Philippines to Hold Negotiations Next Month for More Flights to Israel, Russia

Source:  Darwin G. Amojelar,


MANILA – The Philippines plans to hold air talks with Russia and Israel next month, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said.

Carmelo Arcilla, executive director of CAB, said negotiations with Israel will be held from November 6 to 7, while talks with Russia are scheduled on the 12th and 13th of the same month.

Arcilla said Israel and Russia are “significant” tourism markets, adding that Philippine Airlines (PAL) alone wants to fly to Russia.

On Sunday, PAL started chartered flights between Manila and the Russian city of Vladivostok. The chartered flights are in partnership with Primorsky Agency of Aviation Companies TM Biletur, the biggest tour company in Far East Russia.

According to the Department of Tourism, 21,736 Russians visited the Philippines during the first eight months of this year. This number represents a 32.53 percent increase from a year ago.

Earlier, the Philippine air panel concluded successful air negotiations with Japan, Macau and Brazil.

The Philippine Air Services Negotiating Panel is composed of officials from the CAB, Departments of Transportation and Communications, of Foreign Affairs, and of Tourism, as well as from the Clark International Airport Corp and representatives of local airlines.


According to CAB, air talks this year would be aligned with the priorities of the Department of Tourism to meet the government’s tourist arrivals target of 5.5 million.

The Aquino administration is pursuing air talks as part of its open skies policy. The government aims to generate six million tourists, three million jobs and $4.6 billion in tourism revenues by 2016, allowing the sector to contribute 6.35 percent to gross domestic product.

New Bohol Airport Has Final Masterplan

Source: The Bohol Standard


The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has submitted the final detailed design study report which serves as the masterplan of the ultimate execution of the P7.4 billion new Bohol airport.

Gov. Edgar Chatto on Thursday received the bulky document required to set in full swing the major stages of the ambitious project, including the bidding of the construction of the runway, terminal building and other facilities.

JICA officials turned over the final report to the governor while he led a Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) conference-workshop with DepEd, private sector and civil society groups on the state of education at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pasig City.

The report also details the project’s power supply, water and sewage treatment systems, impact assessment on climate change mitigation, environmental and social considerations, and final review of the resettlement action plan (RAP) for the community directly affected.

Earlier, JICA Study Team chief Tadashi Aoi and resettlement specialist Yuki Todoroki submitted the final version of the updated RAP, which includes livelihood assistance and employment matching.

While in Manila, Chatto immediately talked to Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya, Usec. for Planning Rene Limcauco, Usec. for Project Implementation Julianito Bucayan, Jr. and Asec. for Project Implementation Ildefonso Patda, Jr.

Abaya reiterated the vision to finish the concrete rise of the new Bohol airport on Panglao island earlier than its target time for its inauguration before Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III leaves Malacañang in mid-2016.

First District Rep.Rene Relampagos expected the civil works/construction of the airport, including its terminal building and other facilities, to begin within the second quarter of 2014 after the tedious processes from tendering of bid documents to contract awarding.

With the detailed design and study in final polish, the bidding has been done for the consultancy that assists and oversees the project across its implementation stages.

Chatto said coming soon is the notice to proceed with the airport site perimeter fencing and land clearing is coming.

The bidding for the water supply system has been done, too.

The governor on Friday presented JICA’s final project details report to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members led by their presiding officer, Vice Gov. Concepcion Lim.

He will present the same to the members of the Local Project Management Team (LPMT) of the New Bohol Airport Construction and Sustainable Environment Protection Project (NBACSEP), the project’s official name.

The report was finalized and submitted seven months after the Japanese, thru JICA, and Philippine governments engaged in an Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) loan pact funding the built of the modern Bohol airport of international standard.

The ODA loan scheme is called Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) while the Philippine government has own counterpart fund for the project, which will be financed thru multi-year releases.


The modern Bohol air terminal complex is bound to be an emerging capital airport not just in central and southern Philippines but entire country.

The existing old, small Tagbilaran City airport has been described as already “obsolete”—even one of the world’s most dangerous, according to foreign aviation experts—and cannot meet the rapid increase in air traffic.

The air passenger demand here rose 39,000 in 2001 to 572,000 in 2010 and 755,000 in 2011 with an average growth rate of over 30%.

The traffic forecast for 2015 is placed at over 1.040 million domestic and international passengers.

The country’s air passengers increased from 34.2 million in 2007 to 58.8 million in 2012 with an average annual growth of 11.5%, almost one-third of Bohol’s average yearly increase trend.

Once finished and operational, the Bohol airport can accommodate international flights from neighboring countries such as China, Korea and Taiwan, which are Bohol’s leading tourism markets, during domestic off-peak hours like nighttime.

The Bohol airport is assumed to be implemented in two major phases as the facilities set in place in 2016 or earlier are expected for expansion by 2025 to 2030 to accommodate simultaneous domestic and larger international carriers.

It is not just foreseen to be new capital airport that redirects and hastens both global and domestic multi-aspect economic and human movements to Bohol.

Owing to the inherent natural resources in Bohol and global concerns on sustainable environmental protection with energy conservation, the new airport is desired to deserve the status of an “eco-airport.”

Its resort-type terminal building will add a granite tag to it as a tourist flight infrastructure.

MIAA, NAIA Execs Urged To Resign Over Worst Airport Tag

Source: Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star)


MANILA, Philippines – Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian has called on officials of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport-Terminal 1 to resign for causing embarrassment to Filipinos and exposing the country to ridicule before the international community.

In a statement, Gatchalian said resignation would be an acceptable gesture of remorse.

“There’s no excuse for inefficiency and for screwing up efforts to improve the image of the Philippines,” he said.

“The primary aim of any terminal is customer satisfaction. Is that too difficult a challenge?”

Gatchalian cited admissions from officials that the P1.1-billion fund for the rehabilitation of the NAIA-1 was never used for its intended purpose. The Commission on Audit had berated the MIAA for letting the P1.1 billion go stale, he added.

Gatchalian said MIAA and NAIA-1 officials could have spared the country from embarrassment the second time if they were judicious enough in using up its funds.

“If NAIA-1 has the budget, then there is no reason for the airport to regress and open itself to bad publicity,” he said.

“They have the money, but obviously they failed to efficiently manage the full spectrum of airport and aviation system operations. It’s more of a management, or clearly, a mismanagement issue.”

Gatchalian said the Department of Transportation and Communications must appoint airport administrators who are familiar with airport management, and who are ready to face the changing needs of a rapidly expanding sector through management development and training.

“NAIA-1 is the Philippines’ flagship airport. Almost 80 percent of international carriers are still housed in the complex,” he said.

“The airport management needs to address issues and come up with ISO-standard management solutions, otherwise, we compromise the passengers’ convenience, and jeopardize the safety of the entire complex.”

Gatchalian said MIAA management failed to find a way to manage the smallest problems like traffic and parking, and passenger congestion.

“Management should understand that the problem is not only limited to infrastructure but also extends to administration,” he said.

Iraq War Opens Door for $3-B Clark Project





CLARK FREEPORT—Although the Iraq war has brought nothing but devastation to that country since 2003, the conflict has opened the door for the development of a $3-billion project in this economic zone in Pampanga province.

Dennis Lloyd Wright is president and chief executive officer of Peregrine Development International Corp., the American company that is developing the 177-hectare Sabah Al-Ahmad Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC) here.

A former senior officer of the multinational energy firm Halliburton KBR, he was sent to Kuwait when the Iraq war broke out.

During that period, Wright said he worked with many companies, among them the Kuwait and Gulf Link (KGL). He said Ed Birkins, a fellow senior corporate officer, was a close friend of the KGL’s managing director at that time.

In 2004, Wright decided to venture out on his own and formed Peregrine with some friends and business associates. After two years, his company was able to convince KGL, through its investment arm KGL Investment Co. (KGLI), to fund the development of the GGLC.

The GGLC was renamed Sabah Al Ahmad GGLC in honor of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, who made a state visit to the Philippines in March 2012.

“It was a combination of Ed’s personal relationship and our company’s reputation that convinced KGLI to look into GGLC, as well as another opportunity we developed in the domestic shipping market. This also led to KGL making investments in Negros Navigation,” Wright said. “The Philippines was a real sweet spot for us. But remember, this was in 2006-2008 when no one believed in the country or even thought about investing in the Philippines. So it was our personal relationships, knowledge of the country and our professional reputation that made it happen.”

KGLI initially infused $30 million into the GGLC project and is set to pour in more to complete the $3-billion investment until 2019.

Wright said Peregrine also convinced KGLI to invest in maritime shipping.

“In addition to GGLC, we also developed the strategy and opportunity to invest in Philippine maritime shipping. We were successful in attracting the same group of Kuwaiti investors to also invest in Negros Navigation,” he said. “This was highly successful strategy and proved to be the right decision as Negros has since gone on, with some additional investment dollars, to acquire Aboitiz Transport. It is now one of the biggest and most successful domestic shipping companies in the country.”

Wright is a firm believer in the potential of Clark Freeport and its environs to become “the second most recognized name in the Philippines.”

He said Clark is the natural alternative gateway to the Philippines after Manila with perhaps the best infrastructure and the largest and best international airport in the country.

Qatar Airways Picks Clark International Airport as 2nd Gateway to PHL

Source: Lenie Lectura, Business Mirror


Qatar Airways will use Clark Airport as its second gateway to the Philippines when it starts mounting Clark-Doha-Clark flights on Monday.

Qatar Airways will utilize Airbus A330-300 for its Doha-Clark-Doha flights at Clark Airport. The aircraft’s capacity is about 305 passengers

Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) President and CEO Victor Jose I. Luciano said the entry of Qatar Airways is again a manifestation of confidence of Middle East carriers to operate international flights at Clark airport.

“They [Qatar Airways] see the potentials of Clark airport of becoming another gateway to the world, especially in the Middle East and Europe,” said Luciano.

Qatar Airways will connect Clark International Airport to more than 100 international destinations in the world.

Luciano emphasized the importance of the Middle East flights at Clark airport, saying it will connect Northern and Central Luzon to the rest of the world. “Passengers from the North and Central Luzon will instead use Clark airport to fly to Qatar.”

Early this month, another Gulf carrier, Emirates Airlines, launched its non-stop daily Dubai-Clark-Dubai flights at the 2,367 hectare Clark Civil Aviation Complex in Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga. Emirates vowed to attract 1 million passengers for Clark Airport.

Luciano said the Middle East flights at Clark airport will boosts the program of the government of attracting more tourists to visit the country, consistent with the Department of Tourism (DOT) target of 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.

He also said overseas Filipino workers from the North and Central Luzon will benefit from these Middle East flights using Clark Airport as their gateway.

Clark airport registered 1.3 million passengers in 2012 as compared to the previous years of 500,000 to 600,000 passengers annually.

Other airlines operating out of Clark are Air Asia Berhad of Malaysia, Asiana Airlines and Jin Air of South Korea, Cebu Pacific Air, Tiger Airways Philippines, Dragonair and Emirates Airlines.

PAL Flying in 120 Russian Tourists

Source: Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star)


MANILA, Philippines – At least 120 tourists from Russia are set to arrive today on board a chartered flight of Philippine Airlines.

It would be the first in a series of chartered flights of the flag carrier that will run until April next year to boost tourist arrivals in the country.

“The fun in the Philippines can now be experienced by more tourists from Far East Russia. The facilitation of charter programs from this region of Russia, which is only four and a half hours away from Manila, is one of our key strategies to catalyze growth,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.

“Russia is a priority opportunity market of the Department of Tourism that is envisioned to contribute to the target of 10 million international visitors by 2016,” he said.

“The charter program is indicative of the steady interest that Russians have for our country. This may be attributed to our healthy relationships with travel trade counterparts in Russia, our consumer marketing efforts, as well as word-of-mouth marketing from the many satisfied visitors who have come back for either more or longer holiday and business trips,” he added.

DOT market development group head Verna Esmeralda Buensuceso, DOT-Ninoy Aquino International Airport head Victoria Paje, Terminal 2 manager Cecilio Bobila and the Pangkat Kawayan will welcome the group.

Most of the Russian tourists will visit Boracay.

Tourist arrivals from Russia increased by 40 percent or 28,270 in 2012. They are becoming the fastest growing market for the Philippines out of Europe.

Vladivostok and Khabarovsk were ranked second and fourth biggest sources of arrivals from Russia, posting growth rates of 37 percent and 83 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year.

For the first eight months of this year, Russian arrivals reached 21,736 or a 32.53 percent increase over the same period in 2012.

No AirAsia X Affiliate In Philippines For Now

Source: Adrian Schofield, AWIN First



AirAsia’s Philippine affiliate is pressing for the group’s long-haul carrier AirAsia X to open a new hub near Manila, but it appears that no such move is on the horizon.

While discussing plans for Zest AirAsia—a joint venture in the Philippines—Chairman Michael Romero said that Zest is trying to convince AirAsia X to establish an affiliate of its own at Clark International Airport. Clark is about 50 mi. from the more central, and crowded, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

However, a spokeswoman for Malaysia’s AirAsia X tells Aviation Week that the airline is not looking at the Philippines as a location for a new offshore base. AirAsia X is currently focused on setting up joint venture affiliates in Thailand and Indonesia, she adds.

AirAsia X’s long term strategy is to create joint ventures in locations where the AirAsia group’s short-haul carriers have already established themselves, so they can provide feed for the long-haul carrier.

However, AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani has previously stated that Thailand and Indonesia are the only AirAsia offshore affiliates that are mature enough to support a long-haul carrier. Thai authorities are processing the certification application for Thai AirAsia X, which is expected to launch in the first quarter 2014.

Another difficulty with an AirAsia X hub at Clark is that it would be separated from the short-haul operation at NAIA, where Zest is based. The smaller AirAsia Philippines until recently was based at Clark, but that airline is moving to NAIA to better align with Zest.

Asia-Pacific LCCs Prep For Bigger MRO Needs

Source:  Elyse Moody, Aviation Week & Space Technology


Skyrocketing numbers of narrowbody aircraft orders have turned attention to Southeast Asia—and its burgeoning low-cost carriers (LCC), in particular. Twenty-seven percent of the world’s narrowbody aircraft—half the global fleet—are operated in the Asia-Pacific region, estimated Lufthansa Technik Philippines in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. More than 37% of the total commercial fleet will soon be based there, many of them in service with low-cost carriers (LCC), it also projects.

Such statistics and the aircraft orders supporting them have brought these LCCs prominence on the global stage. The Wall Street Journal noted in late August that Indonesia’s Lion Air was “little known internationally until it surprised the industry last year with record-setting orders.” The airline signed commitments for 230 Boeing 737s in February 2012 and for 234 Airbus A320s in March 2013. But Lion Air is hardly the only carrier in the region making notable additions: AirAsia, the world’s largest operator of A320s, ordered 100 more in December 2012, on top of the 200 it secured in 2011. And Jetstar Airways, part of the Qantas Group, will have access to its parent company’s order for 110 A320s, including 78 A320neos, in addition to the 14 Boeing 787s it expects to receive soon.

Beyond these carriers, Cebu Pacific Air has more than 50 A320-family aircraft on order and TigerAir has signed for 20 A320s.

This run on the order books reflects projected growth in air travel. The Asia-Pacific region stands to see that demand grow 6.4% annually through 2031, according to Bloomberg News projections. Lion Air CEO Rusdi Kirana says in Indonesia specifically he expects a 20% growth in traffic this year.

Those increases in demand and aircraft numbers mean airlines and independent MRO providers alike must figure out how to absorb them. Where will all those aircraft go? As deliveries roll out, maintenance organizations must propose attractive solutions.

As a Singapore Airlines Engineering Co. (Siaec) spokesperson puts it, “The positive outlook for air-traffic demand, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, where the LCC market will continue to grow and fuel the traffic growth, and its buoyant fleet-renewal market, has the attention of most MROs in the region.” In other words, a big new fleet is ripe for the capturing.


In the past, total outsourcing was the default mode of doing business for Asia-Pacific’s LCCs, especially smaller airlines, but some say that model is being replaced.

“The market has shifted,” says Brian Hogan, a principal with XSQ Consulting who worked at Philippines-based Cebu Pacific when it established its first joint venture, Aviation Partnership (Philippines) Corp. for line maintenance, with Siaec. “All these organizations should do their own line maintenance themselves and then make a decision on the C checks or the heavy checks, depending on their critical mass, or whether or not they can make an MRO profitable.”

Sticking to the essential core-business approach, some carriers continue to send all of their maintenance to third-party providers. TigerAir, for example, outsources both its line and base maintenance, says Chief Operating Officer Ho Yuen Sang—and he does not anticipate adding in-house capabilities. “Our MRO provider has the capability and capacity to undertake the additional maintenance work for the growing fleet.”

But Ho notes that the increased numbers of aircraft operated by TigerAir and its peers certainly will have an impact on the region’s MROs. “[The] higher volume of work could translate to higher productivity and lower unit cost of maintenance,” he says. This would benefit airlines like his that depend on the total-outsourcing strategy.

Cebu Pacific continues the joint-venture approach that Hogan helped establish. The airline added a second joint venture with Siaec, a base maintenance facility at Clark International Airport in the Philippines, although Cebu Pacific also has partnered with Vaeco in Vietnam for its ATR aircraft; with Haeco in Hong Kong for its A330s; and with General Electric, Rolls-Royce and SR Technics for engine maintenance.

The joint-venture arrangement continues to make sense for the airline, says Chief Executive Adviser Gary Kingshott, because “the scale of Cebu Pacific’s maintenance profile requires a large proportion of an MRO’s total capacity, and so a joint-venture arrangement with an accredited organization willing to invest remains a viable strategy for Cebu Pacific.”

The region’s largest LCCs, AirAsia and Jetstar Asia, tackle line maintenance in-house or through shareholding partners. AirAsia has received 127 of the 211 A320s and 264 A320neos it has on order and it has grown accustomed to adding a minimum of 24 new aircraft annually. Performing its own line maintenance is a matter of reputation as well as economy of scale.

“Wherever we go, wherever our new [air operator’s certificates]—AirAsia India or AirAsia Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia—we have our own team carry out all of the line maintenance requirements,” says group engineering head Anaz Ahmad Tajuddin. “We would rather have that in-house. Then we have full control, because the AirAsia brand is important to us. We need to have full control of the brand, especially in line maintenance, where daily activities more or less interface with the customers.”

AirAsia sends the bulk of its base maintenance work to a neighbor, Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE), a company part-owned by EADS, but it also patronizes Siaec, Garuda Indonesia and Thai Airways, Tajuddin says.

More than 85% of the carrier’s A320s go to SAE for base maintenance, and SAE plans to nearly double its workforce and add new hangars, including ones for A330 maintenance, this year in hopes of drawing more business from its biggest partner.

But Tajuddin emphasizes that flexibility remains vital; he looks for agreements of only 2-3 years. “When you have long-term [contracts], you do not have the ability to go out to the market, especially in the airframe business,” in which he says maintenance unit costs may be volatile when man-hours drop.

When asked if AirAsia might consider adding capabilities beyond line maintenance via a partnership or an independent investment, Tajuddin says, “We are actively looking, because our base load with the number of aircraft sometimes justifies our having our own maintenance infrastructure.”

Given that AirAsia took delivery of its first aircraft in 2005, landing gear overhauls will soon start to come due in volume. “We have asked ourselves, ‘Should we invest in a landing gear shop?’” he says. “We do not have any firm idea yet, but we are actively looking.” He notes that he would rather pair up with an independent provider than an airline-affiliated MRO to ensure his fleet has priority.

Jetstar Airways applies a common approved maintenance program across its two main branches, in Australia and New Zealand, as well as its low-cost offshoots in Singapore, Vietnam and Japan. A new affiliate is anticipated to kick off operations soon in Hong Kong, subject to regulatory approval.

In launching Jetstar Japan, which started receiving A320s in April 2012, the group has stuck to that common maintenance philosophy. “Where appropriate, we develop amendments to satisfy local national airworthiness authority regulatory requirements,” says Chris Snook, Jetstar executive manager for group engineering. “This allows for common fleet technical management and configuration control across the fleet. It also maximizes our opportunities to apply insights gained from across the organization to improve safety, reliability and direct maintenance costs.”

But, like AirAsia, Jetstar considers line-maintenance control particularly important. Jetstar Japan performs its own line maintenance in partnership with Japan Airlines Engineering Co.; along with Mitsubishi Corp. and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp. JAL Engineering conducts A checks for Jetstar Japan at Narita International Airport.

The Hong Kong business will be a joint venture between China Eastern Airlines, Shun Tak Holdings and the Qantas Group. Snook says line maintenance for it will be conducted by its MRO partner in Hong Kong. “Heavy maintenance requirements will be combined with other group activity to leverage economies of scale,” he says.

For their part, the region’s independent MROs are making plays to accommodate the new work volume, too. The joint venture with Cebu Pacific is only one of 25 that Siaec operates in nine countries, with the aim of offering better cost efficiencies to low-cost carriers, says a Siaec spokesperson. And Lufthansa Technik Philippines recently underwent an organizational restructuring with the aim of capturing more of the Airbus base maintenance work in which it specializes.

Space Jam

Tons of new aircraft and no place to put them? MROs and airlines have been adding maintenance capacity to house new deliveries as work comes due. Perhaps the biggest news is Lion Air’s late-August announcement of its intention to build a $250 million maintenance hub on the Indonesian island of Batam, angled to rival the established MRO hotbed of Singapore. Lion Air CEO Rusdi Kirana has designs for his own airline’s Lion Technics MRO arm to handle internal needs as well as those of other carriers only a 45-min. ferry ride from Singapore’s busy Changi International Airport (see page MRO14).

The campus reportedly will consist of four hangars, each able to accommodate three narrowbody aircraft at once. Two hangars are set for completion by year-end and the remaining two will follow by next summer. The site would complement a smaller one it is building in Manado, Indonesia, as well as its existing facilities at Surabaya.

Partners Cebu Pacific and Siaec are completing a long-planned second hangar at their maintenance campus at the former Clark AFB in the Philippines, which will be able to house aircraft as large as the Boeing 777. And while maintenance activity in Australia tends to be cost-prohibitive, Jetstar is leasing a widebody hangar at Melbourne Airport to undertake Boeing 787 and A320/A321 line maintenance, including A checks and triage, Snook says. About 35 technical and support staff initially will be employed there, he adds.

But new investments seem likely. “It’s not going to be easy for the market to absorb a thousand planes in the next 10 years,” says XSQ Consulting’s Hogan. He points to the possibility of new hangars being built by either independent investors or joint ventures in underdeveloped regions such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia—or even Myanmar, Bangladesh and Vietnam. He notes that this growth will be extended once China opens up further.

Snook concurs that these countries are “all establishing credible MRO options.”

As Hogan puts it, “it’s a huge problem, but it’s a huge opportunity.”

PAL London Flights Showcase of PH Pride at WTM

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer


The return of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to London starting November 4 will be the centerpiece of the country’s participation at the World Travel Market (WTM), the biggest global event for the travel industry which opens on the same day PAL arrives at the British capital.

The resumption of non-stop flights to the United Kingdom will serve as the main focus of tourism promotions by the Philippines under the Department of Tourism’s (DoT) “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign at this year’s WTM to be held from Nov. 4 to 7.

PAL will share the 300-square-meter Philippine pavilion with 40 other Philippine exhibitors, including the DoT, at WTM 2013 where almost 5,000 exhibitors from 184 countries are expected to generate more than GBP1,859 million in travel industry deals.

According to Susan del Mundo of DoT’s Tourism Promotions Board, “This is the biggest Philippine participation since joining WTM back in 1980 or any travel fair worldwide. A total of 90 DoT officials led by Sec. Ramon Jimenez will be at WTM.”

Buyers and sellers from every sector of the travel industry around the world converge at WTM, London’s biggest annual travel event attracting more than 47,000 global travel professionals.

PAL President Ramon S. Ang said: “In the first six months of 2013 alone, we had more than 60,000 arrivals from Britain.  This elevated the UK to the Philippines’ top ten visitor markets for the first time – the only European nation on the list. With PAL’s new non-stop flights, we are sure those numbers will increase further.”

The DoT had predicted a 65% increase in European visitors to about 575,000 this year alone and the doubling of current arrivals to around 700,000 in the coming year.

“It is not just tourists who stand to benefit but more importantly our 664,000 Filipino *kababayans* in Europe, particularly the 250,000 living in the U.K., who will now be able to return home more often via the airline that knows them best,” Mr. Ang said.

He will lead a delegation of top PAL and government officials on the inaugural flight including the British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad. Upon arrival at London’s Heathrow airport in the afternoon of Nov. 4, Philippine Ambassador to the UK Enrique Manalo will be welcoming the inaugural flight passengers.

From the airport, some PAL executives will proceed to the PAL booth at WTM.

The five-times-a-week service to London will use PAL’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which features one of the most spacious cabin equipped with modern inflight amenities.

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Tigerair Philippines Flies to Davao City

Source: & Global Travel Industry News


DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Taking advantage of Davao Region’s thriving tourism industry, Tigerair Philippines is expanding its operation in Davao City, Mindanao’s premier hub and is home to some of the country’s top beach and mountain resorts.

Tigerair, will service the Davao-Manila-Davao route, offering a once-a-day flight from Mondays to Sundays using the 144-seater Airbus 319 aircraft starting December 2.

The airline will be the fifth to fly to Davao City, through the F. Bangoy International Airport. Other airlines that service the same route are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, AirPhil Express, and Zest Airways.

In 2012, the number of visitor arrivals, both local and foreign tourists, reached 1.075 million or a growth of 45 percent from the previous year’s 744,275. The City Tourism Office reported it was the first time the city recorded the one million mark in terms of tourist arrivals, attributing this to additional flight connectivity in the city.

As Asia Pacific’s leading value-for-money airline, Tigerair is offering a special Manila-Davao promo fare for as low as P499. Purchase period is ongoing until seats last with travel validity from December 2, 2013 to March 29, 2014. Passengers can log on to to avail of the promo.

Davao City has been recognized as one of the most liveable cities in Southeast Asia and as a melting pot, offers visitors a glimpse of its rich cultural diversity through heritage sites such as the T’Boli Weaving Center, which showcases the intricate “tinalak” fabric loomed by hand, and the Davao Museum, famous for its collection of tribal art.

Davao Region is also an extreme adventurer’s paradise with activities like spelunking, white-water rafting, skimboarding, ziplining, and diving all being offered close to the city. Mt. Apo, the Philippines’ highest peak at 10,311 feet is found in the region.

In a press statement, Tigerair has vowed to continue to push boundaries in low-cost travel with its high performance standards and innovative services that connect Filipinos to the rest of the world.

“Ultimately, the airline offers its passengers an unforgettable, hassle-free travel experience with families and friends,” the statement said.

Among Tigerair’s awards are the “best in-flight meals in the low cost airline category” at the Asia Pacific Airline Food Awards 2012 and “low cost airline of the year award” at Capa’s Aviation Awards for Excellence in 2010.

Tigerair flies domestic via Ninoy Aqunio International Airport Terminal 4 with flights from Manila to Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, and Tacloban.

Aside from Manila-Phuket, its other international flights include, Clark to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, and Kalibo to Singapore.

Tigerair, established in 2004, is a leading Singapore-based no frills airline that offers affordable travel options and a seamless customer experience. Tigerair comprises four airlines, namely Tigerair Singapore, Tigerair Australia, Tigerair Philippines, and Tigerair Mandala.

Collectively, the group’s network extends to over 50 destinations across 13 countries in the Asia Pacific. It operates a fleet of 48 Airbus A320-family aircraft, averaging less than three years of age.