Etihad Enters Interline Agreement With PAL

 22 March 2023

Gulf-based national carrier Etihad Airways has launched reciprocal interline partnerships with flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) for all of the latter's domestic destination.

The deal means customers of all airlines involved will enjoy enhanced connectivity to destinations across each other’s networks, can book on a single ticket and only have to check in once at the start of their flight, with their baggage checked through to their end destination.

“And teaming up with Philippine Airlines provides easy access to 19 domestic Filipino destinations including Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Kalibo, to and from Etihad’s double daily Manila service, for the large Filipino diaspora living in the UAE.” says Arik De, Etihad’s Chief Revenue Officer.

Aside from PAL, Etihad has also signed five other interline partnership with other carriers namely, Austrian Airlines (OS) and Airlink South Africa (4Z), while it is also re-launching interline links with Biman Bangladesh and codeshares with Air Seychelles (HM) and ITA Airways (AZ) of Italy.

Etihad Airways has launched reciprocal interline partnerships with three new airline partners, Philippine Airlines (PAL), Austrian Airlines (OS) and Airlink South Africa (4Z), while re-launching interline links with Biman Bangladesh and codeshares with Air Seychelles (HM) and ITA Airways (AZ).

PAL To Grow Fleet To 100 By 2030

Mulls New Wide-body Orders 

16 March 2023

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) disclosed Wednesday its plan to grow its fleet back to 75 aircraft as it reactivates some of its idle planes to service by the end of the year.

PAL President and COO Capt. Stanley Ng said the airline is currently operating a fleet of 68 aircraft, during the kickoff ceremony for the flag carrier's 82nd anniversary this year.

The airline said the priority now is for the reactivation of seven Airbus narrow-bodies which are currently being refurbished as they double capital outlay this year. The rest will come online by next year.

According to Ng, the actual reactivation depends mainly on the timely delivery of parts to be installed on the grounded plane.

Among the passenger aircraft to be activated back to service are fleets of 3 Q400NGs, 2 A320s, and 7 A321s planes. They are also looking at leasing two more wide-body jets in the interim to support their growing operations to North America.

Stanley Ng said they are also awaiting clearance from its parent company PAL Holdings for approval of new aircraft orders that comprises its wide-body fleet, as it ended 2022 with a "solid performance," sustaining a three-quarter streak of profitability after it restructured its debt to emerge from bankruptcy.

"The next priority of the airline is to secure new wide body fleet orders. Some of our triple seven fleet is starting to age, particularly the cabin interiors, and they are not what we would like to offer to our customers. We look at refurbishment of the existing aircraft as an option but they are equally expensive as buying a new aircraft." Ng adds.

Ng did not disclosed the type of aircraft they intend to acquire. However, Christoph Gaerter, PAL vice president for fleet and network planning, said it would be a mix of Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

The airline has yet to officially release its full-year financial statements, but its stock exchange disclosures last year showed the flag carrier already topped its 2022 revenue goal as early as October, with some of the remaining surplus profits generated for the months of November and December earmarked for pre-payments to its creditors.

Ng likewise said their first-quarter results this year "exceeded our expectations" as the airline restores more flight, flies more destinations, and re-grows its route network at pre-pandemic levels.

"New aircraft acquisitions is very expensive. But with the current financial performance we have, its not difficult to ask the company for funds to expand the fleet we currently have", says Ng.
According to the COO, that growth however is not enough to bring them to 2019 levels as they still lack aircraft with which to fly passengers. The airline used to operate 98 aircraft before the covid19 pandemic that almost brought it to its knees.
"Pero hindi ka pa rin makabalik sa dati kasi before its 98, now its 75. Pero 98 it's a little bit too much, too soon," Ng said.

"Of course, the Philippines is growing, emerging tayo. There's so much opportunity especially moving forward. The idea is to go back to our network slowly, surely. We cannot stay this way, we have to grow," he added.

PAL has deferred delivery of 13 Airbus A321 neo planes beginning 2026 to 2028.

"Full operational capacity recovery is likely by 2027 to 2028", Ng said, as he intend to restore PAL fleet to more than 98 planes by that time frame.

PAL connects CEB to LAO

 15 March 2023

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) intends to start direct flights between Laoag and Cebu in May in time for Ilocos Norte’s month-long fiesta celebration.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) President Stanley Ng said in Laoag City that flight to Laoag from Cebu will be operated twice a week and flown by Bombardier Q400NG plane.

Flight schedules should be announced soon after securing regulatory clearances.

CEB Grows ILO Hub

15 March 2023

Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) said on Wednesday it intends to resume its direct flights from Iloilo to Puerto Princesa and Cagayan de Oro starting June.

Cebu Pacific said it will restart its four times weekly Iloilo-Puerto Princesa route on June 23. The carrier will also start flying between Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro six times per week starting June 24.

Flight to these destinations will be service by ATR aircraft. 

“With two more routes, Cebu Pacific will now directly fly to six domestic destinations from Iloilo," says CEB. 

The airline currently operates direct flights to Manila, Cebu, Davao, and General Santos from Iloilo,” the statement read.

PAL To Return Much of 2019 Capacity by Middle of 2023

By Ed Paolo Salting

8 March 2023

THE head of Philippine Airlines (PAL) expects the country's flag carrier to return to full flight capacity by the middle of this year.

Speaking during a roundtable interview with The Manila Times Chairman and CEO Dante "Klink" Ang 2nd, PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Capt. Stanley Ng said the airline is at 90 percent flight capacity, but it still has fewer aircraft than it did before the Covid-19 pandemic.

"In terms of planes, we are at twenty-something less compared to the pre-pandemic, so in terms of that, we will not be able to go back to 100 percent," Ng said.

Now that China has once again eased travel restrictions, Ng said he expects Philippine business and tourism to pick up.

He said he is cautiously optimistic about the outlook for PAL this year because of persistent headwinds, but noted that the first quarter has been kind to the airline industry.

"When I was asked in December, I said we (Philippine Airlines) are cautiously optimistic about the situation this year because of the rising interest rates, inflation, and the possible recession might come in, but so far for the first quarter, we have not seen a slowdown yet," Ng said.

"And in terms of the reopening of China, we aim to target about 20 percent of possible tourists and promote the Philippines," he said.

The airline is focusing on building lounges in airports, getting parts for its aircraft and investing in a Customer Relation Management (CRM) system for the airline, Ng said.

"In terms of capex (capital expenditure), we are building a new Mabuhay lounge in Terminal 1 [of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport]. It is going to be a thousand-square-meter development full of local artists' various works. The commitment is in August of this year (start of operations) and latest in September," he said.

Ng added that PAL also plans to upgrade the engines of its aircraft and finish the construction of its new office building in Nichols, Pasay City.

UAE and PAL agree on Interline Partnership

8 March 2023

UAE carrier Emirates has signed an interline agreement with Philippine Airlines (PAL).

Emirates said that the aim is to boost connectivity for passengers of both carriers to new points on each other’s networks via Manila and Dubai, using a single ticket and one baggage policy.

An interline agreement, also known as interlining, is an agreement between 2 or more airlines to handle passengers when their itinerary involves traveling on multiple airlines.

Interline flights, often misconstrued as code-shared flights, concern passenger-level services, such as baggage handling to the final destination or check-in agreements.

The partnership is already in effect with Emirates passengers able to access 19 Philippine domestic destinations operated by Philippine Airlines, including Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Cotabato, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo, among others, as well as two Asian regional points via Manila.

Philippine Airlines’ passengers also benefit from access to Emirates’ network and can connect to 21 cities operated by Emirates beyond Dubai including European destinations such as London, Rome, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Paris, as well as other points in the Middle East, Africa and India including Kuwait and Jeddah.

Interline agreements are one of the saving graces that passengers have that reduces your headache when traveling. If anything happens, whether it’s terrible weather to other unexpected events, interline agreements will enable airlines to re-route customers to get them closer to their final destination.

Emirates first began flying to Manila in 1990, and has since expanded its network to include Cebu and Clark. It currently serves the Philippines with 25 weekly flights to its three gateways in the Asian country.


CEB Regrows Clark with 13 New Destinations

2 March 2023

Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) is expanding its international and domestic operations at Clark International Airport beginning April this year, making it the airports largest airline.

CEB said that it would operating a combined 13 domestic and international flights at Clark International Airport in a statement released on Tuesday. It would also rehire an additional 140 personnel to strengthen its Clark hub, to include flight and cabin crews, ground staff, and support workers.

The airline will also station three additional A320 aircraft to be based in Clark, from its procurement of ten new Airbuses expected to be delivered this year.

“We are excited to reestablish our presence in such an important gateway that will boost accessibility and connectivity for the traveling public,” said Cebu Pacific President and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Xander Lao.

Flight services to reopen are destinations for Caticlan, Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, General Santos, and Cagayan de Oro starting in April, while the Puerto Princesa route will begin in June.

The international re-open routes includes Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Singapore. It currently flies to Tokyo-Narita and Macau.

PAL Reopens Caticlan and Busuanga from Clark

 25 February 2023

 Philippine Airlines said on Thursday it would reopen flights from Clark International Airport to Caticlan (Boracay) and Busuanga (Coron) to further expand its route network.

Flights from Clark to Caticlan will begin on April 1 operating thrice weekly, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the airline said.

Meanwhile, flights from Coron to Busuanga will start on April 2, flying 4 times a week scheduled every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, PAL said.