AirAsia Overshots Kalibo

30 December 2014
AirAsia flight EZD 272 carrying 153 passengers and six crew members from Manila to Kalibo overshot the Runway 23 of  Kalibo Airport at 5:43 p.m. No injury is reported.                   copyright © 2014 Jet Damazo-Santos @jetdsantos
An AirAsia Zest A320-200 plane ( RP-C8972) carrying 159 people overshot the runway and got stuck in a muddy field Tuesday at an international airport in the central Philippines after landing from Manila in windy weather, officials said. There were no reports of injuries.

Crew members launched emergency slides to help passengers disembark from the Airbus A320-200 after it skidded off the runway in the resort town of Kalibo in Aklan province before nightfall, Giovanni Hontomin, who is in charge of AirAsia Zest's operations, said by phone.

Initial reports indicated that three of the plane's tires got stuck in the mud, said Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesman Eric Apolonio. He said the busy airport would be closed to air traffic until the stalled aircraft, which likely sustained some damage, is towed away from near the runway's end.

A tropical storm has set off landslides and flash floods in the southern and central Philippines, leaving at least 31 people dead and seven missing, officials said Tuesday.

Kalibo town, 350 kilometers (217 miles) south of Manila, is a busy gateway to the Boracay beach resort, a popular tourist destination.

The accident came after an AirAsia plane crashed into the Java Sea on Sunday during a flight from Indonesia to Singapore with 162 people on board. Bloated bodies and debris were seen floating in Indonesian waters Tuesday.

It also came two days after another incident involving an AirAsia Zest plane. On Sunday, a jet operated by the carrier developed a tire problem in the central Philippine city of Tagbilaran while its 184 passengers and crew were boarding, prompting the airline to cancel the flight to Manila, officials said.

The Airbus A320 aircraft's tire was later fixed, allowing it to resume its flight to the Philippine capital Monday morning. No reason was given for the problem.

Budget carrier AirAsia Zest is partly owned by AirAsia Philippines. AP

DOTC Bids Phase 3 of Albay Airport

Terminal Building, ILS To Be Package Separately

21 December 2014
The Transport Department (DOTC) is set to complete the long delayed, always attacked airport infrastructure project with a trance contract valued at P780.9-million which is set for auction on January 21, 2015.

Phase 1 and 2 valued at P2.2 billion which includes landside (terminal) and airside (runway and taxiway) developments to Bicol International Airport site in Albay is already 45% complete according to DOTC and is slated for completion by May of next year.

The third phase involves more site development works for power, sewer and chlorination facility and water utilities; construction of administration building housing the CAA Office, operations facility and control tower; a separate cargo terminal building, a building for fire and rescue, a power house and maintenance building housing materials recovery facilities, water pump house and water tank, a chilled-water pumphouse for terminal airconditioning; underground fuel storage; and guard houses.

The P700 million passenger terminal building (PTB) comprise the fourth phase and is package separately from the contract which will be bidded out soon. The fifth phase also covers PTB valued separately at more than P500 million to cover lights, furnitures, fixtures, office equipments, X-rays and security equipments, and finishing paints and touches.

The last package for this airport consists of navigational and meteorological equipments, including the ILS equipments valued at P1.3 billion under the 2016 GAA, to support all weather day and night airport operations.

Bicol International Airport has a total price tag of P4.7 billion from the original price of P3.4-billion. It is constructed in Barangay Alobo, Daraga, Albay and set for completion in 2017.

No Fly Zone During Pope's Visit

20 December 2014

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) has announced that it will close the runway and the airspace in Manila and Tacloban during arrival and departure of His Holiness Pope Francis next month.

CAAP advised airlines, cargo and general aviation operators that on January 15, NAIA primary runway 06/24 and secondary runway 13/31 would be closed beginning 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. for all arriving flights, while departing flights would be allowed to operate from 2 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

A no-fly zone would also be implemented and no ground air traffic movement would be accommodated in NAIA from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive from Sri Lanka on board SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330 around 5:30 p.m. He will fly Philippine Airlines A321 aircraft to Tacloban City in the morning of January 17.

CAAP also said the Tacloban airport would be closed to all air traffic from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Jan. 17, except aircraft that carries the papal entourage. NAIA runways would be closed from 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. and from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Only aircraft departing from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. would be allowed at the NAIA on Jan. 19.

A no-fly zone would also be in effect on Jan. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. as the pope is scheduled to leave for Rome on board a Philippine Airlines Airbus A330-300 plane.

NAIA 3 and 4 Closed for Traffic on January 15

20 December 2014

by Kris Bayos

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminals 3 and 4 will be closed to arriving flights due to the closure of roads during Pope Francis’ visit next month.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Jose Angel Honrado has confirmed that NAIA Terminals 3 and 4 will be totally isolated due to the planned five-hour closure of roads leading to Villamor Airbase where the Pope will land on January 15 and depart on January 19.

MIAA will close the runway for arriving flights on Terminals 3 and 4 between 3pm to 5pm but will keep the hub operational for departing flights during Pope Francis’ transit.

“We are not closing the airport just because of the Pope’s visit. We are limiting operations due to the closure of roads around Terminal 3 and 4,” Honrado said.

“Due to these plans, we are advising departing passengers to come to the airport hours before the roads close or they can proceed to the designated staging areas where shuttle service will be provided to transport them to Terminal 3 or 4 via the airside roads,” he said.

He added that staging areas will be set up at Nayong Filipino or Terminal 1 Parking Area B. Unlike Terminals 3 and 4, Terminals 1 and 2 will be partially accessible via the Bicutan-Sucat road network.

Honrado recently met with airline executives and left it to them to decide whether to cancel, divert or delay their arriving flights coinciding with the planned road closure. The aircraft carrying Pope Francis will land at 5:45 p.m. on January 15 and will depart for Rome at 9:45 a.m. on January 19.

The aviation official refused to give an estimate as to the potential losses of government for foregone aircraft landing fees and passenger terminal charges. At least five international airlines operate at the NAIA Terminal 3 while domestic carriers operate at Terminal 4. Airlines also stand to lose profit due to the cancelled, diverted or delayed flights. - Manila Bulletin

Terminal 1 Repairs Completes by June

20 December 2014

Repairs of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 is slated to be completed in June says its Contractor after reporting series of delays with new problems cropping up after reconstruction and retrofitting works began.

Airport Contractor DMCI said retrofitting and upgrade works is 40 percent complete and will still be 95 percent complete by March due to unresolved technical issues affecting the terminal's operation.

The completion date has been delayed due to the delivery of materials/equipment and unresolved technical issues which were only discovered during rehabilitation.

The rehabilitation and upgrade project, worth P1.3 billion, started work January 20 of this year and was initially planned to be completed on January 2015.

Transport Secretary Joseph Abaya declared however that completion of the rehab project is slated for completion on or before May 15, 2015.

Cebu Pacific Clears EU Ban

15 December 2014

Low Cost Carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) from the Philippines has been cleared to fly european airspace by the European Union's Air Safety Committee.

In a published report released last week, the Brussels-based organization has removed CEB from the lists of airlines banned within EU airspace and joins Philippine Airlines as the only carrier from the country with clearance to fly the EU. All other airlines in the Philippines are still barred from flying EU airspace. from

Fraport Losses Again

12 December 2014

German airport operator Fraport AG losses yet again against the Philippines after it has been awarded $5 million in arbitration over the NAIA-3 dispute by the World bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). 

The win against Fraport is the country’s second victory against the German firm, and the third arbitral monetary award made by ICSID after the German company defamed the Philippines as investment thieves.

The win however happens to be a loss cause for Philippine Airlines as it encounter hard times securing the nod for its long awaited flight to Frankfurt, home to Fraport and its German investors.

Earlier, in August 2007, the ICSID dismissed Fraport AG’s claim for just compensation to its investment in Terminal 3, ruling that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the claim because Fraport’s investments were made illegally, in contravention of the Philippines’ Anti-Dummy and other laws, and that illegal investments are not entitled to treaty protection from the German-Philippine Investment Treaty.

What Gives?

11 December 2014
Rights Gone Too Far
Buyers of Emirates Airlines ticket due until summer of 2015 particularly the morning flight at NAIA may have to wake up to a rude awakening as they will be axe by the airline for lack of permits to fly.

By Alex Magno

It is bizarre business practice, but Emirates airline is selling tickets up to October 22, 2015 anyway with the caveat “subject to government approval.” Buyers beware.

There is impunity shown here. The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) will meet today to decide on the matter of allowing Emirates to sell tickets beyond December 26 this year when its provisional flight allocation ends. Does Emirates know something others in the industry do not?

There is a complicated backgrounder to this issue.

Under the existing air services agreement between the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), each side is allowed four flights daily between Manila and either Abu Dhabi or Dubai. That is perfectly reciprocal.

Emirates and Etihad equally share the four flights granted the UAE. Of the four flights granted the Philippines, PAL and PAL Express are entitled three while Cebu Pacific is entitled to one.

Since PAL was not using all the three flights allocated to the airline, the company agreed to “codeshare” this with Emirates. This basically allowed Emirates to use the PAL’s allocation. Fair enough.

That “codeshare” arrangement, however, expired last October. PAL has taken back its third flight allotment. CAB, however, allowed Emirates to continue with its third flight (it is entitled to only two) up to last November 26. In a fit of generosity, CAB even extended this permit for a third Emirates flight to December 26 next.

No one in CAB, it seems, bothered to ask what the basis for this strange arrangement is. It breaks the symmetry of what should be a reciprocal air service agreement. It allows Emirates to eat up the share of the Filipino airline, especially since PAL decided to use its third flight allocation.

If a Philippine airline dared to fly an additional plane to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, one beyond what the air services agreement allows, that plane will likely be confiscated upon landing. They will surely be penalized for selling tickets beyond the date the agreement allows flights.

Why then is Emirates [Airlines] allowed by CAB to illegally sell tickets for an illegal [third] flight to the prejudice of Filipino airlines?

Tacloban Airport Re-opens For Jet Ops

8 December 2014
Tacloban Airport Re-opens its door to commercial jets today after extensive runway repair works was completed last week. It was however closed Friday to all commercial traffic by CAAP due to typhoon Hagupit.

Meanwhile, the recently repaired airport terminal was damaged again by strong winds causing its roof to open and ceiling to collapse. Repair works and clearing operations was undertaken yesterday and is expected to be completed before the end of the year. 

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific said that they will resume flights next week after the CAA ordered yesterday the closure of Tacloban Airport for commercial operations between December 7-14 for major relief operations. Passengers are advised to check with their airlines.

© David Santos

Think What You Must


8 December 2014

Oman Air Is Finally Here!

7 December 2014

After waiting for five years to land in the Philippines, State owned airline OMAN AIR has finally touched down at Ninoy Aquino International Airport's Terminal 1 Tuesday commencing their three weekly flights to Muscat.

But this early, Oman Air Chief Executive Officer Paul Gregorowitsch is already pushing for daily flights as
they are "highly confident" of the "economic viability" of the daily operations.

Gregorowitsch said at the inauguration that about 60,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) lives in Oman and are the airline’s core market, and the initial services they have wouldn't be enough to service the Filipinos living there.

The airline confirmed that they are in talks with Philippine Airlines (PAL) for joint services next year to realize daily services says its country manager Ritchie Tuano.

“Our company is talking,” says Tuano. “We are looking at increasing flights to daily" 
Oman Air is allowed only four weekly flights to Manila. The airline intends to enter into code share deals with PAL to fly the remaining three flights to Muscat. Oman Air is currently servicing the route with A330-200 aircraft and Philippine Airlines plans to fly the route using a mono-class A330-300.

Extra Bilateral

Emirates 3rd Flight Legal

2 December 2014

The grant of temporary rights to Emirates Airlines is legal.

Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Executive Director Carmelo L. Arcilla said Tuesday that they are empowered by law to grant temporary rights to airlines operating in excess capacity.

“There is such a thing as extra-bilateral rights, which are temporary rights.” says Arcilla.

The extra-bilateral rights allowed by law is limited to 30 days, but can be extended for another 30 days when warranted by the situation.

Emirates Airlines has been operating between Manila and Dubai beyond its allowable capacity of only 14 times a week since October after the Board denied with finality the code-share arrangement with flag carrier Philippine Airlines upon the complaint of Cebu Pacific. A separate motion was filed by the carrier to temporarily utilize the frequencies of PAL until March 2015 but the Board also denied the airlines request.

The Gulf carrier has since then filed a motion for reconsideration, which has yet to be heard on December 11, and for that reason the Board extended Emirates’ third flight operations until December 26 according to Arcilla.

“We decided to extend just to prevent the disruption of services,” Arcilla said.

Arcilla pointed out that they will still hear the opposition of local airlines on December 11, which could mean that Emirates third flight to Manila could end up to December 26 only, or they could fly to Clark or Cebu instead.

Talks for expansion of Air Service Agreement (ASA) between the United Arab Emirates UAE) and the Philippines is scheduled on February next year but this early the local airlines has manifested already that they are opposing such move by Emirates Airlines saying that traffic between Dubai and Manila is more than enough at this time. The Dubai based airline is requesting 14 more entitlements between Manila and Dubai.

PAL Upgrades Hawaii For A330 Service

2 December 2014

Philippine Airlines will expand daily services to Honolulu beginning December 11, 2014 by upgrading equipment and improving product and services with its new long range A330-343X plane (RP-C8771) which arrived from Airbus last week. The route is currently served by A340-300 aircraft.