PAL Confirms Long Haul Expansion

Looks For New Airline President To Stir Airline

25 June 2019

Philippine Airlines (PAL) Board of Directors has approved the retirement of Jaime J. Bautista as PAL president and chief operating officer, to take effect on June 30 but denied the appointment of PAL Executive Vice President/Treasurer and Chief Administrative Officer Vivienne K. Tan to replace him, PAL statement said Monday.

Ms. Tan instead is directed to work closely with Bautista for a smooth and orderly transition of management until a new President and COO is appointed, the PAL statement said.

The Board has decided to form a search committee to hire a new president and COO, according to PAL Vice Chairman Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr. who authored such proposal and carried by the board.

PAL Board said they need a “professional manager” to steer the airline to new heights because “it has 98 planes and it has a lot of long-range destinations planned.”

PAL Board of Directors consisted of Lucio C. Tan - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lucio "Bong" K. Tan Jr. - Vice Chairman, Jaime J. Bautista - President and Chief Operating Officer, Rowena Tan-Chua, Atty. Florentino Herrera III, Atty. Estelito Mendoza, Cirilo P. Noel, Carmen K. Tan, Michael G. Tan, Ryuhei Maeda (ANA), Johnip G. Cua, Justice Manuel Lazaro, Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., Samuel C. Uy, and Gregorio T. Yu.

According to the Board, the next PAL President should be a Filipino who “has experienced in management, preferably in the airline industry.”

Tan Jr.’s recommendation to look outside the airline for a new president is not a surprise. A source within management explained that Tan Jr. is a “protégé of Bautista and Wilson Young, chairman of Victorias Milling, a company also owned by Tan. They were tasked by Lucio Sr. to train Bong to run the airline and the milling company. Bong is closer to them than to Vivienne.”

Apparently, there is a family rift between the two siblings and some management decisions are casualties of the squabble which prompted Bautista to exit the company much earlier.

The decision to hire professional manager is designed to shield the airline from any rumored family turmoil.”

Among those at Monday’s board meeting were tycoon Lucio Tan, the siblings Vivienne and Bong, the elder Tan’s longtime lawyer Estelito P. Mendoza, Lucio Tan Group President Michael G. Tan; Ryuhei Maeda, representing All Nippon Airways; lawyer Florentino Herrera III, independent directors Gregorio T. Yu, Amando Tetangco Jr., and Johnip Cua.

Bautista Retires, Tan Takes Helm

21 June 2019

FFlag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is in management transition after President and COO Jaime J. Bautista retires on June 30.

Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr., vice chairman of PAL disclosed that his older sister Vivienne Tan has been appointed by his Dad Lucio Tan to take the helm from Bautista.

Tan Jr. who was recently appointed as Officer-In-Charge of the airline upon the retirement of Bautista—said his sister is “slowly” choosing the people who will help her run the airline.

Among them is Siegfred Mison, SVP for Legal, who was chosen to joined the new management team.

Bautista had spent some 26 years with PAL, 12 of which as its president and COO. Prior to being appointed president of PAL in 2004, Bautista started as the head of the company’s accounting division in 1993.

He is mainly credited with turning around the company from one under rehabilitation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1999 to a formidable airline today.

Through the years, Bautista has successfully steered PAL through turbulent skies, enabling the flag carrier to hurdle challenging periods in its history, from labor strike of pilots, cabin crews and employees to financial problems.

Lucio Tan is said to have personally prevailed on Bautista to abandon his first retirement in 2012 and return to PAL in 2014.

Philippine Airlines pursued expansion programme during this period by adding four more B777-300ER to the fleet and ordering Airbus newest wide-body jets, the A350-900s to grow its profitable overseas route network.

The carrier also improved its service, securing it a 4-Star rating from Skytrax. It was also cited as the most improved airline in 2019.

He was a staunch advocate for foreign support for the airline's growth. In January, Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc acquired 9.5% of Philippine Airlines for $95 million to support its Asia growth strategy.

“Jimmy is an honest man. And he has done a great job in PAL,” says Tan Jr.

Jaime Bautista said that he had submitted his application for retirement “last month”.

“My retirement will be formally accepted on Monday (June 24) during the board meeting. I will formally retire on June 30, but if the turnover of the office is done earlier, I can just take a terminal leave.” He added.

On Thursday, Bautista was all smiles, seated beside Vivienne and Mison at a farewell lunch tendered in his honor. A photo of the moment was captured by Mison and posted on his Facebook account.

Philippine Airlines operates 98 aircraft, mostly Airbus jets, with a route network of more than 30 domestic and 40 international destinations.

NMIA, Here we Come

20 June 2019

San Miguel Corporation hopes to be operating  the New Manila International Airport (NMIA) in Bulacan by the end of 2024, according to its top official.

“If no other company puts forth a comparable offer to build one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in our country’s history, Filipinos could be enjoying more than just a world-class airport some five years after its groundbreaking,” says SMC President Ramon S. Ang.

Ang is confident that all requirements will be satisfied soon and they can break ground for the project by the end of 2019.

The Department of Transport (DOTr) said there was no other bidder that bought bidding documents worth 10 million pesos during the conduct of Pre-bid Conference paving the way for SMC to go ahead with its offer.

Ang earlier said he was not expecting any other party to make a bid to challenge his group’s proposal given the size of the investment required and the lack of government subsidy or support agreement.

NMIA will feature four parallel runways and will have eight terminals build in stages, with annual design capacity of more than 100 million when fully completed.

Ang said the new airport terminal will be accessible by expressway via NLEX and R1 (shore expressway) and by airport express train.

The terminal will also be equipped with cutting edge technology including artificial intelligence and facial recognition capabilities that will allow the start of a passenger’s checking in and immigration process as soon as he is recognized by the cameras at the curbside of the airport.

“If you've been to Incheon airport this is the same technology employed by our airport partner in Seoul, South Korea,” says Ang.

Incheon International Airport Corp. (IIAC) was selected by SMC as the operator of a US$15.7 billion new airport after the corporation concluded a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with San Miguel at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo on Nov. 23, 2018.

The airport designer IIAC has said the new airport is configured to be a super-large airport with an annual passenger handling capacity of 100 million with eight passenger terminals and four parallel runways.

The Korean airport operator said phase one of the project will cost SMC US$6.3 billion. No further details were disclosed. SMC inside sources however said the airport is planned to be built in four stages, incrementally increasing airport capacity as the demand grows.

IIAC has not yet officially announced what Phase 1 would include, but that it would cover the passenger terminal and cargo buildings, two parallel runways, a control tower, complete navigational facilities, an administrative building, a transportation Center hub, an integrated operations center, and mandatory government office buildings. SMC will take charge of the access road and the railway system.

IIAC is the operator of Incheon International Airport which is the largest airport in South Korea and one of the busiest airports in the world. It was awarded the Airport of the Year title at the World Airport Awards 11 consecutive times by Airport Council International, and was named the winner of World’s Best Transit Airport in 2019.

All this will be accessible from Metro Manila in less than thirty minutes, via interconnected expressways and rail — including a shoreline expressway that will traverse Manila Bay and head straight to NMIA, according to Ang.


CEB Orders A330-900

19 June 2019

Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) has ordered 16 Airbus A330-900s with 460 seats in all-economy layout to replace its existing A330 fleet beginning 2021 in a deal valued around $4.5 billion at list price.

The airline currently operates 6 A330-300 of three different weight configurations from three different lessors.

Chief executive advisor Mike Szucs indicates that the high-density A330neo layout has been achieved with some "clever" reconfiguration of facilities such as the lavatories and will have a maximum MTOW of 251T.

Airbus has indicated that the 460-seat layout for the Cebu Pacific A330-900s will involve a door modification in order to achieve exit limits.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency's type certificate for the aircraft has an approved maximum seating capacity of 440.

Airbus said CEB A330-900 variant will be fitted with four pairs of Type A-plus exits similar to the A350 which provide emergency exit capability for 120 passengers instead of the normal size Type A size doors which limit exits to 110 passengers.

The A330-900 would have the modified exits installed at the 'door 2' and 'door 4' positions, hiking the authorised capacity.

The new aircraft will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines.

The airline's widebody orders also includes purchase agreement of 10 new A321XLR which will have 220 seats earmarked for Australia, China and Japan destinations, and five additional A320neos which will have 194 seats or 3 more rows for regional destinations out of regional airports outside Manila. The order also contains options for 10 more A321neos which will have 240 seats.

The airline's chief financial officer, Andrew Huang says the narrow-body orders will be powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100Gs similar to the current A321neos on order with Airbus.

Qatar Brings First B787 To Davao

18 June 2019

Qatar Airways begins its inaugural flight to Davao (A7-BCF) today arriving at 5:00pm at Bangoy International Airport. The plane does rotation to Clark and London-Gatwick.

Sangley Airport Development Project

14 June 2019

DOTr is setting up ₱2 billion Sangley Airport to accommodate 30,000 aircraft movements per annum or about 8 aircraft movements per hour, and about 2.1 million passengers from airlines operating DHC-8-400, ATR72-600 and other similar aircraft. 

The constructed passenger terminal building (PTB) will initially have capacity of 200 passengers per hour on opening date, or about 2,400 per day. It will eventually accommodate 510 passengers every hour serving more than 6,000 passengers by 2025.

PAL, CEB Commits Turboprops To Sangley

PAL To Provide Fastferry To MOA-Sangley Transfer 

14 June 2019

Cebu Pacific (CEB) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) has agreed to Operate Turboprop flights in Sangley Airport once the infrastructure is ready.

The decision was reached after Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade assured the construction of additional facilities in Sangley Airport to meet the November deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Cebu Pacific is expected to be the first airline to operate at the airport in November as it transfer its freighter flights operated by four ATR 72-600s, says Michael Ivan Shau, Cebu Pacific Chief Operating Officer.
Micheal Tan of Philippine Airlines (left), DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade (middle), and Michael Shau of Cebu Pacific (right)
Philippine Airlines would be the first passenger airline to use the airport with flights to Basco, Busuanga, Siargao, and other turboprop destinations.

PAL passengers will be transferred by Mabuhay Maritime Express fast ferry, a PAL subsidiary, from Mall of Asia Terminal to Sangley Airport. Airport transfer time is 30 minutes.

The plan was confirmed by  Michael Tan, President and COO of the Lucio Tan Group Inc., and Director of Philippine Airlines in Sangley airport this morning. (See interview here)

Tugade identified the possible location for the landing berth of the PAL ferry that will transport passengers to Sangley Airport.

He noted that the final location of the landing berth will have to be determined by the Philippine Navy based on safety and security considerations.

“National interest is primordial. The Philippine Navy will decide and maintain security, as no amount of commercial interest shall be prioritized over national interest,” Secretary Tugade expressed.

Cebu Pacific, Airswift, Soriano Aviation and other turboprop airline operators are expected to use the airport next next year.
Sangley Passenger Terminal Building under construction (18% complete)
A view from Sangley Airport runway, similar to London's City Airport, which handled turboprop traffic.

DOTr is setting up Sangley airport to accommodate 30,000 aircraft movements per annum or about 8 aircraft movements per hour, and about 2.1 million passengers from airlines operating DHC-8-400, ATR72-600 and other similar aircraft.

Sangley Airport Expressway For DOTr Consideration

14 June 2019

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC) will be submitting proposal to the Department of Transportation (DoTr)to construct the ₱20 Billion four-kilometer 4 lane Sangley Expressway to Manila.

The project proposal is a viaduct with an approximate length of 4.63 km. via a reclaimed road which intends to connect Cavitex to Sangley airport in Cavite City.

MPTC is the tollway operator of Cavite Expressway (Cavitex), a unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

Cavitex Infrastructure Corp. (CIC) President Luigi L. Bautista said they have completed the feasibility study for this road together with the 7.6-kilometer segment 5 road project and would submit the unsolicited proposal under Public Private Partnership (PPP) program of the government to the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB), an Agency under the DOTr.

Bautista said the Sangley airport expressway is not covered by the approved concession agreement. Construction period will be two years from approval. Upon completion, it would reduce travel time to Sangley - Makati from 1 hour to 15 minutes.

"If amendment to the concession agreement is made to include this project, then it will be ready in 2022 before Duterte steps down from Office," says Bautista.

CIC disclosed that they already submitted to TRB the feasibility study for Segment 5 of CAVITEx which is an extension of the expressway from Kawit to Rosario, and may be extended up to Tanza and Naic.

Opening of Sangley airport is expected to generate additional 130 vehicular traffic to Cavite City per hour increasing to 400 vehicles by 2025.

Airlines Agree To Use Sangley for Turboprop Operations

13 June 2019

Airlines in the Philippines operating turbo propeller planes has agreed to relocate to Sangley airport once the infrastructure is in place according to the Transport Department (DOTr).

“Airlines expressed their willingness and commitment to support the government’s thrust to utilize Sangley Airport. This is a solid demonstration of their trust and confidence in the administration of President Duterte,” Sec. Arthur Tugade said Thursday.

DOTr Secretary Tugade met with airline officials earlier today together with Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco, and Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) Executive Director Carmelo Arcilla.

They were joined by Michael Tan of Philippine Airlines, Lance Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific, and Capt. Dexter Comendador of AirAsia.

Tugade said that airlines agreed and fully support the use Sangley Airport for general aviation, freight turboprop operations, and commercial turboprop operations as soon as the required infrastructures are ready.

MIAA GM Ed Monreal said general aviation users will be notified to fully relocate in a year’s time to Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga and Sangley Airport.

Monreal said the vacated 10 air traffic movements (ATM) will remain unfilled for the time being to free up space in the four terminals of the NAIA to allow for major terminal improvements and later increased capacity to the main gateway.

"NAIA will soon become an all-jet airport," Monreal said.

NAIA saw an increased of 45 million passengers to its airport in 2018 from 36.5 million handled passengers in 2016, or an upsurge of 8.4 million passengers (23.08%).

The number of flights also grew during the same period by over 14,000 (5.75%), and airport slots per hour have increased from 36 to 44 (22.22%).

To address the growing number of passengers, Sec. Tugade said that DOTr is working on a basket of solutions to decongest the NAIA, through airport infrastructure developments in Clark, Sangley, and the construction of the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan.

“We have to have a basket of approaches, not only one solution because we have so many passengers,” the transportation chief said.

 “Right now, the combination of three airport is not enough” Tugade adds, referring to NAIA, Clark and Bulacan airport projects considering the volume of projected passengers.

The DOTr team of Sec. Tugade will visit Sangley Airport tomorrow with airline representatives to inspect the progress of its construction, as well as show to the airlines the landing berth for the ferry operations between Sangley airport and Mall of Asia, which together with the bus transfer, will take only 30 minutes.

Another point to point bus route between Manila, Makati, Alabang, North Edsa, and NAIA to Sangley will be established by DOTr early next year to service the airport. Airport services between NAIA and Sangley will be provided free by DOTr to connecting passengers.

Transfer of Turboprop flights to Sangley A Matter of Time

CEBgo to be the Biggest Loser at Sangley Transfer

13 June 2019

The Transportation Department (DOTr) will not be forcing airlines to transfer their turboprop flights to Sangley Airport in Cavite for now.

Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo said the airport is not yet ready to handle commercial traffic at this time but once they are airlines has to move.

"Once the facility is ready to accept domestic flights, then that decision to stay at NAIA might change." said Tamayo.

The passenger terminal building (PTB) at Sangley airport will initially have capacity of 160 passengers per hour on opening date and can serve 2.1 million passengers per annum. It will be expanded later on to accommodate 510 passengers every hour by 2025 equivalent to 5 million passengers per annum.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) management has been ordered by DOTr to cancel slot allocations and landing rights to all general aviation and turbo-propeller flights at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) once Sangley airport opens.

"That is the instruction of the President," said Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal.

Currently, NAIA allows 2 slots every hour for general aviation traffic, and 6 slots for turboprop traffic out of the 40 aircraft traffic movements (ATM) from 6AM to 6PM.

Cebu Pacific subsidiary Cebgo in a statement to DOTr Tuesday said that  they support the governments plan to use the Sangley airport for general aviation and domestic flights.

Cebgo will be the biggest loser of airline slots once Sangley is open to commercial flights as it is the biggest turboprop airline operator at NAIA followed by Airswift, Soriano Aviation and Balesin, all ATR operators.

Among the commercial flights affected are those going to Basco, Busuanga, Balesin, El Nido, Legaspi, Masbate, Naga, and Siargao.

PAL Express which uses the Bombardier turboprops does not use NAIA for its flights but uses Clark as its hub. The airline earlier manifested to be the first operator at the airport when it opens.

DOTr will meet all turboprop airline operators today to fast-track airline operations in Sangley Airport as soon as the facility is ready.

The Transport department also clarified that there will be no replacement flights of the removed general aviation traffic and turboprop flights out of NAIA.

"The intent is to decongest NAIA. There will be no jet replacement flights," adds Monreal.

The clarification was made after AirAsia Philippines chief executive officer Dexter Comendador commented to add international and domestic jet operations in NAIA out of the lost slots.

Sangley Not Ready For Commercial Flights

12 June 2019

Department of Transportation (DoTr) has disclosed that Sangley airport in Cavite is not ready to receive commercial traffic in December due to operational constraints. (See project here)

Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo said they might be able to start handling general aviation flights by November but commercial flights operated by turbo propellers (turboprops) will have to be deferred for at least one year because of some concerns valid only for airline operations.

Operational constraints include among others the installation of runway lights and associated navigational equipment necessary for it to operate at night and bad weather. DOTr is scheduled to install them next year.

“We’ll be setting up a new control tower together with the night rating of the airport,” he said.

DOTr is setting up Sangley airport to accommodate 30,000 aircraft movements per annum or about 8 aircraft movements per hour, and about 2.1 million passengers from airlines operating DHC-8-400, ATR72-600 aircraft, which is the biggest passenger aircraft allowed to be operated at the airport.

“We are currently working on the drainage, and the hangars for general aviation aircraft. They will be completed ahead of time. The ramp and passenger terminal building is also under construction,”Tamayo said.

A ramp is an area of the airport intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading passengers. Four parking stands are being constructed to service passengers under a taxi-in/ taxi-out procedure similar to those employed in the provinces.

“Our timeline is originally December opening. Will do our best to have it open by November if that's what the President wants.” Tamayo adds.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier ordered the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to immediately utilize Sangley airport in Cavite to help decongest Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Monday evening during the 38th cabinet meeting.

Transport Secretary Art Tugade said it expects Sangley airport to start handling general aviation flights by December but Duterte said the timeline is too long and wanted it open a month earlier in November.

Tugade already ordered the contractor, Unimasters Conglomeration (UNIC), a Tacloban-based company, to add more men and work 24/7 to expedite the project.

Some 1,500 general aviation flights per month will be affected with the transfer according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

Duterte Wants Sangley To Open By November

11 June 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte wants the Sangley Point in Cavite to begin handling domestic flights by November.

Malacañang on Tuesday said Duterte gave the green light to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade's proposal to use Sangley Point during a Cabinet meeting Monday evening.

"For implementation na 'yun... Gusto ni Presidente, masyadong matagal ang December, November na lang," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a media briefing this afternoon.

"He's in a hurry. He wants to fix all these things." Panelo adds.

DOTr Confirms Sangley Opening by Yearend

11 June 2019

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to complete rehabilitation works at the former military air base in Cavite by yearend. (See our breaking report here)

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered its immediate opening as soon as possible to decongest traffic at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the plan to transfer general aviation and domestic propeller flights to Sangley Point will begin immediately after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) completes its Airport Certification as early as November.

Transporation Undersecretary Manuel Tamayo said the opening of Sangley Point in December will help ease congestion at NAIA as general aviation and propeller flights are no longer be allowed to operate at the country's main gateway.

DOTr also said they already initiated the testing of fast ferries that can operate from Mall of Asia to Sangley within 18-24 minutes direct to the new Sangley Passenger Terminal building for use by passengers of affected airlines operating turboprop planes.

Philippine Airlines President Jaime Bautista said that they will transfer all of its turboprop operations to Sangley once the airport is open to civilian traffic this year. (see our earlier report here)

PAF Presents Future Assets in next 5 years

7 June 2019

Bulacan Airport To have Express Train

6 June 2019

Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is all set to construct the new US$10 billion Manila International airport in Bulacan by fourth quarter of this year after it is awarded concession agreement by the government on July 31, 2019.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has issued tenders to the public on April 12, 2019 to submit bids under a Swiss challenge bidding process, comparative proposals to finance, design, construct, operate, and maintain the project under a 50-year concession period, made by San Miguel Corp. to build New Manila International Airport in Bulacan in the amount of 735.6 Billion Pesos.

SMC President Ramon Ang said Wednesday that they already set aside 100 Billion pesos to begin laying the ground works by raising 2,500 hectares of land for the airport at the end of the year and build the two parallel runways to be completed in three years time.

Also set for construction next year is the main terminal building boasting 60 boarding gates and 20 remotes that can hold and accommodate 35 million passengers per annum under Phase 1 of the airport project which is expected to be fully completed in seven year time frame.

Ang said they already entered Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with airport operator Incheon International Airport Corp. (IIAC) that will work together with SMC in designing and running the airport.

SMC also entered another MOU to an undisclosed airline that shall relocate to the airport after it partly opens to the public in 2024. It expects 20 million passengers to use the airport on its opening date.

San Miguel also confirmed plans to spend additional US$5 billion for the construction of airport express train all the way to EDSA after airlines requested said service as conditions for their relocation, in addition to the expressway that will be constructed. The planned train system will span some 20 kilometers. SMC undertook to build an expressway that will link its airport to the North Luzon Expressway in Marilao, Bulacan and the coastal expressway linking Navotas to Manila.

The express train is not part of the proposal submitted by SMC to NEDA but was added to the project after talks with airline partner. They are also submitted to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for consideration and approval.

Ang said the express train would translate to travel time of only 15 minutes from EDSA to Bulacan and 1 hour to Makati by Expressway through the north-south connector.

SMC has likewise submitted to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) a P10-billion proposal to redevelop the Pandacan oil depot into a bus and food terminal complex (FT) hub that will divert all provincial buses from the North to enter Manila through the skyway and terminate services in Pandacan, Manila.

“The airport train and the mega-bus terminal is integrated project with the airport,” says Ramon Ang.

“ We have submitted the proposal to Transportation Secretary Tugade, were in discussion with him, we’ve consulted with him, and we have both come up with good ideas how to help the public transport to be better,” he said.

New Manila International Airport is projected to handle 100 million passengers per annum by 2050.

Computer Glitch Delays NAIA Traffic

5 June 2019

A total of 80 flights, both domestic and international, were delayed due to a computer glitch that affected the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) computer system Tuesday morning.

The programming bug which is not disclosed by CAAP for security reasons resulted in reduced arrival and departure rate of aircrafts for about 30 minutes as ATMC personnel scrambled to manually guide aircraft for arrival and take-off.

CAAP Director General Jim Sydiongco said the incident prompted the activation of contingency standard procedures, which is done manually to space out flight sequences in order to maintain safe separation of air traffic at Manila Airspace.

Romero Consolidates Stake At Philippines AirAsia

4 June 2019

Michael Romero has raised its stake at Air Asia Philippines to 44.4% from the previous 15.7% to become the dominant stockholder of the airline after F&S Holdings Inc. bought 15.7-percent share of AAI Chairman Marianne Hontiveros, and 13-percent share of Alfredo Yao for a combined 28.7 percent additional stake at parent Air Asia Inc. (AAI), operator of low-cost carrier Air Asia Philippines.

AAI parent Malaysia AirAsia International Ltd.’s share will stand at 39.9 percent stake and TNR Holdings of Tony Boy Cojuanco at 15.7 percent share, respectively. The amount of sale was not disclosed.

After the buyout, F&S Holdings intends to increase capitalization of Air Asia Philippines as it plans to issue $17 million worth of common shares and P17 billion worth of preferred shares.

Its corporate restructuring is set to be completed by September as it targets to go public within the year and raise $200 million to support its aircraft acquisition and use the proceeds as working capital. There will be no immediate change in the AirAsia Philippines board.

“We plan to put a valuation of about $600 million for the company,” Romero said. “We float at least 20 percent.”

This exercise will help the company raise roughly P10 billion, which will be used to acquire new planes and for general working capital.

Romero expressed bullishness on Philippines Air Asia’s capacity to return to profitability after posting a strong financial performance in the first three months of the year.

“Our first-quarter has hit a record-high of about…P6.68 billion and profit about P450 million…” Michael said.

The company eyes boosting Philippines AirAsia’s fleet to 50 A320 airplanes from the current 23 within the next three years.

“We now have 23 airplanes, and we plan to have 50 airplanes within the next three years. We also want our revenues to grow from P30 billion this year to P50 billion within three years,” Romero said.

The airline is also looking to raise the number of its passengers to 8 million this year from last year’s 7 million by growing its international routes to China and Japan.