PAL Records Profit in 2014

Books $2.9 Million Net Revenue

16 April 2015


by Maricel Burgonio

The Philippine Airlines (PAL) said it swung to a profit in 2014 from a net loss in 2013 due to higher passenger revenues.

In a report to the Philippine Stock Exchange, PAL Holdings said PAL reported a net income of P129.74 million last year, a turnaround from the P11.85 billion net loss in 2013.

Its total revenues increased 80 percent to P100.95 billion due to higher passenger and cargo revenues.

PAL said its passenger revenues posted P81.75 billion in 2014. It flew higher passengers to 9.6 million last year from 5 million in 2013.

Passenger revenues contributed the biggest share of 81 percent of the total revenues.

Cargo revenues, on the other hand, reported P7.84 billion.

PAL’s international route network covered 35 cities in 14 countries.

Its domestic network, meanwhile, covered 32 cities and towns in the Philippines.

Last year, PAL’s chairman and CEO Lucio Tan took back full control of national flag carrier after paying as much as $1.3 billion to diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

MIAA Hits Back At Airlines

In Your Face Proof shows airlines at fault for flight delay

14 April 2015

As it turned out airlines were at fault for flight delays at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, data from Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines disclosed.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado told airline management the in-your face facts when he met with airline companies Friday last week to address flight delays that was always blame with MIAA.

As it turned out, airline companies failed to fly their flight schedules on time that was provided to them by Airport Coordination Philippines, an airport slot allocator.

Manager Honrado presented the daily logs of airlines coming to Manila from terminal approach to landing and clearance delivery for departure to validate his claim and it showed delays either departure or arrivals.

Honrado stressed the remedy could be extending flight turn around time from the current 45 minutes to one hour.

CAAP has already issued a guidelines extending flight turn around time from 30 minutes to 45 minutes in 2013 but this directive seems to be inadequate as what has been happening during the Christmas holiday rush in 2014.

Cebu Pacific (CEB) blamed the airport authority for the delays in December but data showed that their services feel short of standards forcing the Civil Aviation Board (CAB) to penalized the airline 52 million pesos for flight delays. The airline did not appeal the ruling of the Board and has since paid the government penalty sum.

Honrado cannot understand why CEB has always been complaining and finger pointing the airport authority to their passengers since January of this year when the airline itself suffers delay in dispatching its aircraft for first flight.

From a three-day average in January this year, 27 flights were delayed during the first wave only. This caused an average of 103 delayed flights for the rest of the day. Similarly, 10 delayed flights were recorded from a three-day average in February causing 45 delayed flights throughout the day.

“Should the first wave of flights from 4am to 7am be delayed, this will also affect succeeding flights of the day,” he explained.

Cebu Pacific admitted that flight delay is caused by prolonged aircraft servicing on the ground and late arrival of their aircraft from its point of origin.

There were a total of 236,442 flights arriving and departing in NAIA with an average of 648 flights a day.

Oman Air Increase Services To Manila

As CEB Secures More Slots To Muscat

Oman Air inaugural flight on board A330-300 to Manila was greeted with water cannon salute on December 2, 2014

9 April 2015

Oman Air will fly daily services to Manila after the Philippines has signed amended air service agreement (ASA) with the Sultanate of Oman further expanding flights between the two country, according to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

The expanded bilaterals also secures four slots to Cebu Pacific (CEB) while the remaining three is held by Philippine Airlines since bagging the slot in 2009.

CAB executive director Carmelo Arcilla said they approved the increase frequencies between Manila and Muscat to seven flights per week from the current three flights per week allowing Oman Air to fly daily to Manila before years end.

The expansion of frequencies “is upon the request of Oman. Their lone carrier, Oman Air, wants to expand their entitlements here to daily,” Mr. Arcilla said.

Oman Air CEO Paul Gregorowitsch has been impressed by Manila performance that the airline is adding more capacity very quickly.

Gregorowitsch said they are "highly confident" of the "economic viability" of the daily operations.

Gregorowitsch was earlier quoted by CAPA saying that only 38% of Oman Air’s Manila passengers to date have connected beyond Muscat. Of the 62% point to point component, 42% is labour traffic (Filipinos working in Oman) and 20% is business traffic. Most of the transit passengers from Manila are connecting to other destinations in the Middle East although Oman Air also has seen a large volume of passengers heading between Manila and Paris.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), about 40,000 of them in Oman, are the carrier’s core market, says Gregorowitsch.

Meanwhile, Arcilla added that the new Air Services Agreement signed last Monday allows fifth freedom traffic rights for Philippine-based carriers to fly to Europe, from Muscat wherein carriers from the Philippines would be allowed to carry passengers to one point in Europe, one point in India, and one point in the Gulf States. Similarly, Oman-based airlines would be allowed to carry passengers to one point in Malaysia, one point in Indonesia, and one point in Thailand.

Oman Air is the designated carrier of the Sultanate of Oman which started thrice-weekly service between Manila and Muscat on December 2 last year. Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific (CEB) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) are designated carriers for the Philippines.

PAL has expressed intentions to fly Muscat, Doha, Jeddah, and Kuwait in 2013 but none of those destinations have been flown. Meanwhile, CEB intends to fly to Oman this year after securing more rights to fly Muscat.

CEB Clears Hurdle To GUM, HNL

8 April 2015


Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) has obtained ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards) clearance from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly Honolulu and Guam, the airline said yesterday.

Alejandro B. Reyes, head of long-haul division said that it has also received Philippine certification for Extended Diversion Time Operations (EDTO) of up to 120 minutes enabling it's aircraft to fly Guam and Hawaii in the United States. Flight to those destinations will commence before year-end.

The airline said the FAA ETOPS clearance prompted its counterpart in the Philippine to approve a similar EDTO (Extended Diversion Time Operations) rating which is used in the Philippines.

The Philippine aviation rules is patterned after Australia.

ETOPS or EDTO rating apply only to twin jet engines operating over the Ocean on routes with diversion time more than 60 minutes at one engine inoperative speed.

Cebu Pacific fleet comprises the Airbus A320 and A330, both twin engined aircraft.

Reyes said that Cebu Pacific’s EDTO 120 certification now allows them to serve new long haul markets with a “more direct route between airports.”

Cebu Pacific said the airline will install additional engineering requirements for two of its new A330 for long haul services over the Pacific.

CAA Adopts New Cockpit Rules


4 April 2015

The Philippine Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) announced that it has introduced a new aviation rule that will make it compulsory for two people to remain in the cockpit at all times following the Germanwings forced-crash last week which investigators believe was caused deliberately by the co-pilot after locking the pilot out of the cockpit.

An Airbus A320-200 plane of Germanwings crashed in French Alps last March 24 after its 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit after the latter went on a lavatory break. All 150 people on board were killed.

CAAP amended Part 1 of the Philippine Civil Aviation Regulations (PCAR) with the following provisions of Part 9 to include Paragraph (3) to subsection 9.5.1.8 (c) Security of Flight Compartment thus: Apart from the two pilots, a flight crewmember, preferably male but not necessarily a pilot, shall be required to be inside the flight deck.

In the event that either one of the pilots who would like to get out of the cockpit for lavatory break or other reasons, another crew member will have to be inside the cockpit.

CAAP rules also require that the cockpit door is closed and locked from the time all external doors are closed after embarkation until disembarkation. The only exception is to permit access and egress by authorized persons.

It also requires that the entire door area outside the flight crew compartment shall be monitored to identify persons requesting entry and to detect suspicious behavior or potential threat.

The amendment order was approved and signed by CAAP Director General William K Hotchkiss lll in April 1 and applies to all domestic and international airlines operating in the Philippines.

The new rule also requires Philippine pilot license holder to undergo twice-a-year psycho and neuro tests.

Turkish Airlines Finally Arrives MNL

30 March 2015


After long wait, Turkish Airlines finally landed at Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 6:31PM bringing along 266 passengers from Europe on board its Airbus A340-300 (TC-JII) aircraft direct from Istanbul. Its A340 has a seating capacity of 270 passengers.

The thrice weekly flights are scheduled every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday leaving Manila at 8:50PM and arriving Istanbul at 5AM. Departure flights at Ataturk airport is scheduled at 1AM arriving Manila at 6:00PM.

The Philippines becomes Turkish Airlines’ 109th country to fly to, and the airlines' 264th destination globally. It is likewise the 32th point in Asia. Image courtesy Rappler

CEB Strikes Back Oz

30 March 2015

"we’re over the hump"
Low Cost Carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) disclosed last week that it's strategy to Australia worked as they are capturing more than 30% of the market to Sydney as of the first quarter of this year, says Gary Kingshott, the airline's Chief Executive Adviser.



“We’ve seen positive uptake in the first quarter with fairly solid bookings for the March to April period ... my sense is that we’re over the hump on the long haul operations,” he said.

Kingshott said he also expected growth on routes to Dubai and Kuwait, which were opened in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“There’s demand there that’s going to be served because of legacy carriers’ (higher) prices.” The Manila-Dammam route, however, will be suspended from next week due to weaker-than-expected demand and aircraft will be redeployed to the Manila-Doha route, he said.

The airline has been embroiled in entitlement war with Philippine Airlines (PAL) at the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) over its rights to Dubai and Doha saying that PAL doesn't fly to either Dubai or Doha or has no intent of doing so. CAB approved two of the seven frequency slots giving PAL the remaining 5 slots it earned in the previous bilateral exchange with Qatar.

Ballon Festival Kicks off in Lubao

27 March 2015


The second Lubao Balloon Festival in Pampanga kicked off yesterday as thousands of spectators flocked to a field in Pradera, Lubao, Pampanga early morning Thursday.

Touted by the Department of Tourism as the largest hot air balloon festival in Southeast Asia, the event was participated by different balloon operators from 15 countries featuring 46 hot air balloons that will fly on the way to Bataan.

The balloon festival will also feature paragliders, kite show, and giant lanterns display at night until Sunday.
Image courtesy GMA News