wednesday, that management has been "bargaining in bad faith" and has not offered collective bargaining agreement (CBA) proposals since the last deal expired in 2007.

"The flight attendants' collective morale has dipped to an all-time low," FASAP said, adding its members have not been granted any salary increase.

FASAP said the primary reason for contemplating a strike, aside from the standoff in the CBA, is the age and gender discrimination against its flight attendants.

“All we ask is for equality in the workplace. In PAL, the other employees are allowed to work until 65 years old. The pilots’ compulsory retirement age for both males and females is 60 years old. But for flight attendants, the compulsory retirement age is as young as 40 years old,” said FASAP President Roberto Anduiza.

"We are against age and gender discrimination. PAL cannot continue to turn a blind eye to inequality. PAL should correct this discriminatory policy, instead of using it as a bargaining chip against the flight attendants," Anduiza said.

He said the planned strike will force PAL management to respect the legal CBA process and bring them back to the negotiating table.

"We have more than legal basis and documentation to file a notice of strike," said Anduiza
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Old July 29th, 2010, 10:12 AM   #633
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Int'l labor group seeks Aquino's intervention in PAL feud

abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 07/20/2010 4:59 PM | Updated as of 07/20/2010 8:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), is urging President Benigno Aquino III to intervene in the Philippine Airlines (PAL) labor dispute.

Headquartered in London, the ITF represents more than 4.6 million transport workers in 759 unions across 155 countries, including 269 aviation unions with 645,609 members collectively.

"The PAL management is viewed as a classic example of opportunism, with the aim of cutting jobs, downgrading conditions and breaking the union," David Cockroft, general secretary of the ITF said in a letter to Aquino.

He said there are far more productive approaches to industrial relations.

"The strongly urges your government to act swiftly and decisively to intervene in the PAL-PALEA dispute to facilitate an acceptable resolution," said Cockroft.

He said the ITF supports the Philippine Airlines Employees Association's (PALEA) call for the new Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, to revisit the labor dispute, "and to make a decision on a just basis, especially given the potential social impact of the PAL management’s decision."

Cockroft said PAL management's move to outsource some 3,000 jobs is seen as a union-busting measure, since these employees are all union members.

In a ruling last June, then Acting Labor Secretary Romeo Lagman said PAL management had the prerogative of contracting out jobs being performed by regular employees.

"These actions breach provisions against labor contracting and on job security contained within the company’s collective bargaining agreement," said the ITF.

Cockroft said that while the global aviation industry has been hard hit by the economic meltdown, this should not be used as an excuse to attack workers' rights and the their unions.



In a related development, some 300 members of the PALEA will hold a pre-state of the nation address (SONA) motorcade and rally on Wednesday at the labor department office in Intramuros. It is the first of several activities planned by PALEA and the Partido ng Manggagawa in the run up to Aquino's SONA. - Rocel Felix, abs-cbnNews.com
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Old July 29th, 2010, 10:14 AM   #634
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Weather caused diverts again!
Several flights cancelled, diverted due to heavy rains

July 26, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Several flights at the Manila Domestic Airport (MDA) were either delayed or diverted on Sunday due to heavy rains brought about by a low-pressure area in Luzon.

The MDA said that as of 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, 2 flights were cancelled, 20 were delayed, and 15 flights were diverted.


Among those diverted were flights of Seair and Zest Air from Caticlan and Kalibo in the Visayas, and Busuanga, in Mindanao were diverted to the Clark international airport in Pampanga.

Cebu Pacific cancelled its Manila-Legaspi and Legaspi-Manila. The airline also delayed flights coming from Dipolog to Cagayan, and Iloilo to Cagayan.

On the other hand, Zest Air flights from Manila to Tagbilaran, Bohol, Kalibo, Virac, Cebu and Caticlan were delayed.

Seair flights from Caticlan to Manila or DG 022 was re-routed to Clark due to the bad weather, while two Manila to Caticlan flights (DG 131 and DG 039)left after being delayed for several hours.

Philippine Airlines flight 392 from Tacloban finally landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at 5:45, while flight 168 from Dipolog touched down at 6:05 p.m.

At the NAIA Terminal 1 and 2, several international flights were also either delayed or diverted.

Cathay Pacific 906 bound for Hong Kong, was late for an hour and 25 minutes before departing at 12:30 in the afternoon.

Singapore Airlines 910 bound for Manila, was diverted to Clark airport and arrived at 5:35 p.m. Malaysian Airlines flight 704 on its way to Manila from Kuala Lumpur, was diverted to Kota Kinabalu due to bad weather.

Philippine Airlines flight 301 from Hong Kong to Manila was re-rerouted to Clark and arrived at 5:45 p.m. --ABS-CBN News
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Old July 29th, 2010, 10:17 AM   #635
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DOJ pushes for major revamp at NAIA

By Tetch Torres
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:32:00 07/29/2010

Filed Under: Air Transport, Judiciary (system of justice)
MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said they are looking at the possibility of having a major revamp at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) following the arrest of Ilocos Sur 1st District Congressman Ronald Singson in Hongkong.

“There has to be a major change among the personnel,” De Lima said.

Singson was arrested at the Customs arrival hall of Chek Lap Kok International Airport last July 11 for possession of 26.1 grams of cocaine and two tablets of diazepam or Valium.

Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar, the officer-in-charge in the Bureau of Immigration has been tasked to head the inquiry that will look into how Singson managed to get out of NAIA without anyone noticing the illegal drugs he was allegedly carrying. This despite claims of airport authorities that Singson passed through the normal procedure.

“Bakit nakalusot? Bakit nakakalusot ang mga ganyan, na nakakahiya (How was he able to get through?),” De Lima said.

She added that another factor that led to the decision of a “major change among the airport personnel” is the government’s drive against human trafficking.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #636
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is that topic worth posting?
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Old July 30th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #637
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PAL sucks!
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Old July 30th, 2010, 02:29 PM   #638
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The labor disputes are saddening, but the service is still quite excellent.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 04:25 AM   #639
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BREAKING NEWS!

Jonathan Gesmundo of PAL Communications: 4 domestic flights, 1 regional flight cancelled today due to inadequate crew. Our pilots resigned to join other airlines.

Gesmundo: The cancelled domestic flights are Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod and the regional flight is going to Hong Kong.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 07:24 AM   #640
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DOLE meets PAL union leaders over layoffs
July 28, 2010

By Aura Marie P. Dagcutan

THE PHILIPPINE Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) meet with officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) yesterday to discuss the latter’s June 15 decision allowing the Lucio C. Tan-led airline to proceed with an outsourcing scheme that will lay off ground staff.

“We will offer them options to settle the issue. They can choose whether to have an out-of-court settlement or proceed with the case.

But we assure them that whatever the decision is, both parties will benefit from it,” Rosalinda D. Baldoz, DoLE secretary, said in a telephone interview yesterday. The meeting was scheduled at 4 p.m.

DoLE’s June 15 decision, penned by then acting Labor Secretary Romeo Lagman, favored the airline management’s plan to outsource three non-core operations. Outsourcing call center, catering, and ground services will displace more than 2,600 workers and is estimated to yield savings of P1 billion to P1.5 billion for the distressed flag carrier.

The airline plans to pay around P2 billion in benefits to retrenched employees, who will get separation pay equivalent to one month’s salary for every year of service.

But Ms. Baldoz reiterated that the June 15 decision is not yet final.

“There are still other legal options because the decision is not yet executory. The meeting with PALEA will help us to understand the story,” she said.

Ms. Baldoz’s predecessor, Marianito D. Roque, assumed jurisdiction over PAL in April to prevent a strike following the airline’s announcement of the outsourcing plan.

PALEA President Gerardo F. Rivera said his group would not seek an out-of-court settlement.

“We are against to the outsourcing scheme. We have already filed for the reversal of the June 15 decision last June 28 and submitted a reply last July 19 after the PAL management filed an opposition to our motion,” he said.

“We want the Labor department to have a clear decision on the issue.

We want the PAL management to stop its plans of outsourcing,” he added.

PAL officials could not be reached for comment.

In a statement last Saturday, PAL said it had narrowed losses for its fiscal year that ended March, but said there was still weak demand for international flights.

The flag carrier reported $14.3 million in total comprehensive losses, narrower than the $297.8 million in losses recorded in the previous fiscal year.

PAL said capacity cuts by global airlines did not match the decline in passenger traffic, exerting pressure on yields. Because PAL lowered fares, revenues went down to $1.36 billion from $1.6 billion the previous year.

“Through prudent handling of resources, PAL’s total expenses dropped to $511.4 million, less than the previous year’s $1.86 billion,” it said.

The major factor for reduced expenses was the huge drop in fuel prices to an average of $86.94 per barrel from $123.80 the year before. -- Businessworld
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