CAAP Conducts A350 Certification

20 July 2018

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has conducted Certification flights of Airbus A350-900 aircraft recently acquired by Philippine Airlines from aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

The new aircraft certification flights will make the plane fly to General Santos, Clark, Cebu and Davao before its authorized to fly its first commercial flights to Hongkong on July 20.

Immigration Unveils E-Gates

20 July 2018

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) launches today its Electronic Gate System (E-Gate) project in a bid to further improve the processing of international passengers and reduce the long queues of travelers at the airports.

BI Commissioner Jaime H. Morente said the project cost P329-million project launched initially at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), with the Bureau expecting to cut the standard processing time for every traveler to only about 8 to 15 seconds from the present average of 45 seconds.

Morente said that aside from facilitating expeditious passenger processing, the project will also enhance the BI’s ability to pinpoint or detect travelers with derogatory records, including wanted fugitives and those who are in the Immigration Blacklist, Interpol Watchlist and Hold Departure List.

The E-Gates, an initiative of the International Air Transport Assocaition (IATA) through its Fast Travel program, are equipped with modern security features such as facial recognition, biometric scanning, bar code reading, and smart card recognition. It will first be introduced to Filipino passengers with machine readable passports. Children, senior citizens on wheelchairs and other handicapped travelers will have to be processed at the regular counters.

A total of 21 E-Gates will be installed and operational before the year ends in 5 major international airports. Eleven E-Gates will be installed at NAIA Terminals 1 and 3, while five will later operate in Mactan, three at Clark, and two in Davao.

PAL A350 Arrives In NAIA

15 July 2018

Alex Macheras Explains PAL A350

15 July 2018

By Alex Macheras

PAL first A350-900 departs Toulouse for Manila. It will be arriving NAIA at 2pm Sunday.

India Expands ASA

15 July 2018

The Philippines and India entered a new Air Services Agreement (ASA) on July 12 allowing both countries to fly 28 flights between New Delhi and Manila, in addition to three other major cities.

The new ASA allows airlines from both countries to fly more than seven flights after Cebu Pacific and Air Asia separately requested weekly pairs. Previously, only seven flights are allowed between two city pairs. Entitlements were taken by Philippine Airlines which secured seven each for New Delhi and Mumbai. Cebu Pacific intends to operate three times weekly Manila-Delhi flights beginning 2019 with A321Neo.

The renegotiated pact allows for flights to Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, while India nominated Cebu, Davao, and Clark that will be flown to by Indian carriers. Philippine carriers will also be allowed unlimited flights between any Philippine gateway and 18 other destinations in India.

India and the Philippines last held air-services negotiations in 2005, allowing Filipino carriers to operate seven flights per week to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. The same entitlement was awarded to Indian carriers, which can operate seven flights per week “on each city pair” between the two countries. The first agreement was signed in 1949.

The two parties also retained 5th Freedom rights to Bangkok as a midway point for carriers of both sides, with the possibility of disembarking and taking on passengers not originating from or destined for their own territories.

The new accord makes it also possible for the operation of third-country carriers on behalf of the parties' carriers as long as the former have the route and traffic rights through their own countries granted under agreements with India and the Philippines.

A more liberal cargo provision completes the new package of air rights.

Undersecretary for Aviation Manuel Tamayo headed the Philippine Air Negotiation Panel, and was joined by Labor Undersecretary Jacinto Paras, Trade Undersecretary Rowel Barba, Foreign Affairs Asst. Secretary Leo Herrera-Lim, and Tourism Asst. Secretary Roberto Alabado III.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) used to fly to New Delhi in India via Bangkok in 2011, but suspended the route in 2013 due to poor sales.

This year, PAL will be launching direct flights to New Delhi and Mumbai using its medium haul narrow body aircraft, the Airbus 321Neo.

Fifth Freedom rights were also being reviewed by PAL from New Delhi and Mumbai to Tel Aviv, in Israel. Both Air India and El Al Airlines service the route from Delhi and Mumbai, respectively.

The PAL exploration prompted Air India to launch Tel Aviv which began its direct flight from New Delhi on March 22 using B787 preempting PAL flights. Both countries enjoy overflight rights to Saudi Arabia.

PAL Accepts A350

14 July 2018

Pre-delivery ceremony of Philippine Airlines A350-900 at Toulouse, France.

Toulouse - The airline delegation led by PAL Chief Executive Officer Lucio Tan is set to receive today the carrier's first Airbus A350.

The ultra-modern aircraft which will have a three-class configuration (Business Class, Premium Economy and Regular Economy) will be deployed on long-haul routes to Europe and the North American East Coast. PAL will fly the plane tomorrow to Manila.

First view of RP-C3504 (cn.236), PAL's 3rd A350-900 for delivery in September
PAL officially ordered six A350-900 aircraft, with option for another six in February of 2016, officially announced at Singapore Airshow. Purchase Agreement was signed by PAL President & Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista and Airbus President & Chief Executive Officer Fabrice Bregier.

Spain Agrees 5th Freedom To Israel

Clears PAL Path To Spain and Israel

13 July 2018

The Philippines and Spain have signed an amended air transport agreement (ASA) which allows fifth freedom traffic for both countries.

Under the agreement, each of the parties may designate as many airlines as it wishes to operate both passenger and cargo operations. The Routes Chart is totally open and flexible, allowing airlines to freely select points located in the territory of the other party to operate with third and fourth freedom rights (possibility of embarking or disembarking passengers and cargo whose journey can only have origin or destination in the two countries).

In addition, for intermediate points and points beyond, they may provide their services under the fifth freedom regime (possibility of embarking or disembarking passengers and cargo whose journey has its origin or destination in third countries).

Likewise, the code-sharing operation is facilitated so that they can sign agreements of this type with companies from other countries to carry out flights between Spain and the Philippines.

“This agreement is another step to strengthen the connectivity of our country, thus facilitating the projection of Spain in the international context”, the government regulator said.

In 2009, the Philippines and Spain have sealed a new Air Services Agreement (ASA), fielding 28 weekly flights for each country, said the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

From Manila to Madrid and Barcelona, there were seven flights per week awarded to the Philippines.

To Madrid and Barcelona from Clark’s International Airport, 14 weekly flights were allocated.

Other points in the country, except Manila and Clark, were allotted seven flights in a week. The same goes for Spain, in which daily flights were also made available except for Madrid and Barcelona.

The ASA were not however enough to entice airlines to field flights between two end points citing inadequate traffic. There are however multiple airlines in the gulf region and Turkey providing one stop service to the Philippines.

Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe J. Lhuillier and Spanish Minister of Public Work and Transport José Luis Ábalos signed the updated agreement in Madrid on June 12, 2018.

Philippine Airlines(PAL) plans to introduce the route in 2019 with Airbus A340-300 aircraft. PAL intends to fly the route via intermediate points in Tel Aviv which recently was granted overflight rights, together with India, to Israel over Saudi Arabian airspace.

The government earlier secured Fifth Freedom rights to Israel in November 2013 for beyond points in India and Spain but only now did the latter allowed amendments to its air bilateral allowing PAL to finally fly the route to Spain.

Under the new agreement with Israel, the designated airlines of each country are entitled to a total of 21 flights a week, between any points in the Philippines and Israel.

CAB official added that, “We also agreed on three fifth-freedom flights per week on one intermediate point in Mumbai and one beyond point in Madrid.”

PAL A321Neo Commences 2nd Longest Flight In the World

11 July 2018

PAL has commence A321neo's second longest flight in the world as it fly its second neo aircraft RP-C9932 from Manila to Sydney, equivalent to seven hours and thirty minutes of flight time, or range of 3,400nm.

The aircraft previously flew from Manila to Brisbane on July 2 for its first medium-range flight.

The longest A321 flight in the world was flown by WOW airlines (TF-SKY) for eight hours and forty minutes (8:21) on January 23, 2018 to Los Angeles from Reykjavik, Iceland equivalent to 3,750nm.

Airbus’ prototype A321neo long-range (LR) aircraft has flown 4,109 nm from Seychelles International Airport on Mahe island to Toulouse in France. 

The plane manufacturer claims its A321Neos has design range of 4,000 nm. but has flown to 4,750 nm ESAD equivalent, on three center tanks, far above the design range of 4,000 nm. PAL variant has two center tanks on board.