PAL sees growth in Aussie routes

By Lenie lectura

June 28, 2010

BRISBANE, Australia—Philippine Airlines (PAL) expects traffic in its Australian destinations to grow by 10 percent and post as much as $60 million in revenues during its fiscal year that starts in March.

PAL flies five times weekly to Sydney and Melbourne and twice a week to Brisbane. It utilizes the Boeing 777 and Airbus A-330 aircraft.

“Our destinations to Australia are making money. We should be able to make more money,” said PAL country manager Arnul Pan.

PAL’s Australia service represents 4 percent of the airline’s total revenue target, added Pan. “We are looking at increasing our traffic here by 10 percent because of our comeback in Brisbane, our new plane the Boeing 777, and the partnerships we have forged with travel agencies.”

The load factor or the number of seats occupied during a flight for Sydney and Melbourne currently stands at about 80 percent to 85 percent and about 70 percent for its Brisbane route, that reopened in March.

“It depends on the aircraft that we are using. If we deploy Airbus A-330 then our load factor is at 85 percent but for our Boeing 777 the load factor is 65 percent to 70 percent,” added Pan.

The Airbus A-330 can accommodate 300 passengers while the B-777 can seat 376 passengers.

“Of the total passengers, 70 percent are Filipinos,” added Pan.

The PAL official said that for now there are enough frequencies to service Australia. “Our flights are enough. We won’t ask yet for additional flights. We are now observing how the market is starting to build up as airlines have just recovered from the global recession,” said Pan.

The restoration of Brisbane to PAL’s network completes the airline’s comeback in Australia, following the return of Sydney and Melbourne in recent years.

The new Brisbane service marks PAL’s return to the Queensland capital after a 12-year absence and underscores the airline’s commitment to its customers in Australia despite the global economic downturn.

With the addition of Brisbane, PAL will restructure its Australian operations. The current daily, same-plane operation to Sydney and Melbourne, which now share a triangulated routing to and from Manila, will be modified.

PAL first flew to Brisbane on June 5, 1985. In succeeding years, the city formed a key part, along with Sydney and Melbourne, of the airline’s multilegged operation to Australia.

But commercial and operational difficulties spawned by the Asian financial crisis of 1997 forced the flag carrier to shut down its Australian services on June 5, 1998.

PAL will also be looking to tap the huge Filipino migrant community in Queensland, as well as the leisure, business and cargo traffic out of the state. The airline sees an opportunity to provide Australian travelers, via PAL’s convenient connections in Manila, services between Brisbane and destinations in North Asia like Japan, China and Korea. Travelers, said the airline, can also expect to shave hours off current travel time to these points.

No comments:

Post a Comment