PAL To Fly Double Daily To Dubai

Emirates To Cancel One flight To MNL

28 August 2014
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will upgrade its service and fly double daily to Dubai beginning November of this year after the Philippine regulator rejected its code sharing deals with Emirates Airlines (UAE) of the United Arab Emirates as "anti-competition behaviour".

The airline will utilize its new bi-class A330-300 and upgrade the product of PAL Express to Dubai while Emirates Airlines will lose one entitlement to Manila beginning winter schedule. 

Civil Aeronautics Bureau (CAB) has denied with finality the sought extension of the code sharing agreement between PAL and Emirates upon complaints filed by Cebu Pacific (CEB) which wanted its entitlements awarded to them.

CAB earlier awarded fourteen new entitlements to Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines (GAP) operating as PAL Express in 2012 paving the way for the airline to expand to the gulf. Philippine Airlines owns the remaining fourteen slot, seven of which are being used for flights to Abu Dhabi.

Cebu Pacific has been at odds with PAL and UAE since 2012 arguing deliberate non-flight of the former despite capacity to mount such flights and seen by CAB as anti-competitive behaviour after the carrier failed to use its entitlements to Dubai in contravention of the rights granted to it by the government of the Philippines.

CAB is expected to reallocate entitlements to Cebu Pacific if PAL fails to service this route within 6 months from notice.

PAL currently maintains 21 weekly code-share flights with UAE for Dubai and another six a week code-share flights with Air Philippines (GAP).

Skyjet Debut to Taipei Went Kaput

22 August 2014

It would have been the airline's first debut overseas, but leisure airline Skyjet of the Philippines butchered its inaugural flight out of Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport to Kalibo International Airport service last week after experiencing technical difficulty with its BAE 146-100

The 5 times a week chartered flight was supposed to take off around 9:50 am with Taiwanese passengers bound for holiday resorts in Boracay island when the aircraft suffered some problems causing misery to passengers as the flight was eventually cancelled.

Replacement aircraft was not made available for the reason that the airline now operate a single BAE 146 only after another BAE plane was written-off due to runway overrun at Balesin Airport.

5J Settles For Riyadh, Gives Up Jeddah

21 August 2014

Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) is finally giving up the fight for slots in Jeddah held by flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) after a protracted battle with the Flag carrier before Philippine and Saudi regulators.

Cebu Pacific will take the seven remaining slots out of the 21 granted by the Air Services Agreement with the Philippines, while the remaining fourteen entitlements are held by PAL.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted the Philippines 21 traffic rights per week between Riyadh and Jeddah to Manila, while both countries offers no flight restrictions between Dammam and Manila.

Cebu Pacific said that they will use all the seven entitlements to Riyadh while propose to begin introductory flight at leat thrice a week to Dammam and Riyadh using Airbus A330-300.

The airline said they will launch services to Saudi Arabia after opening flights to kuwait in 2 September hopefully around November or December this year. 

CEB spokesman Alex Reyes said it can launch flights to Saudi Arabia within a few weeks from regulator's approval to start ticket sales to the Philippines.

Cebu Pacific first flew to the Middle East last year with Dubai as its first destination. Dammam and Riyadh will be its 3rd and 4th destination in the gulf region.

Meanwhile, PAL which currently serves Riyadh and Damman with four and three weekly A330 flights to Manila respectively, is expected to add two more flights to this Cities in the coming months while the long awaited flights to Jeddah is fortcoming with introductory flights at three times a week.

NAIA Runway Project Stalls Again

20 August 2014

The construction of Ninoy Aquino International Airport parallel runway may have to wait a little bit longer than expected after the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) failed to contract out consultancy services for the planning and design of parallel runway 6-24 Left expected to decongest the country's main gateway. 

The P67 million contract for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Runway Optimization Project (ROP) expected to be done early next year failed to generate much interest among airport design consultants after two public bidding due to pricing concerns for such technical services.

"The plan now is to enter into a negotiated contract to hire the consultant" says Secretary Joseph Abaya of the Transportation Department.

Consultancy services includes definition of airport capacity, including airspace, runway and taxiway movements,
simultaneous runway movements, flight separations, improvement of slot schedules, RNAV technology applications, and associated training manuals for Air Traffic Controllers (ATC).

The ROP will run for 12 months after the award of the service contract. Runway construction is expected to commence within 18 months from date of award.

DOTC said the parallel runway is supposed to be constructed next year to address the congestion problems of NAIA by 2017 while the mega airport is constructed at Sangley.

According to industry estimate, a single runway has a  maximum of 44 Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) per hour, based on International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommended practices. NAIA was forced to capped this threshold at 42 per hour in accordance with ICAO guidelines. 

The intersecting runway at NAIA however has a throughput capacity of 56 ATMs per hour translating to a Maximum Throughput Capacity (MCTs) of about 36 million passengers. But due to the intersecting nature of the runway deployment at that capacity is dangerous which justifies the construction of a parallel runway.

The Transport Department aims to improve runway usage from 42 to 60 ATMs per hour with the parallel runway configuration. The new runway should be able to accommodate as much as 30 ATM's of added capacity from the existing runway 6-24R. 

This will translate to 4 new slots per hour that will be made available to foreign carriers wanting to expand in Manila but unable to mount due to capacity constraints. Construction of parallel runway 6-24 L would also pave the way for the closure of runway 13-31.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport handled almost 33 million in 2013. It is expected to breach 35 million by 2015.

PAL Hits Goldmine

19 August 2014

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has found a goldmine in the Middle East after registering unprecedented growth in its income for the first six months mostly coming from the gulf region.

PAL's revenue rose $1.13b, up by 164.3 percent from $43 million on the first half last year. Most of the new revenues were generated in the Middle East followed by Japan expansion and Canada flights while London registered a modest revenue buoyed by generous cargo traffic.

The airline is expected to follow up expansion plans to the gulf by announcing new flights to Jeddah, Doha, Muscat, and Kuwait soon. Also in the pipeline are North American routes to Chicago and New York. 

Oman Air Sorts Manila Landing

Finally Finds Time To Land

18 August 2014

State Airline Oman Air has finally got the nod of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to fly at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) after its application was earlier refused by the airport authority last year for planning to fly peak and closed hours, where landing and take off slots are not available.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) requires clearance from the airport authority where landing slots requested are still available before a Foreign Air Carrier’s Permits (FACP) is granted allowing them to fly to the country. 

Earlier, CAB also denied application of Jet Airways, and Turkish Airlines for planning to use blocked time. 

CAB said Oman air was amenable to change their schedule but the available time slots affects flight plans of their other routes that uses the same aircraft in Muscat. 

Airline says they may have to wait until next year to mount flight when additional A330 aircraft are made available to their fleet.

Oman air is set to fly beginning summer of next year using Airbus A330-200 aircraft. No further details is disclosed.

PAL Mercy flight in Malta

18 August 2014

Around 768 Filipinos evacuated from Libya left Malta on board Philippine Airlines B747 (RP-C7471, 419 pax) and A330(RP-C8786, 349 pax) during the early hours of Saturday morning arriving Saturday evening (10pm) and Sunday early morning (3:45am) in Manila. Image courtesy Roberto Cassar for Malta Today