Sibulan Loses Runway Length

17 May 2016

Sibulan Airport loses another usable runway length after an Airbus A320 plane (RP-C3237) of Cebu Pacific doing flight 5J 629 (Manila-Dumaguete) struck the Acasia tree while landing at Dumaguete airport's runway 09 on April 26.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has issued new NOTAM extending the runway displaced threshold of 408m (1,338ft) for runway 09, reducing the available landing distance to 1,437 meters which effectively prevent A320 jets from landing at the runway.

Airline and CAAP investigators found “branches and leaves” in the starboard main-gear assembly of the A320. Hydraulic fluid leak was also noted prompting the airline to ground the aircraft until appropriate repairs were made.

CAAP Assistant Director General for Operations Rodante Joya said that “CAAP shortened the usable length of the runway due to safety concerns posed by tall trees obstructing the glide path of incoming flights on the approach to runway 09 from the west.”

CAAP said runway 09 will be restricted to propeller-type commercial aircraft and general aviation jets for approach and landing, citing trees posing as hazards.

Joya explained the decision to limit the airport approach to runway 09 to propeller-type aircraft is in keeping with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), where trees pose significant safety issues, endangering the lives of commercial jet passengers, as they are located within the final approach of the runway.

CAAP's Aerodrome and Air Navigation Safety Oversight Office found conditions at the Dumaguete Airport runway as “critical and has the potential to result in loss of life, serious injury or damage to facilities and which requires corrective action to be completed immediately and if not may lead to downgrading of aircraft operation to a similar airplane or worst, closure of the airport.”

The airport is serving an average of 14 commercial flights daily from Manila to Dumaguete and to Cebu, while 15 general aviation flights or private aircraft are landing or taking off daily.

Both Cebu Pacific and PAL Express A320's continues to operate to and from Dumaguete Airport using Runway 27.

Value Alliance Takes Off

17 May 2016

Eight budget airlines that flies160 destinations from 17 hubs across Australia, North Asia and South East Asia, with a combined fleet of 176 aircraft and serves 47 million passengers has formed on Monday the world’s first and biggest pan-regional low-cost carrier alliances, which enables customers to book connections using a shared platform.

The Value Alliance comprises members Cebu Pacific, Jeju Air, Nok, NokScoot, Scoot, Tigerair Singapore, Tigerair Australia and Vanilla Air, and allows customers to book flights and ancillary services offered by any partner carrier from any of the airlines’ websites.

The service is powered by technology developed by Air Black Box (ABB), which allows passengers to book multi-destination and connecting flights, as well as ancillary services including seat and meal selection, and variable baggage allowances, across all partner airline sectors, in a single itinerary.

"Value Alliance is a clear example of how LCC can accomplish more by working together than we could do individually," said Lance Gokongwei, president and chief executive of Cebu Pacific.

PAL Wins Gov't Contract

26 April 2016

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has won 10.3 billion air travel contract with the Philippine government for official government trips of officials and employees.

The General Fares Agreement (GFA) on domestic airline travel comprising 23 government agencies was sealed today by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Philippine Airlines (PAL).

“Under the said agreement, all official domestic trips of government officials, employees and personnel will be given 8 percent discount for all economy class reservations, 10 percent discount for business class, additional baggage allowance, and waiver of processing fee worth P250 per ticket, and waiver of fees for first rebooking, among others,” the DBM said in a statement.

“Our partnership with Philippine Airlines will greatly impact government transactions for domestic airline travel. As part of the government’s common requirement which we will aggregate, we can purchase domestic airline tickers faster and easier,” Procurement Service (PS) executive director Jose Tomas Syquia said.

The Philippine government owns 4.3% of the national carrier through Land Bank of the Philippines and other government non-bank financial intermediaries.

CEB Selects Recaro For New Seats

16 April 2016

Philippine based low-cost carrier (LCC) Cebu Pacific has ordered 6,600 Recaro SL3510 seats for its new 30 Airbus A321neos, making it the first airline in the Asia-Pacific region for the new seat model.

Recaro earlier installed 30,000 SL3510 seat order from easyJet last year to retrofit the carrier’s existing 56 A320s with the new seats, and to provide seating for easyJet’s upcoming deliveries of 100 A320neos on order.

The A321 aircraft are scheduled for delivery from next year and will seat 220 single-class layout.

The SL3510 seats use netting rather than a solid foam material in the seat back to reduces weight and allows a thinner seat back for greater seating density.

PAF's Newest Herc

10 April 2016

The Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s fourth operating Lockheed C-130T aircraft has landed at Benito Ebuen Airbase, Mactan, Cebu Tuesday, one of two orders from the United States.

“It landed around 11:25 p.m. last Tuesday night at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan from Guam,” PAF spokesperson Col. Araus Roberto Musico said.

The C-130T, the first out of a pair acquired through the US Excess Defense Articles Program worth PHP2.5 billion (US provided $20 million in Foreign Military Financing for the purchase).

It was flown by Filipino pilots headed by Col. Alejando Baclayon, Lt. Col. Ian Earth Lamzon, Major Ian Dexter Danes, Major Anthony Amora, and Major Ramil Daet. The aircraft took off from Tucson, Arizona early this week and made stopovers in California, Hawaii, Wake and Guam Islands before heading for the Philippines.

It will join the
220th Airlift Wing by April 13. Musico said second aircraft is expected to arrive in October.

Arrival of these planes will boosts the PAF’s heavy lift capability. “Remember if we need to move a big number of troops and supplies (especially) heavy equipment for rapid deployment, it will be much easier as we have additional (C-130) aircraft,” Musico pointed out.

Originally, these two C-130Ts were configured for tanker missions and were later converted for transport missions before being acquired by the Philippines.

Aside from the C-130s, the PAF has three Airbus Military C-295 medium tactical military transport aircraft and three Fokker F-27 transports for its logistics and lift missions. PNA

Air New Zealand Secures Manila Slots

7 March 2016

Arrives in December

Air New Zealand (ANZ) has secured landing slots to Manila after adjusting its preferred arrival and departure slots before being taken by a gulf carrier paving the way for the airlines arrival to the country beginning summer season. See our very much earlier report here

As reported, the non-stop flight services will operate thrice weekly using B767-300 aircraft. Summer season in the southern hemisphere starts in October. The airline will use NAIA's terminal 1.

ANZ Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon expects the route to be popular among Filipinos considering that it is a direct flight.

Luxon said the Filipino community in New Zealand has more than tripled since 2001 and the third largest Asean Ethnic group with 40,000 Filipino residents.

Traffic between New Zealand and the Philippines has grown 10% each year for the last three years while Philippines to New Zealand grew 19% each year for the last three years. 

There will be a total 71,800 seats that will be offered between these sectors operated by PAL and ANZ. 

Air New Zealand said flight schedules will be release soon and tickets for the Manila-Auckland flight will go on sale by June 2016, pending government and regulatory approvals. 

There will  

Emirates Lands in Cebu

30 March 2016

Emirates Airlines begin its inaugural triangular flight to Cebu and Clark as the Boeing 777-300ER plane touched down at 3:40pm on Wednesday at Mactan Cebu International Airport, strengthening international connectivity to two of the Philippines’ fastest-growing international hubs.

"The circular flight with rights to two domestic destination is a new trend for Emirates catering to the market demand," Badr Abbas, Emirates' Senior Vice President, said during a press conference at the Cebu International Airport. The flight operates on Dubai-Cebu-Clark-Dubai route.

Emirates flights to Cebu and Clark depart daily from Dubai as EK338 at 02:55 hours, arriving at Mactan-Cebu International Airport at 15:50 hours. The service then departs from Cebu at 17:20 hours and arrives at Clark International Airport at 18:50 hours. The return flight departs Clark at 20:20 hours, arriving at Dubai International Airport at 01:20 hours the next day.

The airline operates 25 flights weekly to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Emirates Timeline in the Philippines

June 17, 1990: Emirates launched their twice a week flights on the Manila–Bangkok–Dubai route, and once a week flight on the Manila–Dubai route using an A310 and A300 aircraft interchangeably.

March 27, 1996: Emirates introduced a bigger aircraft, Boeing 777 on the route, used interchangeably with Airbus A330.

March 1, 2007: From 10 flights per week, Emirates commences its two flights daily non-stop on the Manila–Dubai route.

February 18, 2014: Emirates first flight to Clark. The airline flew daily using B777-300ER until it susspends service after six months of operations due to poor sales on May 1, 2014.

October 7, 2014: Emirates introduced A380 special commercial flight to Manila which brought home more than 300 passengers.

In 2013, Emirates invested almost $100 million through direct expenditures of ground handling company DNATA in the Philippines.

March 29, 2016: Emirates increases its Dubai-Manila (DXB-MNL) flights with additional four weekly flights.

March 30, 2016: Emirates launches its first Dubai-Cebu-Clark-Dubai circular service, marking its first entry in Cebu City and its re-launch in Clark, where we first started in 2013.

PAL Flies Doha

28 March 2016

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will relaunch today its regular flights to Doha, bringing its Middle East points to six.

PR 656 will depart Manila at 0030 arriving Doha at 0815, while its return flight PR 657 departs at 1005  arriving Manila at 0350 the following day.

PAL will fly five times weekly services to Qatar via Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with Airbus 330-300 aircraft.

The airline offers economy and premium economy class services to Doha with free wireless Internet for 30 minutes and 15 megabytes of video streaming using passengers’ personal devices through the app myPAL player, which can be downloaded through iTunes or Play Store.

The new flight services will also result in the re-scheduling of flights to Abu Dhabi from morning flight out of Manila to midnight departure.