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Old November 20th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #821
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PAL welcomes 'open skies' regime

MANILA, Philippines - Local carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) welcomed the "open skies" policy announced by President Aquino on Thursday.

"We welcome the President's vision to promote a competitive international aviation sector anchored on "a strong Philippine-based aviation industry", which we firmly believe is indispensable to the development of Philippine tourism, trade and economic progress," PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime J. Bautista said in a statement.

"As the national flag carrier, we at Philippine Airlines will continue to work in partnership with government to attract more foreign visitors from both existing and new markets overseas," he added.

The government is hell-bent in liberalizing the aviation sector in the country as part of efforts to increase tourism arrivals.

President Aquino announced during the public-private-partnership summit on Thursday morning in Pasay City that an executive order to effect an open skies regime will be in place before the year ends.

The ongoing row between PAL and 2 of its labor unions was partly the reason for the Aquino government to consider the liberalized aviation policy.

The ground crew and flight attendants labor unions have threatened to stage a strike as separate negotiations with the airline management stalled.

The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7,100 islands and flying is a growing transportation preference as the shipping sector has been plagued by safety issues.

A strike could paralyze PAL's local and international operations.

In the local market, PAL has been overtaken by another local carrier, Gokongwei-led Cebu Pacific, but PAL's international operations still brings most of the international tourists.

"PAL is the only airline flying between the Philippines and Canada, Tokyo (to/from Cebu), Western Japan, Las Vegas, Melbourne, and nonstop from the U.S. West Coast – all rich sources of tourist traffic," Bautista noted.

"PAL flies 2.9 million seats into [Philippines] every year, more than any other airline operating to and from the Philippines. PAL operates more seats and more flights from China, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the United States to the Philippines than any other airline," he stressed

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/...n-skies-regime
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Old November 20th, 2010, 08:37 AM   #822
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Domestic air passenger, cargo traffic up as of September
November 17, 2010
Businessworld

THE NUMBER of people and cargo transported by air around the Philippines increased in the nine months to September from a year ago, data the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) released yesterday showed.

Specifically, the data showed that total number of passengers increased by a tenth to 12.26 million from 11.09 million, while cargo rose by a bigger 34.33% to 134.81 million kilograms from 100.36 million kg.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) carried 4.09 million passengers, 11.66% less than 4.63 million last year, but 20% more cargo at 53.45 million kg from 44.55 kg. Its load factor -- or the percentage of available seats that were actually occupied -- rose slightly to 79% from 78%.

PAL sister firm Air Philippines flew 1.12 million passengers, more than triple than 320,651 last year, and 4.78 million kg of cargo, nearly eight times more than the 605,913 kg recorded the same period last year. Its load factor dipped to 69% from 74%.


Cebu Pacific Air carried 5.98 million passengers, up 11.99% from 5.34 million, and 66.84 million kg of cargo, a 27.7% increase from 52.34 million kg. Load factor improved to 84% from 81% in the same periods.

Zest Air passengers rose 36.9% to 902,935 from 659,544, while it transported 8.93 million kg of cargo this year. No comparative cargo figure was given last year. Load factor improved to 71% from 69%.

Southeast Asian Airlines passengers increased 24.68% to 159,086 from 127,600, but it flew 27.5% less cargo at 194,961 kg from 268,902 kg. Its load factor, however, rose to 76% from 71%.

Finally, Pacific East Asia Cargo Airlines carried four times less cargo at 594,979 kg from 2.59 million kg.

CAB Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla said in an interview yesterday that his office is "expecting double-digit growth by the end of this year." -- AMPD
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Old November 20th, 2010, 07:21 PM   #823
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Philippine Airlines to fly Manila - Bali

December Flights From Manila Expected to Bring More Philippine Citizens, North Asian and North Americans to Bali.

Travel Trade Gazette ( TTG ) says that Bali and Manila may soon be connected by Philippines Airlines ( PAL ) with services planned to commence in December 2010.

The Group Director of Business Development for Tripuri, the holding company that operates PAL's General Sales Agent Sheira Semesta Cemerlang, Eddy Lenggu said: "The popularity of Bali as a tourist destination continues to grow. PAL has a good network from Japan, Korea and China to Manila; therefore, opening Manila-Bali means business for the airline."

A flight connection on the PAL network to Bali will not only provide additional capacity from North Asian ports-of-call but also provide more seats from the U.S.A. and Canada.

The Philippine national carrier currently flies between Jakarta and Manila seven times each week, with four of those flights making an intermediate stop in Singapore.
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Old November 21st, 2010, 11:45 AM   #824
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Open skies policy

Lim, however, lamented the measly budget allocation for the actual tourism advertising. A new branding can only go so far, he said.

DOT has a budget of $2 million for advertising and public relations, a pittance compared to about $40 million of neighboring countries such as Malaysia.

Despite the hitches, Lim said the tourism industry is set to attract more visitors in the coming years.

Lim said the 10% increase in tourist arrivals for the year is on track.

“President Aquino is fully supportive. First, he announced the open-skies policy. That to me is much more important. It allows more competition in the airline industry….,” he said.

He also added the infrastructure program will do wonders for the industry. The government earlier announced it will prioritize the building of 4 important airports.

“We’re also doing smaller programs, like cleaning up the airport, removing all the roadblocks to development like airline taxes,” Lim said. – by Ciara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News; with a report from ANC

I guess they're talking particularly about the case with KLM!
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Old November 21st, 2010, 07:00 PM   #825
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This one's rather good!!!

Last edited by danielcarlostan; November 21st, 2010 at 07:05 PM. Reason: wrong link
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 01:02 AM   #826
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The video is definitely better than the old one, though I'm still disappointed that it isn't bilingual.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 08:15 PM   #827
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Tiger Airways partners with SEAIR to enter Philippines

By Jonathan Peeris

SINGAPORE: Budget carrier Tiger Airways has entered into a 'partner airline' programme with South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) from the Philippines.

Under the agreement, SEAIR will lease two Airbus aircraft from Tiger Airways and commence services between Clark International Airport and Singapore's Changi Airport from December 16.

Tiger said more routes operated by SEAIR using these new aircraft will be added to the partner-airline programme over the coming months.

Seats will be marketed and distributed using Tiger Airways' online booking system, tigerairways.com.

The carrier said the resulting operational and cost efficiencies will ensure more low-fare seats are available.

The partnership will also contribute to the growth of SEAIR and the Clark gateway, benefiting customers in the Philippines and across the Asia Pacific region.

Tiger Airways has received approval from the Civil Aeronautics Board of the Philippines to lease the two Airbus aircraft to SEAIR.

Tiger Airways, meanwhile, has advanced the delivery of the two aircraft from their original delivery dates in 2015.

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Old November 25th, 2010, 04:16 PM   #828
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Seair expands, launches Asian flights

by Jeremiah F. de Guzman

Budget carrier Southeast Asian Airlines is expanding to regional routes with the launching of flights to Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Macau in the next two months.

Seair president and chief executive Avelino Zapanta said in a phone interview Wednesday that the carrier would introduce twice-daily flights to Singapore on Dec. 16 and at least one flight a day to three other destinations. Seair will also add frequencies to Davao City and Cebu early next year.

He said Seair chose Singapore as the first regional destination to take advantage of the renewed image of the island state as a more liberalized destination promoting tourist spots like casinos and resorts.

“We are growing from a domestic carrier to a regional carrier,” Zapanta said, adding that cost of fares would become more competitive as the airline expanded its operations.

Tiger Airways of Singapore has advanced the delivery of leased Airbus 319s from next year to this month. An A319 was delivered on Nov. 23 while another one will arrive on Nov. 29. Two more A319s are set for delivery next year, or earlier than the original schedule of 2016.

The Civil Aeronautics Board has approved the lease of two A319 by Seair.

“We intend to expand as many as 20 aircraft in the next three years,” Zapanta said. Seair has a fleet of 7 turboprops and 1 A319. The smaller aircraft are used for domestic flights while the bigger ones will serve the carrier’s regional flights.

“The additional big aircraft will substantially increase the passenger traffic carried by Seair. We will not be a low-cost carrier or a budget carrier, we will service all market streams and segments,” he said.

Seair recently forged a partnership with Tiger Airways to expand its market reach in Asia- Pacific region.

Seair said its flights would be marketed and distributed through Tiger Airways’ Web site, www.tigerairways.com, to reduce cost and increase operational efficiency.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #829
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PAL workers’ march snarls Makati traffic
November 26, 2010 05:07:00
Tina Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MAKATI CITY, Philippines—Traffic in Makati’s Central Business District snarled Thursday as labor groups held a protest march against ‘‘contractualization.”
The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (Palea) led the march that began in front of the city’s central fire station on Ayala Avenue around 1:30 p.m.


They were later joined by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), the anti-contractualization coalition Kontra, the Labor Alliance for Better Order and Reform (Labor), the Church-Labor Conference (CLC) and Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), among others.

Gerry Rivera, Palea president and PM vice chair, said the groups chose to hold the protest in the city’s central business district because they want an audience with Makati workers, many of whom are on a contractual status.

Beyond Palea

“This is now a fight that is beyond Palea. In factories, shops, offices and malls contractual workers are working side-by-side with regular employees in doing the same job for lesser pay and worse working conditions. We demand that government institute reforms to enhance job security and stop contractualization schemes,” Rivera said.

Some 2,600 PAL workers stand to lose their jobs after the labor department issued an order upholding PAL’s decision to outsource its non-core services.

In a press statement, Philippine Airlines said its planned spin-off affecting more than 2,600 workers is a survival strategy meant to save the jobs of more than 4,000 employees who will be left behind to run the restructured airline.

Change or perish

Reacting to a labor protest-rally against PAL’s spin-off program, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the flag carrier must “change or perish” in an industry buffeted by massive losses in the last two years. PAL said it lost $297 million or almost P14 billion in 2008 and another $14 million for its fiscal year ending March 2009.

She said almost all airlines in the world have done or are currently undergoing painful restructuring to adjust to new global business realities.

“It cannot be business as usual: the global economic crisis of 2008 showed that airlines are in real danger of closure or bankruptcy without restructuring,” she said.

Not contractualization

Villaluna said: ‘‘PAL’s spin-off program is not ‘contractualization’ as our friends in the labor movement claim. PAL said it is closing down its catering, airport services and call center divisions to allow more efficient third party service providers to do the job. Hence, affected employees will be retired early and paid their separation benefits in accordance with the ruling of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). It’s entirely up to them [workers] if they want to join the new service providers or not,” she stressed.

The Labor department had upheld that the airline’s spin-off program was done in good faith and recognized management’s prerogative to reorganize its corporate structure for the viability of its operations, to cut costs and to guarantee the airline’s continued survival.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #830
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Airphil Express sees growth in Singapore flights
(The Philippine Star) Updated November 23, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Airphil Express senior vice-president for marketing and sales Alfredo Herrera said the country’s leading budget airline has chosen Singapore as its first international destination because of its potential for growth.

“Consumer traffic to Singapore has increased significantly over the past couple of years due to the growth in tourism brought about by the investments in infrastructure that the Singapore government had aggressively undertaken these past years. We expect growth trends to continue which is why we are investing in this market,’’ said Herrera.

Singapore has a large Filipino population of 200,000 which served as a core market for airlines but Airphil Express is looking beyond this market for growth.

“We chose Singapore because of its strategic value. We see strong potential in the tourism market from Singapore to the Philippines to explore the beaches, diving, mountains and cultural diversity that the country has to offer,’’ said Herrera.

Herrera said Airphil Express has one of the youngest fleet among budget airlines in the region which should give the company a leg up in the competition.

Airphil Express will launch its Cebu-Singapore flight and have daily flights from Cebu to Singapore and vice versa through its brand new A320 aircraft.

The A320 belongs to the Airbus family which is recognized as a leader in providing exceptional levels of comfort to passengers travelling with a light pocket. The A320 offers optimized seating, leg and elbow space with ample and easy to access stowage space. The A320 is considered as one of the safest narrow-body aircraft with its advanced avionics system.

Aside from having safe and roomy aircraft, Airphil Express also distinguished itself from other budget airlines with its more accessible flight schedule (“We bring you to Singapore within the day and not in the wee hours of the morning”); superior facilities with passengers flown going through Changi Airport’s Terminal-2, a full service international terminal, while others have access only to budget terminals; and a generous free baggage check-in of up to 15 kilograms (budget airlines charge each baggage that are checked in)
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Old November 26th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #831
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PAL Holdings turns around, posts P2.44-B profit in April-September
By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated November 24, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - PAL Holdings Inc., the publicly-listed parent firm of flag carrier Philippine Airlines, posted a net income of P2.44 billion in the six months ending September this year, a reversal of the P177.63-million loss incurred in the same period last year.

The significant turnaround was attributed mainly to higher passenger and cargo revenues, which grew 16.4 percent and 80.5 percent, respectively.

Revenues amounted to P37.52 billion in the first half of its fiscal year ending March 2011, up 24.6 percent from the P30.12 billion recorded a year ago.

A 13.4-percent improvement in yields generated from passenger seat offerings complemented the boost in passenger traffic.

Total expenses and other charges from April to September 2010 rose 14 percent to P34.6 billion, largely due to higher costs related to flying operations, aircraft and traffic servicing, reservation and sales, and other expenses which offset the decrease in maintenance, financing charges and general and administrative costs.

Flying operations expenses grew 21 percent due to higher fuel costs and aircraft lease rentals. Fuel price per barrel went up from $ 79.06 in 2009 to $ 97.73 this year. The phase-in of two Boeing 777 aircraft in November 2009 and January 2010 likewise resulted in the increase of aircraft lease rentals by 45.7 percent.

More international flights were operated, thus resulting in higher aircraft and traffic servicing cost by two percent or P89.7 million over the previous year’s.

Debt servicing of various long term obligations resulted in lower financing charges of P602.5 million or a reduction of 39 percent.

Cost-cutting measures implemented by PAL resulted in the reduction of general and administrative expenses by 22 percent or P376.5 million.

PAL posted a net profit of $28.2 million in the second quarter of its fiscal year (July-September 2010) on the back of a 33 percent jump in revenues.

As of end-September this year, PAL Holdings had total assets of P71.95 billion, down six percent from the March 31, 2010 balance of P76,76 billion.

Total liabilities likewise decreased 11 percent due to the principal payments made on various loans and the effect of the debt buyback of certain unsecured claims from Trustmark Holdings Corp.

To remain viable, PAL will focus on continuing its cost-control initiatives as the passenger and cargo markets as well as fuel and maintenance costs remain very volatile
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Old November 29th, 2010, 12:27 AM   #832
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so is NAIA T3 ready for other international carriers, it's December soon? do any of you guys have photos to share? please post, thank you!
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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:33 AM   #833
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Many PAL workers opt for retirement package
By Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) Updated December 14, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Many Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees are willing to avail themselves of the retirement package being offered by the airline company and would rather not join the impending strike.

PAL president Jaime Bautista said about 20 percent of the 2,600 employees to be affected by the planned spinoff have expressed their intention to accept the retirement package.

“Since Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz came out with the ruling allowing PAL’s restructuring, about 400 to 500 employees have come to us and inquired about the retirement package and we to have told them to just submit their letter of intent if they want to avail of the package,” Bautista disclosed.

According to Bautista, the high number of employees who expressed their intention to accept the retirement offer belied the allegations of the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) that the management has been forcing the workers to accept the package.

Although many employees would like to avail themselves of the retirement package, Bautista said PAL could not yet implement the planned spinoff because they have yet to formulate the guidelines for the program implementation.

Bautista added that PAL management also needs to ready about P2 billion for the payment of the retirement package of employees hopefully early next year.

“Before the implementation of the program, we also want to discuss with the affected employees the guidelines so there could be a smooth turnover,” Bautista pointed out.

But PALEA members announced that they are pushing with their planned strike within the week to protest PAL management’s alleged unfair labor practices, including harassment of employees to force them to accept the retirement package.

Last week, more than 80 percent of PALEA members nationwide voted in favor of a strike.

Bautista, however, expressed confidence that only a limited number of PAL employees would join if the planned strike pushes through.

Most PAL employees would not join the planned strike simply to avoid the possibility of losing their mandated benefits as well as chances of getting rehired if the work stoppage would be declared illegal.

“A wildcat strike or a slowdown of operations are considered strike which can be declared as illegal and eventually used as a legal ground to terminate the employees,” Bautista explained.

“They would not be able to get their benefits if proven that their strike is illegal. That is why many of employees would rather not join the work stoppage even if they voted in favor of the strike. Voting in favor of strike and actual participation are different issues,” he added.

Bautista assured that contingency measures are already in place if the employees go on strike.

He said PAL could easily get service providers to replace the striking employees so they don’t expect the work stoppage to paralyze the airline is operations.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:34 AM   #834
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AirPhil Express beefs up fleet
(The Philippine Star) Updated December 14, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0)

MANILA, Philippines - In a bid to wrest a significant traveling market share that demands higher cost-to-benefit ratio, low-cost carrier AirPhil Express has beefed up its fleet by investing in new aircraft, bringing to 14 its total number of planes, six of which belong to the modern Airbus A320 series.

The Airbus A320 units service some domestic flights across the country and the company’s international flights to Singapore from Manila and Cebu. The aircraft carries 180 passengers and raises comfort standards in the single-aisle jetliner category. Travelers can look forward to an enhanced cabin experience in terms of wider seats, more legroom and elbowroom, and roomy carry-on baggage space within easy reach.

The A320s also ensure efficient fuel burn and decreased maintenance costs that translate to savings for the company which they in turn pass on to its passengers. “People who take the bus for long hours of travel or take the boat to their destination are now seeing the value of shorter travel time at a minimal cost differential,” said Alfredo Herrera, AirPhil Express senior vice-president for marketing and sales. “Everybody now has access to air travel,” he said, partly because of growing OFW remittances and people’s confidence in the country’s improving economic climate. Domestic air travel that was once prohibitive is now accessible to practically everybody.

Aside from the Airbus A320, the airline owns several Bombardier Q300 and Q400, used for quick inter-island flights.

AirPhil Express in its drive to be the Filipino’s low-cost carrier of choice, will continue with the expansion of its A320 fleet for short-haul and regional flights.

Get hold of rock-bottom deals on Fridays (4-8pm) and Sundays (whole day), and other AirPhil Express promos by logging on to www.philexpress.com, www.facebook.com/flyairphilexpress, or www.twitter.com/airphilexpress
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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:36 AM   #835
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PAL warns against entry of foreign Airlines
Cutthroat pricing seen causing heavy losses

By Paolo Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:43:00 12/12/2010

MANILA, Philippines—The entry of major foreign carriers into the Philippine market may cause disruptions in the local air travel industry, the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said.

It said the recent announcements of regional aviation giants such as Singapore’s Tiger Airways and Malaysia’s AirAsia to enter the Philippine market might result in cutthroat pricing losses for companies such as PAL and other players in the country.

“The question is, will the market be big enough for more players as big as them,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said.

He warned of the possibility of overcapacity in the industry where there would be too many airlines for too few passengers.

“If there is a price war, this will mean losses for all airlines in the country, not just PAL,” Bautista said.

At the moment, he said he believed that the local industry was adequately served by local carriers and other foreign airlines that fly to the Philippines.

He said that while the increased competition and lower prices would be good for passengers, the lower profits for airline companies might lead to a decline in new investments and the slowdown in the industry’s expansion.

Constitutional restrictions limit foreign ownership in transportation companies, which have congressional franchises, to 40 percent. As a result, partnering with local entities is the only way for foreign groups to gain a foothold in the local industry.

Earlier this month, Singapore’s Tiger Airways announced that it would let local carrier Southeast Asian Airlines (SEAir) to lease two of its Airbus A320 jets as part of a marketing deal between the two firms.

Under the arrangement, the Singaporean budget carrier will also be allowed to sell SEAir flights on the Tiger website.

Tiger Airways is partly owned by government-backed Singapore Airways and is one of the region’s largest low-cost airlines.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:38 AM   #836
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PAL workers see joyous Christmas
By Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) Updated December 17, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (1)

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees are now looking forward to a joyous Christmas with Malacañang’s decision to defer the planned mass layoff of 2,600 airline employees.

“PAL employees will have a merry Christmas since no retrenchment will happen this holiday season. Although it is not yet sure if we will have a happy new year because the suspension of the ruling of (Labor Secretary Rosalinda) Baldoz is only temporary,” PAL Employees Association (PALEA) president Gerry Rivera said.

But after the holiday season, Rivera said work stoppage could still be an option for PALEA members.

Rivera explained that while the planned strike by PALEA has also been stopped by the assumption order from the Office of the President, the legal requirements have been complied with and so it remains an option for the union should the labor dispute remain unresolved.

Earlier, President Aquino assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute and restrained PAL management from implementing the order of the labor department allowing the planned mass retrenchment of workers.

“PALEA calls on its members and its supporters from the labor movement to remain vigilant. We have won a battle but we have not yet won the war. For more than a year already we have stopped PAL from implementing its planned outsourcing. But next year we will wage the mother of all battles to finally defeat PAL’s contractualization scheme,” Rivera said in a statement.

PAL said they would respect Malacañang’s assumption order which also effectively stopped PAL union’s strike plans.

PAL president Jaime Bautista said the flag carrier would abide by the Palace order as it has always done in the past.

Bautista said the Palace order was most timely since it comes at the height of the Christmas rush, when travelers have firmed up their travel plans and are eager to spend the holidays with their loved ones.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:42 AM   #837
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AirAsia, Tony Boy, Mikey set up $25-M LC airline - AIR ASIA PHILIPPINES
THURSDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2010 21:41 LENIE LECTURA / REPORTER

AIRASIA, in partnership with Filipino shareholders led by businessmen Antonio “Tony Boy” Cojuangco, Michael Romero and Mariane Hontiveros, has formally established a $25-million Philippine carrier set to launch maiden flights in the third quarter next year.

AirAsia holds 40-percent equity in AirAsia Inc., the joint venture put up by the Filipino shareholders and the low-cost airline, through AirAsia International Ltd. The remaining 60 percent is equally held by Cojuangco, who sits as chairman; Romero, vice chairman; and Hontiveros, president and chief executive officer.

The joint venture involves the creation of a Philippine carrier branded as AirAsia Philippines, which aims to be the lowest budget airline in the country. The joint-venture agreement was signed on Thursday.

AirAsia Philippines, according to AirAsia chief executive officer Tony Fernandes, will lease aircraft from Airbus to service still-undisclosed routes coming from either Clark or Subic.

“We still haven’t decided yet. We are still debating between Clark or in Subic. But we will make an announcement in a couple of weeks,” said Fernandes.

According to Romero, who is not new in putting up terminals, AirAsia Philippines aims to carry 1 million passengers each year and transport them to nearby countries not exceeding four hours of travel time. “We are
getting three to five Airbus units in the next few months initially. With planes such as A320s it’s going to do less than four hours. So, we are flying within the region.”

Romero is the chairman of Manila North Harbour Port Inc. (MNHPI). Incidentally, he said the family’s Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. is eyeing an initial public offering (IPO) next year. “For IPO, we will try to do it by next year. We are eyeing” proceeds that are “a little bit smaller” than the P1.5 billion to P3 billion announced earlier.

AirAsia Inc., said Fernandes, also has plans to list in the local bourse in the future. “Obviously, it’s our plan. We are listed in other countries.”

Fernandes did not give much detail about AirAsia Philippines’ hub in the country, about its planned routes and the corresponding air fare, as well as its arrangement with other AirAsia units in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.  But he stressed that AirAsia Philippines is not here to disrupt the Philippine aviation market nor does it have any intention to displace other low-cost carriers (LCC) such as Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines.

“We are not here to compete with Cebu Pacific or with Air Philippines. We are here to help the market grow. We are democratizing the sky and allowing everyone to fly. The Philippine market is very small as to what it should be. So, [Jaime Bautista, Philippine Airline president] was wrong and that I am right. There is plenty of space. There will be competition but this is a massive market,” added Fernandes.

The PAL president earlier said there is already an overcapacity in terms of flights being served by airlines, particularly those from other countries. Fernandes said only less than 2 percent of the Philippine population is able to travel via airplanes. “That is why we are here to launch a massive low-cost service. We will be the lowest carrier here.”

Local airlines are questioning the intention of budget carriers that have entered into an arrangement with foreign carriers. They say this setup gives other airlines undue advantage when a foreign airline can fly to Clark, pick up Filipino passengers there and fly them to other countries without limit on frequency and type of aircraft.

“It should be publicly known what the structure of their arrangement is. Are they applying to establish new airline or buying existing one?” said an industry observer. “AirAsia already flies to Clark but setting up AirAsia Philippines means that the latter automatically enjoys fifth-freedom rights.”

Clark International Airport Corp. president Victor Luciano said AirAsia Philippines is a legitimate Philippine airline, having complied with the 60-40 percent ownership structure. “There is already a Supreme Court ruling that allows the Civil Aeronautics Board to grant rights to a Philippine airline. So, there is no need for congressional approval.”

Fernandes said AirAsia Philippines also has plans to service domestic routes such as Cebu and Davao but not in the immediate future. “Initially, we will serve international routes,” he said.

As part of the joint-venture agreement, AirAsia will provide technical, operation and commercial support on an arms’ length basis to AirAsia Inc. to ensure commercial, operational, branding and service-level uniformity throughout AirAsia’s operations.

“We can be profitable on day 1. We are proud to extend AirAsia’s successful low-cost business model to the Philippines and make it affordable for the average Filipino to travel domestically and regionally. The low-cost airline will also offer greater access to affordable travel to the Philippines which will help the economic growth of the country, as evident in other regions where AirAsia is currently serving,” said Fernandes.

He added: “Greater connectivity  across Asean would not only boost economic growth by providing better access to markets but also enhance links within travel, trade and tourism. This initiative will also help bring Asean closer by enabling intra-Asean travel within AirAsia’s connectivity and route network via our strategic hubs.”

AirAsia is the leading and largest LCC in Asia, serving the most network with approximately 139 routes covering destinations in Asia, Australia and Europe. In more than eight years of operations, it has carried more than 100 million passengers and grown its fleet from just two aircraft to about 100.

 The carrier was named World’s Best Low-Cost Airline in the annual Airline Survey by Skytrax for two consecutive years, in 2009 and 2010.

 An LCC trademark, AirAsia believes in no frills, hassle-free, low-fare business concept and feels that keeping cost low requires high efficiency in every part of the business.

In 2005 the LCC became one of the largest customers of Airbus 320 with a firm order of 175 aircraft and options for 50 more. Deliveries are ongoing. It has also placed orders for 25 Airbus A330s and for 10 Airbus plus five A350s on option, Fernandes said.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #838
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Has an image of the new DMIA terminal been posted here yet ?
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Old January 5th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #839
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NAIA Terminal 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightning099 View Post
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Old January 5th, 2011, 08:56 AM   #840
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Originally posted by:Jeffphilippines

Quote:
Zest Air adds planes for Middle East flights

by Jeremiah F. de Guzman



BUDGET carrier Zest Airways is acquiring wide-body aircraft in the third quarter this year for long-haul flights to the Middle East, company president Alfredo Yao said over the weekend.



“We have talked to somebody from the Middle East and we are preparing to launch flights there,” Yao told the Manila Standard in a phone interview.

The company plans to acquire two Boeing 777s for its long haul-flights, which may begin by the third or fourth quarter.



Yao said the airline recently acquired two Airbus 320s of which one was owned and the other leased. They brought Zest Air’s fleet to six Airbuses and four Modern Ark 60s.

“We are looking at ending 2011 with 10 Airbuses,” Yao said, adding two of the four additional planes will be owned and the rest leased.

“We have to expand because, in the airline business, there is a fixed overhead cost that you have to tackle. As you increase the number of aircraft, the cost goes lower.”

Yao said the new planes will be used to launch more regional flights and increase the frequency of domestic services.

Zest Air will be launching its five-weekly flights to Shanghai on Jan. 24. Its flights from Kalibo to Inchon have been increased from four times weekly to daily effective Dec. 21, 2010. “We have to go into regional [destinations] and at the same time we have to beef up our domestic operations,” Yao said.

Zest Air said more international destinations such as Taipei, Palau, Singapore, Bahrain and Dammam were now being considered and negotiated.

The company will be increasing its flight frequencies to its top destinations that include Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Bacolod to offer better passenger choice and

convenience. Some 70 percent of Zest Air’s operation is domestic.

“That will continue this year because we are expanding on both,” Yao said.

Zest Air now operates in 20 domestic destinations: Boracay via Kalibo, Bacolod, Busuanga, Calbayog, Catarman, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Marinduque, Masbate, Puerto Princesa, San Fernando, San Jose, Tablas, Tacloban, Tagbilaran and Virac.

Zest Air also flies to Incheon and Pusan, South Korea, from Kalibo and Cebu.

The carrier started operations in 1996 as Asian Spirit, which was run by a cooperative. It was turned over to Yao in March 2008 and was renamed Zest Airways in September 2008.

Last edited by mwg12a; January 5th, 2011 at 09:05 AM.
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