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Old September 4th, 2010, 07:08 PM   #721
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Talks on for Jakarta, Bangkok flights to Clark
By Tonette Orejas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:55:00 09/02/2010

Filed Under: Air Transport, Economy and Business and Finance


Close this CLARK FREEPORT—The founders of Air Asia, regarded as Asia’s largest budget airline, visited the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport here on Wednesday to begin talks on starting flights from Jakarta and Bangkok to Clark.

“Our Thailand and Indonesia teams are here to look at whether to make flights from Jakarta and Bangkok into Clark. We are big believers of Clark. Many are still looking at Manila, but we still feel this is the right place to be,” Tony Fernandes, Air Asia chief executive officer, told reporters at DMIA.

Fernandes said the operations of the company here since 2005 have been very successful and it now makes 14 flights a week to and from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu.

He favored an open skies policy, at least for Clark.

“Our whole life has been about liberalization and opening up,” he said.

“I think the Philippines should be one of the largest countries for tourism in Southeast Asia. But [it] has been restricted because of the closeness [of access]. So, I think it’s great for your country, for tourism and obviously we at Air Asia would love it because it would not be just about flying to Clark, Cebu, Zamboanga. There are lots of places. We are good at developing new areas,” Fernandes said.

Air Asia, he said, prefers to fly to Clark because DMIA charges reasonable parking rates and other fees.

“There’s also lots of land [here]. We believe there should be a low-cost terminal here someday,” he said.

Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun began Air Asia nine years ago.

It has been serving 30 million passengers annually from only 200,000 passengers when it started.

Victor Jose Luciano, president and chief executive officer of state-owned Clark International Airport Corp., said the visit of Air Asia’s two top executives was a “sure and strong sign of confidence in Clark.”

“Tony was very happy to see the progress since his first visit five years ago to start the Clark-Kuala Lumpur flights. With Air Asia setting up base in Thailand then Indonesia, the Philippines could be its third overseas base. That will boost the local economy and the position of Clark as the growth airport of the country,” Luciano said.

United Parcel Services (UPS) made its maiden flights to Clark in 2002. It has maintained its inter-Asia hub at the DMIA since then.

Korea’s Asiana Airlines now makes 11 flights a week into Clark.

International and domestic flights to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila are diverted to the DMIA during bad weather and when technical problems crop up at the country’s premier gateway.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #722
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From Subic hub, FedEx flies to Clark

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:48:00 02/08/2009
Filed Under: Economy and Business and Finance

CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines—Federal Express (FedEx), the world’s largest express transportation company, has not really left the Philippines.

A day after starting the shutdown of its Asia-Pacific hub at the Subic Bay Freeport, FedEx made its inaugural flight into the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) on Friday night to prepare this former American military aviation complex as base for its Philippine operations, which would be linked to its new hub in China, an official said.


The arrival of FedEx’s MD-11 aircraft, which landed at 10:30 p.m. here, came after the American courier giant and Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) signed in October 2008 a memorandum of agreement allowing the firm to “locate and do operations in Clark,” CIAC president and chief executive officer Victor Jose Luciano told the Inquirer on Saturday.

The debut flight, which was done without fanfare, was part of test operations by FedEx, Luciano said.

He said this phase entailed doing technical stops for refueling and crew layover.

“Eventually, these would graduate into cargo operations,” Luciano said.

Two Inquirer sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak on the project, confirmed that FedEx has transferred all its ground equipment from Subic to Clark.

Under the agreement, FedEx will fly twice daily to and from Clark, except on Saturdays, according to one of the sources. The source said the destinations are China and Taiwan.

Luciano said China’s Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou would be the main hub of FedEx in the Asia-Pacific region.

FedEx has yet to issue an official statement on its Clark project.

The technical stop, said Luciano, is a sign that Clark is ideal and viable for FedEx’s freight-handling business.

DMIA used to be the biggest facility of the United States’ 13th Air Force in the Asia-Pacific. The Philippine government took more than a decade to turn it around, enjoying a boom in cargo operations and passenger flights since under the administration of President Macapagal-Arroyo, Luciano said.

Test flight

The test flight turned out to be a sentimental journey for the pilot, Capt. Phil John, Luciano said.

“When I met him on the plane, he told me: ‘I’m very happy to land here. The last time I was here was 20 years ago when I was with the US Air Force,’” he said.

John and his crew were received by Luciano, FedEx senior manager for operations Virgilio Mangisel and country manager Samuel David.

Another CIAC official, who asked not to be named because he has no authority to speak on the project, said CIAC and DMIA officials handled the transfer low key to avoid upsetting officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said he had been told of the Clark plan.

“This is to support their Philippine operations, not as a hub. That’s okay because FedEx remains to be in the Philippines,” Arreza said.

In an interview on Friday, Arreza said the government stands to lose P150 million annually from the pullout of FedEx hub in Subic.

The Subic Bay International Airport, home to FedEx for 14 years, is smaller than DMIA, which spans 2,500 hectares. The DMIA has two runways measuring 3.5 km each. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon
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Old September 4th, 2010, 07:24 PM   #723
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New airports, LRT lines set in 2011
By Ronnel Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:32:00 09/03/2010

INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS and new light rail projects will make up part of a list of 10 priority projects that will be implemented in 2011 through government partnerships with the private sector. Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said Friday that aside from key tourism-related infrastructure, the short list would also include general public works and agricultural facilities like irrigation.

“The government is looking forward to generating P180 billion to P200 billion in PPP (public-private partnership) undertakings” next year, Abad said. He added that as government counterpart, Malacañang included in its proposed “Reform Budget for 2011” a total of P15 billion as a strategic support fund for PPP projects.

The amount is distributed equally among the departments of Public Works and Highways, Transportation and Communication, and Agriculture.

Abad said the strategic support would cover right-of-way purchases, horizontal land development and other facilities meant to encourage private investors to undertake public infrastructure projects with the government. He said the short list, which would be culled from an initial list of 70 projects, includes airports on Panglao Island off Bohol and another in Daraga, Albay.

Abad said the list also included the improvement of the Laguindingan airport in Misamis Oriental as well as an irrigation facility in Sultan Kudarat and additional lines of the Light Rail Transit system.

The budget chief added that aside from the support fund, the proposed 2011 budget set aside P650 million under the DPWH, DOTC and the National Economic and Development Authority for capacity-building to enable agencies to conduct feasibility studies and development studies for PPP projects.

He said proposed projects for PPP eligibility would be subject to the evaluation of the Neda-Investment Coordination Committee, of which the budget secretary is a member. “We look forward to working with Congress to make sure that PPP will really work to our benefit,” Abad said.

President Aquino announced the PPP scheme during his State-of-the-Nation address, saying the government by itself could not finance capital-intensive infrastructure projects.

The government continues to be burdened by a yawning budget deficit, which many blame on the anemic collections by the bureaus of Internal Revenue and of Customs that, in turn, were being caused by rampant tax evasion and smuggling.

With borrowings covering the big budget shortfalls in the past, a sizable part of the annual appropriations of the government goes to servicing those debts. The Philippines has lagged behind its neighbors in attracting investors due to the country’s poor infrastructure facilities.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 07:26 PM   #724
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Cambodian envoy pushes for direct flights to Cebu

CEBU CITY, Sept. 1 (PNA) –- Cambodian Ambassador to the Philippines Hos Sereythonh has said he will push for the establishment of direct flights between his country’s major cities and Cebu.

Ambassador Sereythonh said he and President Benigno Aquino III have started to tackle the proposal, which is seen to foster tourism and trade between Cambodia and the Philippines.

Sri Lanka Ambassador Nawalage Bennet Cooray said a student exchange program between his country and Mandaue City will be created to develop better ties between them.

They were among seven ambassadors who were in Cebu since Sunday to attend a business forum organized in time for the celebration of Mandaue City’s 41st Charter Day.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MCCI) president Eric Mendoza said Mandaue City aims to become an “attractive global business destination.”

He said the city is among the country’s fastest growing industrial centers.

”Mandaue City is home to big conglomerates and is considered the furniture capital of the country,” he said.

Forty-percent of the country’s total furniture export is produced by the city, he said.

Pakistan ambassador Mohsin Razi urged the Mandaue business community to extend assistance to his country, which has been ravaged by what the United Nations described as the worst catastrophe of the century.

Mandaue City Administrator Briccio Boholst said the city seeks to expand partnerships with other countries.

”We are convening to define our business direction, one that will positively impact our countries,” he said.

Ambassador Kristiarto Legowa of Indonesia said promotion of trade and investments between the Philippines and Indonesia will not be difficult given the two countries’ “similar culture and values” and proximity to each other.

”It’s easy for us to build chemistry,” he said.

Venezuelan Charge d’ Affaires Manuel Perez Itubri presented his country’s discovery of the plant called Amaranthus, which he said he saw in many parts of Cebu City.

Venezuela, he said, is producing an array of products from the said plant.

Iraqi Ambassador Wadee Al-Batti praised Mandaue City for its friendly business climate, saying “what’s difficult in Manila is easy in Mandaue.”

”We are ready to make Filipinos a great player in Iraq. We’ll take this relationship to a new level,” he added.

Vietnam deputy head of mission Pham Hao invited Cebuanos to visit his country as it celebrates its national day.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #725
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Airlines hold seat sales as lean season begins
ROBERT JA BASILIO JR., GMANews.TV
09/01/2010 | 10:53 PM

Philippine air carriers are holding seat sales and cutting airfares to gain more customers as the country's lean flying season begins.

And it's not just because airlines intend to encourage tourism into the country, which took a hit when a disgruntled ex-policeman held a bus hostage and killed eight Chinese visitors last week, but due to “the seasonality of travel."


These sentiments were expressed by two of three airlines in various phone interviews conducted by GMANews.TV.

Fare promotions were prepared even before the hostage-taking incident took place, Patrick Tan, South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) vice president for commercial affairs, told GMANews.TV.

Last August 23, a former policeman hijacked a bus loaded with Hong Kong tourists and killed eight after authorities botched moves to rescue the hostages.

"Promotions were prepared in expectation of the seasonality of travel in the country," Tan said. "And traditionally, we're entering the lean season."

The lean season starts in August and ends in November.

On Tuesday, SEAIR announced substantial fare discounts for Batanes, Boracay, and Tablas in Romblon.

Depending on arrangements, SEAIR passengers can enjoy as much as 75 percent off the cost of regular airfare to and from their chosen destinations.

Boracay ranked as the third most-popular destination among Hong Kong tourists, attracting 3,853 visitors from the special Chinese administrative region, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said on its website, citing data from January to May this year.

Of the 33,395 Hong Kong tourists who visited the Philippines during the period, nearly half or 13,775 visited Manila while 11,222 went to Cebu, the same data said.

Separate data from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) indicated that visitors from Hong Kong also ranked 22nd in tourism arrivals from January to August 23 this year.

Cebu Pacific Airlines — which has the highest number of flights to Hong Kong — shares SEAIR's view.

Although the airline’s Hong Kong service — which flies from Manila, Cebu, and Clark — incurred almost 1,000 rebookings and cancellations for the next three months, it continued to offer fare discounts on 11 routes, including Manila to Iloilo, Cebu to Clark, and Davao to Cagayan de Oro.

The discount remains in effect as long as travel is made from October 1 to November 30, the company said.

The airline "is always in a constant sale environment anyway, since it is a budget carrier," Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific Air's vice president for marketing.

To further spur sales, the Gokongwei-led airline will be announcing seat sales anytime soon.

Both Tan and Iyog also remained optimistic that the number of Hong Kong tourists visiting the Philippines will climb even before the year ends.

"Flight cancellations on flights from Hong Kong came mainly from those traveling in groups," Iyog said.

In a separate statement, Cebu Pacific said that "passengers scheduled to Travel from September 1 to 15, 2010 from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou to the Philippines may rebook their flights or store the value of their booking in a Travel Fund without penalties."

Iyog added that the number of passengers who flew individually was "continuously climbing."

"Forward bookings from Hong Kong to Manila and Clark, as well as Guangzhou to Manila are still climbing," the airline's same statement said.

For its part, Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country's flag carrier, kept a "wait-and-see" attitude.

Although it is currently offering roundtrip airfare to various Asian destinations for less than $200 — depending on date of ticket purchase and scheduled flight — PAL remains cautious as far as Hong Kong tourists are concerned.

"PAL management is assessing the situation to determine if it is appropriate to entice Hong Kong nationals to fly into the country at this time considering emotions are still high," Cielo Villaluna, the airline's spokesperson, told GMANews.TV in a text message.

As of August 27, PAL has received 1,100 flight cancellations by Hong Kong tourists and those from other parts of China, she added.
—JV, GMANews.TV
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Old September 5th, 2010, 03:26 PM   #726
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I think PR should operate daily flights into MEL & delink MEL from BNE and operate those flights directly. Currently x5 weekly flights with all operating via another Australian city is not very attractive to travelers ex MEL.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 05:24 PM   #727
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Inspectors key for FAA upgrade
CAAP urged to hire Inspectors First

September 4, 2010

THE International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) wants the Philippines to hire professional flight inspectors first before it dreams of America's (FAA) and Europes's EASA lifting its veil against the country's aviation sector from non compliant nation to compliance status, says the organization's President.

Roberto Kobeh González, ICAO president, told reporters in a briefing on Friday the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has been doing its best to resolve 89 problems found in local aviation.

The ICAO issued a Significant Safety Concern (SSC) tag on the Philippines in 2009 after a Universal Safety Oversight Audit inspection.

Gonzáles said it was a difficult and painful decision to downgrade the Philippines but decision had to be made to protect the flying passengers, foreign and domestic.

Some of the deficiencies were "lack of plan for certifying air operators in accordance with the Civil Aviation Regulations of 2008, as well as the lack of surveillance inspections of air operators and the aviation industry as a whole." he said.

"As of Aug. 16, the CAAP has resolved 77 out of the 89 problems. But definitely the main concern that the CAAP should address is the lack of trained inspectors. We have talked about outsourcing some inspectors for the meantime while the CAAP is training the local inspectors," Mr. González added.

Should the Philippines solved the problem of the flight inspectors, Mr. Gonzáles promised the country to restore the Philippines to the world map of international aviation. In January 2008, the United States FAA downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 from Category 1 following an International Aviation Safety Audit in November 2007. The European Union followed suit in 2009
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Old September 6th, 2010, 05:27 PM   #728
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Panglao and Daraga airport readied for 2011
Funded under PPP

September 5, 2010

Panglao and Daraga airport is set for project implementation in 2011 with completion date at 2014 and 2015 respectively according to the notice advanced by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)to Congress for the new administration's 2011 budget.

The two newest international standard airports is part of a list of 10 priority projects that will be implemented in 2011 through Public Private Partnership program (PPP) of the government which is initiated by President Benigno Aquino III.


President Aquino announced the PPP scheme during his State-of-the-Nation address, saying the government by itself could not finance capital-intensive infrastructure projects.

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the capital outlay for these projects would largely come from private sector funds with the national government funding P15 billion as a strategic support fund for PPP projects which include the construction of two domestic airports as part of key tourism-related infrastructure.

“The government is looking forward to generating P180 billion to P200 billion in PPP (public-private partnership) undertakings” next year, Abad said.

“We look forward to working with Congress to make sure that PPP will really work to our benefit,” Abad said.

The airport projects will be offered to investors next month for funding as they are expected to bridge the gap on the revenue shortfall experienced by the government for it to be implemented.

The P4.2 billion Panglao airport is set to replace the congested airport of Tagbilaran which can no longer be expanded due to residential an commercial restrictions as a result of its proximity to the City, while the P3.4 billion Daraga airport is set to replace the airport of Legaspi which has terrain issues affecting navigational safety restricting its future growth as a commercial hub in the Bicol region.

Meanwhile, construction of new Tacloban airport terminal as well as expansion of Dipolog airport terminal building will also commence in 2011 under regular appropriations.

PPP's are priority projects solicited by the government. Those offered would be subjected to the usual tender process. It would take six months for solicited projects and nine months for those that are unsolicited to be approved for implementation.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #729
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soorox View Post
I think PR should operate daily flights into MEL & delink MEL from BNE and operate those flights directly. Currently x5 weekly flights with all operating via another Australian city is not very attractive to travelers ex MEL.
MEL is linked to SYD, not BNE. BNE has its own flights independent of MEL and SYD.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 01:06 AM   #730
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky Harbor View Post
MEL is linked to SYD, not BNE. BNE has its own flights independent of MEL and SYD.
PR operates a total of x5 Weekly services to MEL;

x3 Weekly MNL>MEL>SYD>MNL - 777
x2 Weekly MNL>MEL>BNE>MNL - A330

Only SYD has some inderpendent flights at the moment.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 05:14 PM   #731
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Cebu airport sees continued arrival of Chinese tourists
Written by Recto Mercene / Reporter
Sunday, 05 September 2010 10:09

UNLIKE the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) which suffers from a dearth of Chinese tourists, an “Island in the Pacific” continues to enjoy welcoming Chinese nationals from Asia, unmindful of the shooting of eight fellow citizens by a dismissed National Police officer at the Rizal Park on Aug. 23.

“Cebu was never affected by the shooting and Chinese tourists arrive daily in droves from legacy [regular] and low cost carriers,” said Danilo Augusto Francia, general manager of the Mactan- Cebu International Airport (Mcia).

Some years ago, Cebu advertised itself as “An Island in the Pacific” to distance itself from “Imperial Manila,” which suffers from many ills that drove tourists away, such as kidnapping-for-ransom, the drugging of newly-arrived passengers from the Naia including devious-taxi drivers, and other criminal activities.

The ruse appeared to work for Cebu as tourists avoided Manila and started flying directly to the largest of Visayan cities, mostly from Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, the Middle East and other countries.

Although Manila was able to recover from its bad image over the years as a criminal-haven metropolis, it suffered another black-eye with the latest shooting on Aug. 23 at the Rizal Park, which say the immediate drop of registered arrivals at the Naia.

Interviewed during a welcome party for visiting International Civil Aviation Organization president Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez over the weekend, Francia said that Cathay Pacific and Cebu Pacific have not experienced any drop in the number of their Chinese passengers.

The other carriers such as SilkAir from Singapore, Korean and Asiana Airlines from Seoul-Incheon, and Qatar Airways from Doha also regularly fly in without any drop in passengers.

Despite this rosy picture, however, hotels in Cebu has reported losses in revenues amounting to P2 million, while in Boracay, the lost revenues were estimated at P7 million daily since the Rizal Park shooting.

At the Naia, wide-body air carriers with capacities of between 300 and 400 passengers landed from Singapore during the last three weeks with an average of 70 passengers, mostly returning overseas Filipino workers and a sprinkling of Chinese businessmen, but not tourists.

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said total losses in tourism revenues were at about $70 million.

Francia said the Mcia is a major trade center in the south for both domestic and international traffic. Its traffic is continually increasing and is now serving 602 commercial flights weekly transporting 10,223 passengers daily.

Narrow-bodied aircraft such as A319, A320, A321, B737, and wide-bodied aircraft such A300, A330, A340, B777 and B747 have been introduced in international flights to Mactan and in the domestic trunk routes.

He added that the Mcia reported recently an average of 161 daily aircraft operations (landings and take-offs). About 54 percent of the flight operations are commercial carriers, while the remaining 46 percent are military aircraft and general aviation operations.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #732
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Budget carrier Air Asia eyes more flights to DMIA
Written by Jacob Cunanan
Tuesday, 07 September 2010 11:41

CLARK FREE PORT, Pampanga--Budget carrier Air Asia Berhad of Malaysia is eyeing the conduct of more flights between Clark and Jakarta and Bangkok in a bid to expand its operations at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) here.

Air Asia chief executive officer Tony Fernandes told reporters during a visit to the DMIA recently that Air Asia is studying plans to expand operations at the DMIA in a bid to attract more tourists in the area as part of their program to lure visitors in the Philippines.


“We are studying to have more flights at DMIA, possibly to Jakarta and Bangkok. My Air Asia team from Thailand and Indonesia are here to look into these opportunities that would further boost the tourism industry, especially in Clark,” Fernandes said.

“We feel that Clark is the right place to be to have these flights to further develop the airport,” he added.

Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) president and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano said Air Asia Berhad has been a supporter of CIAC and a partner for the development of the DMIA since 2005.

Luciano said Air Asia is one of the leading budget carriers in Malaysia and operates daily flights between Clark and Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, averaging 14 flights per week.

The CIAC official met with Fernandes at the DMIA last week. Fernandes was in the country to attend a stockholders’ meeting held in Manila.

Fernandes also expressed support for the call for “open skies” for the DMIA to open more opportunities for Filipinos to fly, as well as to attract more tourists to visit Malaysia and the Philippines.

“For me, the Philippines has the largest potential for tourism in Southeast Asia and Air Asia is committed to supporting the programs for tourism,” the Air Asia CEO pointed out.

At the same time, Fernandes was impressed by developments at the DMIA, especially the newly built and expanded DMIA Terminal.

“I am really impressed by what I have seen at DMIA and Mr. Luciano has done a really good job,” he said, adding that Air Asia prefers to fly to the DMIA because it has reasonable parking rates and other fees.

“The DMIA is an ideal place for a low-cost terminal and we at Air Asia would love to fly here,” he added.

Along with Air Asia, airlines operating at the Clark airport are Tiger Airways of Singapore that flies to Singapore; Asiana Airlines that flies to Incheon, South Korea with connecting flights to the US, Japan and China; Cebu Pacific Air that flies to Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and Bangkok and domestic flights to Cebu; South East Asian Airlines that flies to Caticlan; the Spirit of Manila Airlines that flies to Taiwan; and, Pacific Filer with chartered flights to Palau.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #733
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CEB starts flights to Beijing
By Paolo Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer First Posted 21:13:00 09/06/2010 Filed Under: Air Transport

MANILA, Philippines—Cebu Pacific on Sunday mounted its first flights to Beijing, China, making the budget carrier the second Philippine company to serve the route.

In a statement, the Gokongwei-led company said it began its Manila- Beijing service on September 5, with the maiden flight taking off from Manila at 7:35 p.m. and arriving in Beijing at 12:05 a.m.

The inaugural flight’s load factor, or the number of passengers on a flight relative to the number of seats available, was at 70 percent, the company said.


“It’s a promising number,” the airline said, especially with last month’s hostage taking in Manila, which left eight Hong Kong tourists dead, still fresh in the public’s memory.

When Cebu Pacific had its inaugural flight to Brunei last month, seats were sold out.

“Cebu Pacific offers the lowest fare alternative from the Philippines to Beijing, so we are very optimistic about our Beijing operations. This is our third destination in China, after Guangzhou and Shanghai, and we can see that the market for Cebu Pacific flights can really be stimulated by our trademark low fares,” the company’s vice-president for marketing and distribution Candice Iyog said.

“We are grateful for the support of the different government offices which have helped promote our flights to and from Beijing, and we hope to serve even more passengers through our thrice weekly flights to the Philippines,” she said.

Beijing is Cebu Pacific’s 16th international destination in its network, and third international destination in China. The airline currently operates Manila to Beijing flights every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, and Beijing-Manila flights every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday.

One-way tickets start at P4,999. Cebu Pacific also flies to Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau.

The company also flies to Hong Kong and Macau every day. In a separate statement, the company said it had slashed fares to the two Chinese cities to boost traffic.

“The past few weeks, we have seen a slight softening in our forward bookings for Hong Kong and mainland China, and we hope to stimulate travel further with this seat sale,” Iyog said.

Asia’s third-largest low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific flies to 33 destinations in the Philippines, offering the most extensive network in the country. This includes Boracay (Caticlan), Puerto Princesa, Cebu, Laoag, Clark, Bohol and Coron.

From Manila, passengers can also proceed to other international destinations such as Jakarta, Bangkok, Osaka, Seoul (Incheon) and Singapore.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #734
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Cabinet team, foreign and local executives meet on NAIA
By Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) Updated September 09, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

MANILA, Philippines - Some Cabinet members and local and foreign executives yesterday attended a three-hour economic managers meeting at the dignitaries lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International airport (NAIA 1) in an effort to improve the country’s premier airport.

“Among the things we discussed was how to improve the experience of incoming and outgoing passengers,” said Transportation Secretary Jose de Jesus. “We want to make it world class and improve the service.”

The other Cabinet members who attended the meeting aside from De Jesus were Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, and Secretary Rogelio Singson of Department of Public Works and Highways.

Other officials present included Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager

Jose Honrado, immigration Airport Operations Division (AOD) chief Arvin Santos, immigration head supervisor Teody Pascual, customs collector for passengers services chief Tess Roque and several undersecretaries.

Representatives from the private sector included former Public Works secretary Fiorello Estuar, John Forbes, Alfonso Uy, David Balangue, Arnold Salvador and Roy Navarro, among others.

“We showed the visitors how we can improve the services and what face lifting should be done,” Honrado said, adding that representatives from the private sector were also invited to share their expertise on handling passengers.

The airport chief expected the facelift of the airport to start first week of October and end by Nov. 15, in time for the Christmas season.

Secretary Lim said the private sector representatives initially suggested improving the bathrooms and airport signs.

He said the immigration areas would be able to accommodate more passengers by implementing a “snake line” instead of several lines, and adding more passenger booths at the counter.

“We have to move to Clark, this is a six-year project,” Lim said, emphasizing that NAIA is nearing full capacity and the country needs a bigger area to accommodate a bigger passenger terminal, cargo terminal and parallel runways.

“At Clark we could have more than one terminal, we could have a budget terminal, a regular and a domestic terminal,” he said.

The Tourism secretary also agreed that more infrastructure is needed in case a transfer to Clark is realized.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #735
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Commercial flights to and from Jolo and Bongao commence

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—The first regular commercial flights between this city and Jolo in Sulu, and Bongao in Tawi-tawi will commence on Friday and Saturday, according to an official of a major airline.

The flights will make travelling around these areas more convenient as Sulu and Tawi-tawi residents used to charter planes to fly to this city or take the longer boat route.


But Maria Java, AirPhil Express vice president for marketing and media, said in a statement on Wednesday the flights were made possible by the recent upgrading of the airports in the two areas.

“Airport runway upgrades completed in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, and Jolo, Sulu, through a US-Philippines partnership have led to the establishment of new commercial flights between those provincial capitals and this city,” she said.

Airphil Express will fly a 77-seater Bombardier Q400 in the Zamboanga-Jolo route three times weekly beginning September 11, and in the Zamboanga-Bongao route four times weekly from September 10, according to Java.

Both routes offer connecting flights to Manila and Davao.

“Even before the runway was inaugurated, we were pushing to get new air routes set up,” said Robert Tan, president of the Tawi-Tawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tan said his group had lobbied hard for regular flights from and to Tawi-tawi during meetings with AirPhil Express officials.

“We met with Airphil Express officials in Manila to persuade them and to offer the chamber’s support.”

The airport runway upgrades were implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications, the provincial governments of Tawi-Tawi and Sulu, and the Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program.

The Tawi-Tawi runway was extended from 1,608 meters to 1,920 meters, and widened from 18 to 30 meters.

The Jolo airport runway on the other hand was extended from 1,200 meters to 1,845 meters, and widened from 18 to 30 meters.

The improvements will allow both airports to accommodate larger-bodied aircraft, such as Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s.

“It felt like landing on runways in the US, built to the highest standards,” Captain Patrick Roa, Airphil Express’ chief pilot for safety and security, was quoted as saying.

Roa had flown the evaluation flights in July.

“The surface is grooved to ensure safety even during heavy rainfall,” he said.

Luis Go, president of the Sulu Chamber of Commerce, said the old runway could only accommodate 19-seater planes.

“We then had no choice then but to travel to Zamboanga by sea, which can be uncomfortable and takes a day,” he said.

Java said the Zamboanga-Jolo flight would only last 20 minutes.

She said AirPhil Express hoped that the shorter travel time would entice more people to book their flights.

“People can now easily go to Zamboanga, which is the commercial hub of western Mindanao, to order stock and conduct business,” Go agreed.

He said the air service would also provide Sulu residents with better access to government, medical and banking services.

“The Airphil Express flights are boosting confidence all around,” Tan said.

He said the regular flights would also boost Tawi-tawi’s seaweed and tourism industry.


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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #736
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AIRPHILexpress Commercial flights to and from Jolo and Bongao commence

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—The first regular commercial flights between this city and Jolo in Sulu, and Bongao in Tawi-tawi will commence on Friday and Saturday, according to an official of a major airline.

The flights will make travelling around these areas more convenient as Sulu and Tawi-tawi residents used to charter planes to fly to this city or take the longer boat route.


But Maria Java, AirPhil Express vice president for marketing and media, said in a statement on Wednesday the flights were made possible by the recent upgrading of the airports in the two areas.

“Airport runway upgrades completed in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, and Jolo, Sulu, through a US-Philippines partnership have led to the establishment of new commercial flights between those provincial capitals and this city,” she said.

Airphil Express will fly a 77-seater Bombardier Q400 in the Zamboanga-Jolo route three times weekly beginning September 11, and in the Zamboanga-Bongao route four times weekly from September 10, according to Java.

Both routes offer connecting flights to Manila and Davao.

“Even before the runway was inaugurated, we were pushing to get new air routes set up,” said Robert Tan, president of the Tawi-Tawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tan said his group had lobbied hard for regular flights from and to Tawi-tawi during meetings with AirPhil Express officials.

“We met with Airphil Express officials in Manila to persuade them and to offer the chamber’s support.”

The airport runway upgrades were implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications, the provincial governments of Tawi-Tawi and Sulu, and the Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program.

The Tawi-Tawi runway was extended from 1,608 meters to 1,920 meters, and widened from 18 to 30 meters.

The Jolo airport runway on the other hand was extended from 1,200 meters to 1,845 meters, and widened from 18 to 30 meters.

The improvements will allow both airports to accommodate larger-bodied aircraft, such as Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s.

“It felt like landing on runways in the US, built to the highest standards,” Captain Patrick Roa, Airphil Express’ chief pilot for safety and security, was quoted as saying.

Roa had flown the evaluation flights in July.

“The surface is grooved to ensure safety even during heavy rainfall,” he said.

Luis Go, president of the Sulu Chamber of Commerce, said the old runway could only accommodate 19-seater planes.

“We then had no choice then but to travel to Zamboanga by sea, which can be uncomfortable and takes a day,” he said.

Java said the Zamboanga-Jolo flight would only last 20 minutes.

She said AirPhil Express hoped that the shorter travel time would entice more people to book their flights.

“People can now easily go to Zamboanga, which is the commercial hub of western Mindanao, to order stock and conduct business,” Go agreed.

He said the air service would also provide Sulu residents with better access to government, medical and banking services.

“The Airphil Express flights are boosting confidence all around,” Tan said.

He said the regular flights would also boost Tawi-tawi’s seaweed and tourism industry.


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Old September 9th, 2010, 11:57 AM   #737
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PAL flies A330 to Iloilo
Launched its first wide-body service to the airport

September 8, 2010


Philippine Airlines has announced that it will be upgrading its equipment for Manila-Iloilo route with an Airbus A330-300 aircraft in one of its three daily flights.

PAL on Tuesday conducted a commercial probing flight (PR 141) on the Iloilo route using the A330.

The airline said the twin-aisle aircraft can seat up to 302 passengers or almost twice the capacity of their Airbus A320 fleet, a company statement said on Tuesday.

The A330 can also carry up to 22 tons of cargo, enough to accommodate Iloilo’s fresh produce and other freight regularly bound for Manila and other international destinations.
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Old September 9th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #738
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PAL flight attendants file notice of strike
abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 09/09/2010 12:03 PM | Updated as of 09/09/2010 2:34 PM


MANILA, Philippines - The Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) filed a notice of strike with the Department of Labor and Employment on Thursday.

FASAP Vice-President Andy Ortega said the group's 1,600 members are expected to join the strike.

The notice of strike was filed after FASAP failed to reach a compromise agreement with Philippine Airlines' management during mediation talks at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board last August 9.


FASAP withdrew from the talks after PAL refused to change its policies on mandatory retirement age and on maternity and pregnancy leaves.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz earlier said that after a notice of strike is filed, it will take 30 days for a cooling off period to still look for a settlement.

"Once we go on strike, no flight will take off," said Bob Anduiza, president of FASAP.

"This will ground PAL's entire operations," he told a news conference.

PAL spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna appealed to the union to reconsider and return to the negotiating table.

"This will affect Philippine tourism and our financial position," Villaluna said in a radio interview, noting that the country's tourism sector has already taken a blow from the August 23 Manila hostage crisis.

But contrary to FASAP's claim, Villaluna said PAL's flights will not be disrupted if the strike pushes through. She said they are ready for contingencies.

The cabin staff are seeking a raise that would put their pay on par with that offered by foreign carriers. They are also demanding paid maternity leave and an end to a company policy that forces female attendants to retire at the age of 40.

There was no immediate comment from the labor department.

The planned strike is the latest in a string of labor problems to hit the national flag-carrier. Last month, 25 pilots and first officers of PAL's short-haul aircraft suddenly quit for higher paying jobs abroad, forcing the abrupt cancellation of several flights. With additional report by Agence France Presse
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Old September 9th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #739
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Poor maintenance of airport scored



BY GILBERT BAYORAN

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental has called the attention of the Bacolod-Silay airport management over what it claimed to be a “deterioration” of its maintenance and operations, as well as laxity in security.

Board Member Miller Serondo yesterday said he has received numerous complaints about the deplorable condition of the airport of so-called “international standards,” citing the dirty comfort rooms, lack of security over airline passenger baggage, and limited if not expensive parking space, among others.

Serrondo, who authored a resolution detailing the complaints against the management of the airport that was approved by the SP during its session Tuesday, claimed that the condition of the Bacolod-Silay airport had worsened, even after the terminal fee was increased from P30 to P200 for airline passengers.

“It is very embarrassing to our visitors,” he added.

Felizardo Torralba, Bacolod-Silay airport general manager, in an interview with ABS-CBN, described the SP resolution as “unfair”, and maintained that they are managing the airport efficiently.

Despite limited manpower and lack of funds, Torralba claimed they are doing their utmost best to serve the airline passengers.

“That is not what we call a deterioration because we are doing our best,” he added.

Serondo said they will write Torralba requesting for a dialog with members of the SP, to address the numerous complaints.

Torralba said he is ready to answer queries of the SP.
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Old September 10th, 2010, 09:55 PM   #740
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Philippine Airlines cabin crews file strike notice



MANILA, Sept 9, 2010 (AFP) – Philippine Airlines' cabin staff on Thursday formally advised the government they would go on strike at the end of October, saying the move would ground all flights by the loss-making flag carrier.

The 1,600-member cabin crew union said it had filed a strike notice with the labour ministry, which by law has 30 days to try to find a compromise between the airline and employees to prevent a shut-down.

"Once we go on strike, no flight will take off," said Bob Anduiza, president of the Flight Attendants Association of the Philippines.

"This will ground PAL's entire operations," he told a news conference.

PAL spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna appealed to the union to reconsider and return to the negotiating table.

"This will affect Philippine tourism and our financial position," Villaluna said in a radio interview.

The cabin staff are seeking a raise that would put their pay on par with that offered by foreign carriers. They are also demanding paid maternity leave and an end to a company policy that forces female attendants to retire at the age of 40.

There was no immediate comment from the labour department.

The planned strike is the latest in a string of labour problems to hit the national flag-carrier. Last month, 25 pilots and first officers of PAL's short-haul aircraft suddenly quit for higher paying jobs abroad, forcing the abrupt cancellation of several flights.
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