Ordinary Passenger Keeps Plane To Himself

29 January 2016

Alex Simon got a surprise of his life when he boarded a PAL Express Q300 flight to Boracay finding himself alone in the crowd of cabin crews. Of Course that only happens in the Philippines. More of his story at UK's Daily Mail.

JJP flies PH

27 January 2016

Begins Flight 15 March
Japan-based low cost carrier Jetstar Japan will start flight services to the Philippines beginning March 15, 2016.

Jetstar Japan will launch flight services to Manila from Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo starting on March 15 from Tokyo-Narita, April 1 from Nagoya-Centrair, and May 3 from Osaka-Kansai.

Flight schedule are as follows:

Tokyo (5x weeekly)
Flt.#      D-time         A-time       type   freq
GK041 NRT2030 – 0005MNL 320   ex57
GK040 MNL0035 – 0605NRT 320   ex61 (daily by 1 June)

Nagoya (4x weekly)
GK095 NGO2030 – 2335MNL 320  ex234
GK096 MNL0105 – 0555NGO 320  ex234 (daily by 3 May)

Osaka (4x weekly)
GK081 KIX2030 – 2335MNL 320   ex167
GK080 MNL0035 – 0530KIX 320  ex127

Singapore-based Jetstar Asia also flies MNL-KIX daily and will compliment flight frequencies for the Japan based subsidiary.

Jetstar Japan is a low cost airline subsidiary jointly owned by Japan Airlines and Jetstar parent Qantas Airways, both holding 33.3% shares.

5J's New Livery Comes To Town

27 January 2016

Introducing Cebu Pacific's newest A320 jet (A320-214(WL): RP-C4107) sporting the new livery for the airline. All aircraft orders by the company will be wearing this new color.

36 Million And Counting

23 January 2016

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) registered a total of 36,681,601 passengers that uses Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), in 2015, eight percent (8%) higher from records reported last year, an increase of two million passengers from 34,094,159 in 2014.

Domestic passengers reached 19,513,514 while international travelers totaled 17,168,087.

The airport complex is expected to breach the 40 million mark by 2016 with the introduction of more wide bodied flights from Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airlines, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, and other international airlines operating at the airport.

CEB Prepares Massive Expansion Next Year

21 January 2016

Philippine low cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air is poised to take the offensive in Southeast Asia beginning next year as it introduce new routes in the region in 2017.

The plan was revealed by Cebu Air Chief Executive Lance Gokongwei during a recent interview with the Nikkei Asian Review.

Cebu Pacific plans to begin serving Thailand and Singapore more frequently in 2017 when the company receives the delivery of new aircraft, Gokongwei said.

The airline will introduce gateway points from Cebu, Clark, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Caticlan and other major airports to the Asian region.

The company is set to reinforce operations within ASEAN as the transfer of people and goods is expected to multiply in the market of 600 million people created by the establishment of the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

In addition to opening new routes, it will also fly more frequently on existing routes to meet an expected increase in demand.

PNG Welcomes Back PAL

19 January 2016

Returns After 29 Years!
Philippine Airlines (PAL) re-opened thrice-weekly service to Port Moreseby in Papua New Guinea starting December 18, as part of its expansion in the Oceania region. PAL operated in Jackson Airport between 1977 and 1986.

Philippine Navy's ASW

15 January 2016

AgustaWestland became the sole bidder for 2 of the Department of National Defense (DND)’s PHP5.4 billion anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter project offering its AW-159 Wildcat ASW (HMA2 variant) rotorcraft for delivery in 2018.

The Company will be awarded the project in months time after Post-qualification check showed compliance with tender rules, says  DND Undersecretary for Finance, Munitions and Modernization Fernando Manalo.

The AW159 Wildcat, first introduce in November 2009, is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter specifically designed for maritime reconnaissance, search and rescue, anti-submarine and anti-surface roles.

The UK's Royal Navy operates 28 frames of the Wildcat with 8 more orders from South Korea's Navy.

The Philippine Navy will be the third operator of the anti submarine helicopter which will be deployed on board the coming new light frigates also bidded out by the Defense Department.

PhilJets Adds H130

15 January 2016

Airbus Helicopters Philippines will deliver a new H130 light helicopter ordered by PhilJets in June this year, the company announced Wednesday.

"This latest order for one additional Airbus Helicopters H130 will help The PhilJets Group’s expansion plans", Thierry Tea, chief executive of PhilJets Group said.

The PhilJets Group includes PhilJets Aero Services Inc. and PhilJets Aero Charter Corp. PhilJets Aero Charter Corp, the group’s air transport subsidiary, will operate this aircraft.

PhilJets operates helicopter tours to and around different destinations in the Philippines,such as Tagaytay and Taal Lake, Mount Pinatubo, Palawan, Boracay, Corregidor, Manila Bay, Banaue and Sagada, as well as Bohol and Davao.

“As a fast-growing aviation start-up, our ambitious growth strategy needs to be fully supported by one of the most efficient, reliable and versatile aircraft on the market,” Tea added.

The additional rotorcraft offer to PhilJets’ charter subsidiary some increased capacity especially in catering to corporate clients, and high-end tourists as well as an efficient support for specific aerial needs and support (medical evacuation, cargo-sling transportation for mining, construction of roads, power lines and telecom towers inspection and maintenance).

PhiJets earlier teamed up with GrabTaxi to offer an air taxi service before end-2016 in a bid to provide an alternative solution to the heavy traffic in Metro Manila.

PhilJets Group operates an existing fleet of five H130’s, one AS350B2. The company will also add one AS350 B4 to its fleet with a total of eight air assets in 2016.

Kuwait Airways Expansion Hit Brickwall

Market shares erosion by PH carriers cause of discord

15 January 2016

Kuwait Airways (KAC) expansion to the Philippines starting April 2016 will hit a brick wall after its applications to transport passengers and cargoes for Manila - Bangkok - Manila route was put on hold by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) after the Philippine regulator obtains copy of Fawaz Al-Farah decision barring a Philippine carrier from exercising similar rights between Kuwait and Dubai.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of Kuwait earlier denied Philippine Airline's (PAL) request to transport passengers and cargoes between Kuwait and Dubai, which is inconsistent with the Air Services Agreement (ASA) amended and signed by the two countries in 2009.

Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) implemented an Open Skies policy since August 2015, while the UAE recently granted fifth freedom traffic rights to Philippine-based carriers.

Kuwait and the Philippines entered and signed the first ASA in 1977 and by series of amendments incorporated fifth freedom rights to any intermediate points. In 2009, flight entitlements between Manila and Kuwait was raised to eight, equally distributed in the Philippines between PAL and CEB.

“For Kuwait, we gave four flights per week each to PAL and Cebu Pacific,” says Maria Elben S.L. Moro, chief of CAB’s Hearing Examiners Division.

KAC propose to adjust operations to the Philippines, which sees frequency increase from 6 to 7 weekly.  It intends to operate 3 of 7 weekly flights as direct Kuwait  – Manila nonstop flights, with A340-300 aircraft, while the 4 flights continue to operate via Bangkok using A330-200 aircraft.

The Kuwaiti airline used to operate daily flight last year until it was forced to downgrade flight frequency upon the entry of CEB which offers 3 times a week A330-300 direct flight services to Kuwait last year.
KAC will also see further cuts to its Kuwait City – Bangkok – Manila flight vv. which will see service reduction from 27 March 2016, from six flights a week to as low as three as PAL enters Kuwait market in January 17.

According to airline sources in Manila, it is prepared to give up Bangkok and fly direct Kuwait City – Manila beginning 13 April 2016 although they are still studying the impact brought by the re-entry of PAL to Kuwait as to desired frequency mix which are profitable to them.

KAC is entitled to fly Kuwait - Manila to as many as eight times a week. Should Bangkok be axe, the airline proposes to service the route on new time slots:

Kuwait – Manila Kuwait
KU417 KWI0355 – 1910MNL 340 135
KU418 MNL2110 – 0135+1KWI 340 135

PAL To Sign A350 Deals With Airbus

15 January 2015

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines is set to sign $1-billion operating lease agreement with Airbus Financial Services for six long-range A350-900, a twin-engine wide-body jets in February, its President said Thursday.

Jaime J. Bautista, president and chief operating officer, said the deal involves six ultra long-range aircraft, aircraft parts and support equipment. No model variant of the type was however disclosed.

"It’s an ultra long-range aircraft that can fly non-stop from Manila to New York. The airplane can be used to other destinations also,” Baustista said.

The Airbus A350-900 has a list price of $308.1 million based on 2016 data released by the aircraft manufacturer yesterday.

The Purchase Agreement which was supposed to be signed in December 2015 was deferred for two more months to give the airline more time to evaluate the new Airbus proposal for the Ultra Long Haul variant which was presented by the aircraft manufacturer.

Airbus is expected to deliver the A350 aircraft in 2017 with delivery schedule from previously cancelled orders that were taken by other airlines. The planemaker reported 16 gross orders of A350-900 in 2015 with 19 cancellations, resulting in a net loss of three orders for the previous year. 

Bad Blood

14 January 2016

From a code share that goes wrong to the subsequent lawsuit that strained ties, Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Kuwait Airways (KAC) are at each others throat again after the Kuwaiti regulator denied the former fifth freedom traffic rights between Kuwait and Dubai, while the latter continues to enjoy that benefit between Manila and Bangkok.

Fuming mad amidst the January 17 launch where it will likely fly extension services, Philippine Airlines filed a petition with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) of the Philippines seeking to revoke Kuwait Airways’ rights to carry passengers between Bangkok and Manila on its Kuwait-Bangkok-Manila route after a similar request with Kuwait authorities to carry passengers between Kuwait and Dubai was denied with finality.

PAL wants to revoke the fifth freedom rights enjoyed by Kuwait Airways under a bilateral air treaty agreement, after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of Kuwait denied the airline's request to enjoy the same privilege upon the opposition of KAC.

The Philippines has granted fifth freedom traffic rights under a bilateral air treaty agreement with Kuwait to any intermediate points of their respective airline's choosing.

Kuwait Airways has chosen Bangkok as its intermediate point and has been granted fifth freedom rights and is operating the same route daily for more than 20 years without objections from PAL.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines recently selected Dubai as its intermediate point to Kuwait after securing fifth freedom traffic rights from the United Arab Emirates.

PAL would have flown in December 2015 had it not have problems with Kuwait Airways which changed its plans to January of 2016. The decision of denial was handed to the airline on the fifth of January effectively preventing them from transporting passengers between Kuwait and Dubai and vice versa.

PAL stopped flying to Kuwait in 1995 due to bitter dispute with KAC.

PAL adopts Philippine eaglet

9 January 2016

Philippine Airlines (PAL) becomes the second airline to sponsor a Philippine eagle by adopting a month-old Philippine eaglet hatched on 7 December 2015 at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City and will be its “foster parent” for the next six years. As foster parent of Chick 26, PAL was given the naming rights for the month-old eaglet.