A350-1000 Tours Manila

And You Know What That Means...

27 January 2018

Airbus has commenced three weeks demonstration tour with its newly-certified A350-1000 which will cover Manila as one of the manufacturer's destinations in the Asia Pacific Region.

The first Airbus A350-1000 is scheduled to arrive in Manila in the third week of February before heading home to Toulouse, France.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) secured orders for six A350-900 aircraft after the company made demonstration flight to the country in May 20, 2015. It has order options for another six A350.

The airplane manufacturer said the tour will cover the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. Its route will include two Middle Eastern cities – Qatar's capital Doha and Muscat in Oman, after which it will then proceed to ten Asia-Pacific destinations covering Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Hanoi, Singapore, Bangkok, Sydney, Auckland, and Tokyo.

Airbus is preparing for delivery of the first -1000 variant to be operated by Qatar Airways, which it says will take place "in the coming weeks".

The plane maker said it will be using MSN65 for the tour, the cabin-equipped test aircraft which is configured with 40 business-class, 36 premium-economy and 219 economy-class seats.

Singapore's visit will coincide with the city's air show. The A350-1000 will be displayed on the static park from 6-8 February. Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo are the bases of -1000 customers Cathay Pacific, Asiana and Japan Airlines.

Eleven customers from five continents have already placed orders for a total of 169 A350-1000s.

The A350-1000 with a list price of $351.9 million is the latest member of the A350 XWB Family, designed to compete with Boeing 777-300ER, showing high level of commonality with the A350-900 with 95 percent common systems part numbers and the same Type Rating. It has a longer fuselage to accommodate 40 more passengers than the A350-900 (in a typical three-class configuration), the A350-1000 also features a modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines.

A350-900 first landing in Manila, May 20, 2015

Jetstar Asia Adds Clark

Fifth Freedom Flights To Osaka Begins March 27

27 January 2018

Singapore-based low cost airline Jetstar Asia is adding flight services to the Philippines as it launch services between Clark and Singapore and from Clark to Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan.

The flight will start from 27 March 2018 to be flown by 180 seater Airbus 320 three times a week.

Jetstar Asia CEO Mr Bara Pasupathi said this service will increase Jetstar’s capacity in the Philippines by up to three services a week to Kansai International Airport and Clark will now be the latest gateway in the region for both Singapore and Filipino travellers to fly to Osaka and Singapore.

From Singapore, Jetstar Asia currently operates up 5 services to Osaka from Manila on fifth freedom rights.

“Clark International Airport will be the second gateway in the region for Singapore and Japanese travellers to fly to the Philippines,” said Mr Pasupathi.

Collectively, Jetstar Asia will now operate up to 8 flight services to Osaka with connections in the Philippines.

From Manila, customers can also connect up to 17 international services on sister airline, Jetstar Japan to Narita, and Nagoya in Japan.

PNP Acquires Bell 429

18 January 2018

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will take delivery of one Bell 429 Global Ranger twin-engine helicopter for the Special Action Force (SAF) Air Unit in March 2018.

The Bell 429 which cost ₱ 435 million (₱435,797,548.00) delivers exceptional speed, range, hover performance and enhanced safety margins which made it the helicopter of choice to some of the worlds police forces. It has fly-by-wire technology which includes a fully-integrated glass cockpit, advanced drive system, best-in-class WAAS navigation and IFR capability.

Among its operators are New York Police Department, Turkish National Police, Slovakian Police, and the Swedish National Police to name a few.

Meanwhile, four other single-engine helicopter will join the PNP air unit next year.

New CNS ATM Goes Online

17 January 2018

After series of delays, the long awaited Communications, Navigation, Surveillance / Air Traffic Management(CNS-ATM) comes online after series of testing Monday.

It was inaugurated yesterday afternoon by President Rodrigo Duterte culminating completion of CNS/ATM Systems Development Project Phase II at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (PATMC) in Pasay City on January 16, 2018.

The project awarded in 2010 was funded through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The CNS/ATM is a computer-based flight data-processing system that allows aircraft operators to meet their scheduled departures and arrivals.

With this technology, the country would be able to monitor and evaluate 80% of the Manila Flight Information Region as assigned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO

PAA Expands To Indonesia

Eyes Thailand its next route

17 January 2018

Philippine AirAsia (PAA) has launched its first services to Indonesia earlier this year as it expands flight services to Jakarta on January 9. The daily flight will be flown by Airbus A320-200 aircraft.

The carrier is also scheduled to launch its Manila-Bali flights on January 19 on A320 aircraft.Daily flights from Manila to Bali will have a departure time of 6:40 p.m., and an arrival time of 10:25 p.m. Flights back to the Philippines leave Bali at 11:20 p.m.

Meanwhile, flights from Manila to Jakarta will have a departure time of 8:00 a.m, and an arrival time of 11:00 a.m. Flights back to the Philippines leave Jakarta at 11:30 a.m.

Dexter Comendador, CEO, AirAsia Philippines disclosed that AirAsia will also expand to more South-east Asian cities beyond Indonesia and Vietnam as it prepares its flight to Thailand to add to its growing international route network.

“After introducing Manila-Ho Chi Minh City last November and adding two Indonesian services, we plan to launch a new route to Thailand this year and continue expanding to more South-east Asian cities.” he said in a statement.

Gulfstream Lands at BIA


11 January 2018

A Gulfstream G200 (RP-C280) jet belonging to Asian Aerospace has made an emergency landing at Bicol International Airport (BIA) runway 11:30a.m. Wednesday due to heavy downdraft while on final approach to Legaspi Airport.

The jet that departed Manila Domestic Airport came to a complete stop at the shoulder of the runway laying at the grassy area of the BIA in Daraga, Albay, some 5 nautical miles from its intended destination.

There was no reported injuries.

The private jet chartered by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) was piloted by Captain Pedro Pangilinan, Jr. and First Officer Jasper Ferguson and carried four passengers whose names are withheld due to "privacy issues."

THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) disclosed that BIA is still a non-operational airport as it is still under construction but with a completed runway. There is also no control tower and ARFF vehicles that would assist the distressed aircraft.

CAAP aircraft probers, ambulance and a Fire Truck were immediately dispatched to the area.

CAAP said the cause of the emergency landing was "wind drop" according to the pilot, but probers will still summon the two pilots to determine what exactly happen. The result of the investigation would not be released this week because investigators will have to gather more evidence from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) to be send to Manila, including the pilot communication to Legaspi Tower.

PAA,CEB World's Least Punctual Airline

11 January 2017

In its 2017 Annual Punctuality Report, the UK-based aviation analysts OAG highlighted the airlines and airports, both large and small, doing the most to keep your holiday on schedule and two of the Philippine-based carriers top the lists as one of the carriers that flies late most of the time.

Cebu Pacific Air (CEB)ranked seventh-least punctual in the world, with an On Time Performance (OTP) of 57.6 percent.

“On time,” as defined in the study, is a flight that arrives or departs no later than 15 minutes from the scheduled time.

Philippines AirAsia (PAA), meanwhile is ranked ninth, with a 58 percent OTP.

Least Punctual Airline Globally

10. Xiamen Airlines Company                         - 58.3%
9.  Philippines AirAsia Inc.                      - 58.0%
8.  Sunwing Airlines Inc.                                   - 57.9%
7.  Cebu Pacific Air                                      - 57.6%
6.  SATA International-Azores Airlines S.A. - 57.1%
5.  Indonesia AirAsia X                                      - 56.8%
4.  LACSA-Lineas Aereas Costarricenses       - 54.2%
3.  Shenzhen Airlines                                          - 53.5%
2.  AVIOR Airlines                                               - 53.1%
1.  Air Inuit                                                            - 44.6%

Congestion at either origin or destination airports has been blamed by these airlines for its low score, with Manila International Airport (NAIA) operating beyond capacity requiring airlines to expect delays.


6 January 2018

Mactan Cebu in Figures

Cebu Airport rises 149% in the past 10 years

From 2008 to 2017 the number of seats available from Cebu Airport increased by 149%. In 2008, just over 2.69 million departing seats were flown. This had increased to 5.33 million by 2013, with five years of consecutive double-digit growth. Cuts in 2014 have been followed by another three consecutive years of growth, with capacity increasing by more than a third between 2014 and 2017. It should also be noted that the average capacity per departing flight from Cebu increased from 144 to 153 seats from 2008 to 2017. This included an increase in average capacity from 134 to 140 seats on domestic services, and from 188 to 197 seats on international flights.

Domestic and international services have both seen increases in capacity from Cebu over the past 10 years. Domestic routes have historically dominated the schedules. In 2008, flights to domestic destinations accounted for 74% of all departing seats. This increased to a peak of 80% as recently as 2013, but in the past few years international capacity has seen stronger growth, and in 2017 international flights represented 30% of departing seats. International capacity grew from 0.70 to 1.98 million seats from 2008 to 2017, an increase of 185%, while domestic seat numbers rose from two million to 4.73 million, an increase of 137%.

Cebgo Grows 200%

Philippine Airlines is the largest carrier at the airport, accounting for 29% of all departing seats. More than two-thirds of this capacity was operated on domestic services. Cebu Pacific Air was the next largest operator. 

Cebu Pacific and Cebgo have been included as separate carriers, since Cebgo maintains a separate IATA code under which it provides published capacity, despite operating under the Cebu Pacific brand. CH Aviation shows that Cebgo was re-branded from Tigerair Philippines in 2015. If Cebgo’s capacity is considered alongside that of its parent carrier Cebu Pacific, the combined operation would have provided 2.64 million seats from Cebu in 2017, eclipsing Philippine Airlines and accounting for 39% of all departing seats from the airport.

Cebgo experienced the largest increase in departing capacity at Cebu among the top 12 carriers from 2016 to 2017, while parent Cebu Pacific saw the biggest decline. Cebgo’s seats increased by 200% while Cebu Pacific’s dropped off by 15%. This was mainly due to domestic services being transferred from Cebu Pacific to its regional arm. Examples of routes where capacity was transferred from Cebu Pacific to Cebgo include the links from Cebu to Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Ozamis. If Cebu Pacific’s and Cebgo’s capacity is merged, the combined operation saw a 6.3% increase in seats from 2016 to 2017, with all of the growth coming on domestic services. 

Other top 12 carriers that experienced strong rises in capacity at Cebu from 2016 to 2017 included Jin Air, Philippines AirAsia, Emirates and Jeju Air with respective capacity increases of 99%, 46%, 35% and 32%. Three carriers (highlighted in red) saw reductions in published capacity from Cebu.

Manila Tops Domestic Route

Manila is by far the most popular destination from Cebu, accounting for 44% of the domestic seats available from the airport in 2017 and 31% of all departing seats. OAG data shows that the Cebu–Manila airport pair will be operated by Cebu Pacific, Philippines AirAsia and Philippine Airlines during the week commencing 2 January 2018, with 186 combined flights scheduled between them.

Despite this, capacity on services to Manila actually declined by 6.8% from 2016 to 2017. The top 12 domestic destinations with the most growth from Cebu during this period include Caticlan, Clark, Puerto Princesa and Kalibo, which saw 257%, 93%, 66% and 53% capacity increases respectively. Five of the top-ranked domestic links experienced a decline in capacity from 2016 to 2017 (highlighted in red) with Cagayan de Oro seeing the biggest reduction, with an 18% fall in seat numbers.

South Korea Tops International Route

Cebu Airport’s route map from 2 January 2018

South Korea was the most popular international country market from Cebu in 2017, representing 44% of all departing international seats. In all, nine international markets were served from the airport over the course of the year, eight of which are located in the Asia-Pacific region.

Of these, China saw the strongest growth in capacity from 2016 to 2017. New Routes Database indicates that airlines launched nine new services between Cebu and China during 2017, including Philippine Airlines’ links to Chengdu and Beijing, plus Sichaun Airlines stating flights from Chongqing. The top 12 international routes in 2017 all served destinations in the Asia-Pacific region, including three in South Korea, three in Japan and two in China. Chongqing was the only new route to enter the top-ranked international destinations from Cebu in 2017.

Of the existing top 12 services, Daegu experienced the strongest growth last year, since 2017 was its first full year of operation with t’way air. None of the biggest international routes from Cebu experienced significant capacity cuts during 2017, with Osaka Kansai (highlighted in red) witnessing a negligible 0.4% reduction.

The longest sector served from the airport in 2017 was Philippine Airlines’ direct service to Los Angeles, but this was discontinued in May. Dubai is now the longest route flown by Emirates Airlines notwithstanding its triangular service to Clark.

Air Asia Opens First Flight To Davao From Kuala Lumpur

KUL-DVO Inaugural

6 January 2018

Malaysian Low Cost Carrier Air Asia Berhad (AXM) has flown its inaugural flight to Davao (AK590) on December 21 last week without much funfare arriving at 2:25pm from Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The new route between Davao and Kuala Lumpur will operate four times weekly with 180 seater A320 aircraft. 

The route is the airlines third gateway from the Philippines to Malaysia after Manila, and Cebu after it discontinued connections to Kalibo this week.

Meanwhile, the airline's susidiary, AirAsia Philippines also connects guests to other cities in the Philippines including Clark, Manila, Caticlan, Kalibo, Tacloban, Palawan, Cebu and Tagbilaran.

Kuala Lumpur is Davao's second international point after Singapore.

DOTR Seeks Caticlan Expansion

Operator Wants Gateway Status

3 January 2018

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is seeking to transform Caticlan Airport to international gateway by proposing to change the design parameters of the airport project awarded in 2008.

The Transport agency has already send the recommendation to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for approval at the interagency Investment Coordination Committee (ICC).

Changes include expansion of airside and landside components, which has shown to be thorny and controversial issues in the past.

Among the airside issues that hound the project includes leveling the hill at the airport’s eastern side and the extension of the runaway to the sea, and the opposition by some stakeholders on the conversion of the airport from domestic to an international facility because it involves land reclamation to accommodate 500 meters more of the existing runway as originally planned.

As for the landside the project calls for the expansion of passenger terminal building (PTB) from the present 3 million passenger per annum (MPPA) to at least 6 MPPA by 2033.

DOTr proposal could increase Caticlan Airport project cost by as much as 300 percent from the original approved cost of ₱2.5 billion ($58 million) in 2008 to as much as ₱10 billion.

Caticlan International Airport Development Corp. (CIADC) bagged the right to modernize Caticlan airport under a 25-year concession agreement with the government in 2009 after the Neda approved the unsolicited Build-Rehabilitate-Operate-Transfer proposal for the Caticlan Airport Development Project in 2008 after its unsolicited proposal in 2006 was unchallenged by bidders.

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) bought controlling interest (51%) from CIADC in 2010 and established Transaire Development Holdings Corporation (TransAire) as the airport operator until 2034. Full airport administration was handed to TransAire in 2011.

TransAire holds the exclusive rights, obligations and privileges to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the airport by virtue of a concession agreement with the DOTr and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

The airport operator however took five years after winning the contract in 2009 to start major construction works after series of obstacles went its way from environmental compliance to uncooperative land owners. They are cleared to construct 1,600 meter of runway as a compromise from local and environmental groups. The original runway design of 2,100 meters was discarded.

Boracay airport as it is fondly known is limited to cater domestic traffic by its Aerodrome Certificate, with international gateway being re-directed to nearby Kalibo International Airport in Kalibo, Aklan.

SMC has been very vocal of expanding the airport’s runway from the former 950 meters to the current 1,600 meters to the now proposed 2,100 meter runway, and if allowed further, to construct up to 2,500 meters runway to accommodate more foreign carriers and larger aircraft.

SMC president Ramon S. Ang said they are building 3 MPPA PTB terminal slated for opening by October this year with expansion potential to 6 MPPA.

“We saw the potential to add more capacity from foreign tourist arrivals and its not possible from the current set-up” Ang said last year.

Ang stated that they propose to build only 2 MPPA terminal and 6 apron bays at first but revised the plan to accommodate growth in the future.The airport now can hold up to 12 apron bays for as big as A321 aircraft up-gradable to contact bridges in the future.

According to San Miguel Corporation, the airport facility is being developed with international operations in mind but is currently being hampered by limitations imposed on its contract.

Ang said the company is prepared to spend as much as ₱15 billion ($300 million) to upgrade the airport further if the restriction is removed.

SMC was originally given seven years or until 2016 to complete both the airside (runway, apron and Taxiway, navaids) and landside (PTB and parking) developments from project award but has since been extended by the government due to regulatory delays.

Caticlan airport handled 1.2 million passengers in 2017.

PAL Ends Darwin Stop, Halts flights from Kalibo to Guangzhou

Flies Brisbane Direct beginning March 24

2 January 2018

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has announced that it will fly direct to Brisbane beginning March 24, 2018 as it upgrades its Manila-Brisbane-Manila route to new 168 seater A321NEO aircraft with backseat IFEs and wifi services, as it accelerates efforts to join the prestigious circle of 4-star carriers in 2018.

The route is currently served via Darwin as a stopover which run four times each week. Manila-Darwin-Manila services is planned to be axed from March 24, 2018.

Airline President James J. Bautista said Darwin is "economically unsustainable" for the airline's business model.

Bautista stressed however that they are studying possibility of flying low-cost subsidiary PAL Express to Darwin instead of PAL to take-over the route as it addresses passenger demographic types similar to what was employed in Saipan.

Meanwhile, PAL suspended Kalibo-Guangzhou route starting Jan.1, as part of the restructuring of the flight network in the region. Instead, it will mount an additional Manila-Guangzhou flight every Saturday effective Feb. 1.

“In consideration of the current market conditions, this additional Manila-Guangzhou operation will ensure that efficient air transport services are continuously provided between points in the Philippines and Guangzhou,” PAL said in a statement.