PAA To Fly Guam

16 August 2019

Low Cost Carrier Philippine AirAsia PAA) has sought permission from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to fly to the United States.

The airline requested for a designation and allocation of entitlements under the Philippines-United States of America Air Transport Agreement. It also asked the CAB to revoke the designation of Air Philippines as the official carrier to the US.

CAB Executive Director Camerlo Arcilla said the designation will allow PAA to fly to US territories.

“The allocation of entitlements to the US is not a problem because it’s unlimited, but the designation as official Philippine carrier is limited,” Arcilla said.

CAB disclosed that the number of airlines allowed to be designated as official carrier to the US was only three, prompting Air Asia Philippines to seek the the revocation of Air Philippines’ designation to the US.

Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific are currently designated as official Philippine carrier to the US, while United, Delta, and Hawaiian Airlines are the official Us carriers.

According to Arcilla Air Philippines was not utilizing its permit to fly to the US so Philippine AirAsia wants them given to them as they are ready to fly. Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines once flew Guam and Saipan on different occasion, with the former airline terminating its service on December 7 while the latter flew Saipan two years ago.

Cebu Pacific is pulling out the plug in Guam three years after it started, citing low traffic demand as the main cause.

PAA is applying flight entitlements to Guam and Saipan out of Manila international airport.


15 August 2019

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has issued the Notice of Award (NOA) to San Miguel Holdings Corp. (SMHC) for the Construction of $15 billion Bulacan International Airport project.

SMHC will undertake the financing, design, construction, supply, completion, testing, commissioning and operation and maintenance of the new international gateway.

The corporation earlier tapped the services of global firms Groupe ADPi, Meinhardt Group and Jacobs Engineering to design and build the New Manila International Airport.

It also engaged Incheon international Airport Corporation as the airport operator to help manage the country’s future premier gateway. The airport will open in 2024.

AirAsia To Make San Miguel Airport Home

Air Asia X Coming to Philippine Subsidiary

14 August 2019

Low-cost carrier AirAsia (PAA) intends to make its Philippine unit the biggest carrier as it makes plan to relocate to a new home in Bulacan.

AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tony Fernandes said they are planning to aggressively increase their market share in the Philippines to take advantage of the infrastructure ramp-up being made in the country.

The statement was made during AirAsia Asean Day celebrations in Bangkok last week.

“I just had a meeting and for this year the Philippines and Indonesia will be our two biggest growth stories and we will add as many as we can,” Fernandes said.

AirAsia currently holds an 18-percent market share in the country’s commercial aviation industry.

Fernandes said he is “proud” of and “amazed” by AirAsia Philippines’s growth, recounting that AirAsia had a “baptism of fire” while putting up their segment here in the country due to stringent competition with other budget airlines.

Asked how he is going to grow AirAsia to get a larger share of the pie in terms of flights and passengers, Fernandes replied, “Well, add more planes.”

He said they are on track to more than doubling their current fleet of 23 planes to 50 in three to four years’ time, with seven planes in the pipeline amounting to an investment of around $350 million.

AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricardo “Ricky” Isla said they are adding new planes in Cebu, Kalibo and Clark hubs as they are “determined” to increase AirAsia’s market share in the Philippines.

“The biggest addition will come from our Manila hub as we bring in the wide bodies.” says Isla

“The second quarter of this year was a record-breaking year of 2.2 million passengers, and that 2.2 million is something like a 25-percent growth from last year. That alone is an indication that we are really determined to get more market share,” Isla said.

“The moment we get all the slots in the airport we can accommodate more aircraft that will give us more destinations”, says Isla.

Right now, we can only add capacity but cannot add more flights in Manila because slots in NAIA are already full, so we need a new Manila airport that has plenty of open slots. We will surely increase our market share very, very soon,” he said.

SMC Hires ADP To Design Bulacan Airport

Fernandes confirms Talk with Ang

13 August 2019

San Miguel Corp. said Tuesday it tapped the services of global companies Groupe ADPi, Meinhardt Group and Jacobs Engineering Group to design and build New Manila International Airport in Bulacan.

SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said the passenger terminal building it propose to build will be capable of accommodating 20 million passengers a year.

Meanwhile, AirAsia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tony Fernandes said they are planning to aggressively increase their market share in the Philippines.

How exactly, he doesn't say. Air Asia Philippines can't launch more flight in and out of Manila. But he did leave a clue.

“I just had a meeting and for this year the Philippines and Indonesia will be our two biggest growth stories and we will add as many [planes] as we can,” Fernandes said. AirAsia currently holds an 18-percent market share in the country’s commercial aviation industry.

“[The important thing is to] get all the aircraft while there is a continuous growth of airport facilities especially in the next two to three years and we have to be very ready. The moment we get all the slots in the airport we can accommodate more aircraft,” he added.

“More aircraft, more slots in the airport that will give us more destinations—provinces and international—we will surely increase our market share very, very soon,” he said.

Philippines AirAsia grow volume by 30 percent to 6.87 million passengers in 2018. It expects to transport 8 million passengers in 2019.

PAL Appoints New President

30 July 2019

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has appointed Los Angeles-based Gilbert Santa Maria as its new President and Chief Operating Officer, following the retirement of Jaime J. Bautista.

Santa Maria's appointment was approved by the PAL Board of Directors yesterday. He previously served as COO of IBEX Global Solutions, a BPO Company based in Washington DC, managing 13,000 employees worldwide.

Santa Maria  whose work begins August 1 said his priorities would include maintaining the airline’s current quality of service as well as profitability.

“I’ve been across multiple industries so I’m not intimidated by industry change. This is day one for me. We have a lot of work to do,” he said.

Santa Maria said his appointment came as a shock for him since he has been living “on the other side of the Pacific.” “So for me this is coming home. I guess leaders from Mindanao are ‘in’ these days. I’m from Mindanao. I was born in Butuan, grew up in Cagayan de Oro,” he said.

“For a president, you don’t have to be an airline guy. You just have to know how to manage people, and then make everybody work together. So he has a good background in management. He has managed a lot of companies, foreign and local,” PAL vice chairman Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr. said.

Tan Jr. said Santa Maria was recommended by his father, the airline’s chairman tycoon Lucio Tan, and some other people. The 15-man PAL Board had “unanimously approved” the choice of Gilbert Santa Maria, a “handpicked nominee of PAL Chairman and CEO Dr. Lucio C. Tan,” as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Santa Maria has a Master’s in Public and Private Management from the Yale University School of Management and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

“The chairman ordered that the new president works with the vice chairman, yours truly, and then the whole corporate governance committee, which is consisted of eight members and we added two more independent directors to beef up the whole committee. From now on, it’s going to be those three bodies that will drive PAL to move forward,” Mr. Tan said.

Sangley Approves E-Jets, A220 Services

Limits Commercial Jets to sizes no bigger than A318 /B717

23 July 2019

The Transport Department (DOTr) has said that the E190 E2 of Embraer and Airbus 220-100 can land safely at Sangley Airport when it opens to the public in October. 

The announcement was made after the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) cleared both manufacturer's aircraft from landing at the airport in addition to turboprop planes of major commercial airlines.

CAAP however said that aircraft bigger than Airbus A318 or Boeing B717 planes are still prohibited from using Sangley at this time due to airport infrastructure limitations.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) operates turboprop planes as big as the DHC4s, while Cebu Pacific (CEB)  and other airlines operates the ATR 72-600s, all Code 3C aircraft according to the Air Navigation Services(ANS) of the CAAP.

ANS said both the Embraer and Bombardier planes are likewise classified as 3C aircraft based on the PANS-Aerodrome (Doc9981) an ICAO document which would qualify them to use Sangley. They are similarly sized to BAe146 jets operated by Skyjet, and Royal Air capable of seating between 70-100 passengers.

No airline in the Philippines however operates A318, B717,  E jets or C-series planes at this time. CAAP believes that might change soon as airlines line up jet flight services from that side of Metro Manila airport in addition to turboprop traffic.

DOTr disclosed that Sangley airport passenger terminal building is capable of supporting two flights per hour of this type of jet aircraft or three flights per hour for the turboprop planes.

Aboitiz Submits Revised Concession Terms For Panglao

NAIA Consortium Follows Suit

22 July 2019

Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. has submitted to the Department of Transportation (DoTr) the revised concession terms for its proposal to operate and maintain the Bohol-Panglao International Airport for consideration by NEDA.

DoTr also received revised concession agreements by NAIA Consortium Friday for the operations and management of Manila International Airport. DOTR said they will transmit the revised documents to NEDA this week.

The proposals of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp.’s bid for the Davao International Airport and Mega7 Construction Corp. for the Kalibo International Airport revised concession agreement are still to be submitted to the Department.

The re-submission of new terms comes after NEDA require all proponents of airport projects to draft concession agreements patterned after the one signed with the North Luzon Airport Consortium (NLAC) for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the Clark International Airport.

LTP Grows Manila Hub

22 July 2019

Lufthansa Technik Philippines, the country’s largest aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul (MRO) operation, mulls expansion of its facilities in Manila with $40 million in new investments that would hire 300 workers in addition to the existing 3,200 headcount even as it noted that the tax and fiscal incentive package granted by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) helps them cope with stiff competition in the Asia Pacific region.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez revealed this after his meeting with Lufthansa President and CEO Elmar Lutter.

According to Lopez, the company is planning a 9,000 square meter expansion in the area worth $40 million and will add 300 jobs. The expansion will be completed 13 months after they award the contract.

At present, Lufthansa enjoys fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. PEZA-registered enterprises are entitled to income tax holiday (ITH) and 5 percent gross income tax after the ITH. They are also entitled to zero duty importation of capital equipment, tax deduction on the training expenses and employment of foreign nations.

During the meeting, Lutter informed Lopez that the incentive package “helps Lufthansa deal with challenges in such as stiff competition in the Asia Pacific Region and the logistical costs of operating in an island country.”

Lopez said he fully supports Lufthansa’s MRO expansion plans. These expansions, he said, will help the Philippines become and aerospace and MRO hub in the Asia Pacific.

“The Philippines is positioning itself as the hub for aerospace manufacturing and aftermarket services in the Asia Pacific Region. We have the young, educated, and highly-trainable workforce that is a boon to investors. If we achieve this goal, we can increase our high-value exports and provide decent jobs to more Filipinos,” said Lopez.

Lutter said that the global MRO market is expected to continuously grow by 4 to 5 percent per year, one third of which will come from the Asia Pacific Region.

Lutter further said that job opportunities in other industries and the growing global demand for MRO skilled workers may lead to a labor shortage in the Philippine MRO industry.

Filipinos, he said, are known as skilled aircraft mechanics not just in the Philippines but in the world. “The competitive advantage of the Philippines is its people,” he added.

Lufthansa Technik Philippines, a joint venture of Lufthansa Technik AG (51%) and MacroAsia Corporation (49%), is located at the center of Southeast Asia, within a four-hour flight radius of major international hubs in Asia such as Singapore and Hong Kong. MacroAsia is owned by taipan Lucio Tan, who owns the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines.

Within a special economic zone at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, its facility occupies a total area of 229,000 square meter lot in Villamor Airbase employing 3,200 people. It maintains 3 hangars capable of servicing up to 6 wide-body and 3 narrow body aircraft at a time, and 9 apron parking slots.

Its hangars are equipped with platform systems, overhead cranes, and engine, tail and wing docks. Modern and process-oriented workshops support aircraft overhaul, major modifications, cabin reconfigurations, and aircraft painting.

Based on its website, the company specializes in base maintenance for the A320 family, A330, A340, A380, and Boeing 777 aircraft types. It provides line maintenance services to a wide range of customers. The base maintenance service spectrum includes cabin reconfiguration/retrofit programs and lease return checks available as a stand-alone product or integrated into long-term contracts.

It is precisely this capability that has enabled Lufthansa Technik Philippines to successfully implement the A330 cabin reconfiguration project which contributed to PAL’s achievement of their upgraded 4-star airline rating from Skytrax.

Through our satellite offices in Cebu, Clark, Davao, Palawan and Aklan, the company provides aircraft line maintenance support to domestic and international airlines.