Embraer….Soon to Fly the Philippine Colors?

Does Embraer look good in Philippine colors? According to airline buzz, a local airline (flying both domestic and international destinations) is seriously contemplating on ordering the Embraer to replace their aging turbo-prop fleet. Embraer is also being eyed to fly to MPH (Caticlan) pending its probing flights. This seemingly fleet irrationalization will make this airline the first local operator of Embraer in the Philippines.



In Memoriam To Our Young Heroes

The Boy Scouts of the Philippines contingent to the 11th World Jamboree waving before their take off. The boys never made it to their destination as their plane crashed in the Indian Ocean on July 28, 1963. Photo from Mabuhayradio.com

Source: Merit Badge Center, Philippines / http://www.philstar.com

Hangar Expansion Construction Underway for Lufthansa Technik Philippines

Bauarbeiten der Lufthansa Technik Phillipines in Manila. - © © Lufthansa Technik -

Manila, Philippines, 23 July 2015 – Lufthansa Technik Philippines’ (LTP) hangar expansion is on track, six months after the Manila-based aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) provider broke ground in January to extend its main hangar.

“With the rising opportunities presented by regional growth, we have been building up our capabilities. This hangar expansion project is the latest in our continued efforts to meet different aircraft requirements and stay competitive in the market,” says Dr. Burkhard Andrich, President and CEO of Lufthansa Technik Philippines.

The construction expands two existing bays equipped with versatile docking systems that can accommodate current widebodies and newer models for the Airbus A350, Boeing 777-9X, and 787. This will also be LTP’s second line for A380 base maintenance and its entry into Boeing 777 base maintenance. The development is expected to expand the company’s yearly capacity by 200,000 manhours.

Construction is on schedule at LTP’s facility by the Ninoy Aquino International Airport runway, with the foundation laid before the start of the rainy season. It is now in the process of erecting the extension’s refabricated steel structures, while construction and logistics for new and relocated offices, docking systems, linking bridges and mezzanines are concurrently taking shape. The facility’s MRO operations remain unhampered, owing to early preparation and smart planning. Furthermore, tooling and equipment have already started to be delivered for the facility’s new state of the art centralized toolroom.

In preparation for LTP’s new Boeing 777 base maintenance capability and increased A380 capacity, extensive training for its highly qualified production staff is ongoing, in partnership with Lufthansa Technical Training Philippines.

LTP’s hangar extension will be inaugurated this November, as it welcomes an Airbus A380 layover at the beginning of the month. The company’s Boeing 777 base maintenance capability will be available in the first half of 2016.


Qatar Airways Adds 6 More Flights Per Week To Manila

Qatar Airways (QA) will be adding six extra flights per week between Doha and Manila from October 26 following an expanded Air Service Agreement signed between Qatar and the Philippines.

With the increase in weekly flights, QA will operate a full twice-daily service to Manila in addition to its daily flights between Clark International Airport (approximately 96km north of Manila) and Doha.

The additional weekly flights from Doha-Manila from October 26 include: Doha – Manila which departs 8.30am and arrives 10.15pm while the Manila – Doha flight departs 11.59pm and arrives 5.05am (the next day), all every Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday already has an existing twice-daily QA flight.

The Doha-based carrier, most recently crowned Airline of the Year at the 2015 annual Skytrax World Airline Awards, is currently flying eight flights per week to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

“The increase in flight frequencies on the Doha–Manila route serves to further strengthen commercial and trade links between our two countries and we are delighted to be able to provide our Philippines-based passengers with greater connectivity options when they choose to fly with QA,” QA Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said.

He noted that more passengers will now be able to experience QA’s award-winning hospitality and Qatar’s state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport (HIA) when transiting seamlessly onward to their final destination.

Al-Baker added that passengers travelling with QA beyond Doha can also look forward to flying on some of the world’s most advanced aircraft including the A350 XWB.

The Doha–Manila route is operated by Boeing 777 aircraft, featuring 24 Business Class seats and 356 seats in Economy Class.

Like its Manila flights, QA also continues to get positive response to its daily flights in Clark (Clark International Airport), launched in November 2013, it is learnt.

Passengers travelling in Business Class can look forward to relaxing in one of the most comfortable and high-tech, fully-flat beds with a 78-inch seat pitch. QA’s premium passengers can also enjoy its five-star food and beverage service which is served ‘dine on demand’.

QA’s Premium and Economy Class passengers travelling beyond Doha can also enjoy the airline’s state-of-the-art home base – the HIA.

Home to one of the world’s best and largest Business Class lounges, the Al Mourjan Business Lounge, HIA has more than 70 retail and 30 food and beverage outlets offering world-class duty free shopping and dining experiences for all.


NAIA Terminal 4 Will Be Exclusive For Domestic Flights By Mid-August

BY mid-August the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminal 4 will go all domestic with the transfer of international flights to a much bigger facility.

According to Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) officer-in-charge Vicente Guerzon Jr., by August 15 Air Asia Zest international flights will be moved to the bigger NAIA terminal 3 from terminal 4.

Also set to transfer to Terminal 3 are five Cebu Pacific-Tiger Airways Airbuses.

From NAIA Terminal 3, seven small aircraft offering 20 domestic flights will move to Terminal 4.

The move, drafted two months ago, is expected to reduce confusion among passengers as to which terminal they are supposed to go.

Likewise, Guerzon said that the move would maximize the use of runway 13/31 for small aircraft arriving at or departing from the NAIA terminal 4.

The 400-hectare NAIA currently has two perpendicular runways: primary runway 06/24; and secondary runway 13/31.

Source: Jeannette Andrade, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tycoons To Join NAIA Rehab Bidding

The Gokongwei family’s JG Summit Holdings, Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Ayala Corp. are keen on a P75-billion contract to operate and develop Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s busiest air gateway that has been dubbed the “crown jewel” of Philippine airport deals.

The Naia development project recently hurdled the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee. Seeking the approval of the Neda board, which is chaired by President Aquino, is the next step.

Interest in the premier gateway has been ramping up partly due to recent statements coming from the transportation department that work at a new international airport in Sangley Point, Cavite—a project aimed at replacing the congested Naia— might not be implemented within the term of President Aquino.

Earlier, San Miguel Corp., Manuel V. Pangillinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Megawide Construction Corp. said they were keen on a contract to operate NAIA, which handles more than 32 million passengers annually.

“It is ‘the’ asset in the airport sector so we should definitely look at that,” Ayala managing director John Eric Francia said. “It’s a major strategic asset in a very important sector which affects a lot of things like tourism.”

Bach Johann Sebastian, JG Summit chief strategist and senior vice president, confirmed in a text message that the company was interested in the Naia project, as did Román Azanza III, Aboitiz first vice president for business development.

JG Summit, mainly involved in airlines, property development, food and beverage as well as petrochemicals, and Aboitiz Equity, whose portfolio is mainly focused on power generation and banking, have been looking at more Public Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure deals to diversify their respective businesses.

Ayala, San Miguel, Metro Pacific and Megawide are active participants in the Aquino administration’s PPP program, having each bagged one or more big-ticket deals that have been rolled out over the last four years.

The Naia development project aims to transform the Philippines’ main gateway “into a world-class modern airport facility.” The private partner is also expected to upgrade existing terminals to increase capacity and handle O&M activities.

The companies mentioned have already expressed their interest in developing the country’s commercial aviation sector, which presents opportunities for growth given that the Philippines is an archipelago.

On international travel, the government has been boosting efforts to lure more visitors with catchy slogans like “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”

In 2013, the conglomerates participated in a bid for the contract to expand and operate the Mactan Cebu International Airport, which was bagged by a consortium between Megawide and India’s GMR Infrastructure.

The government is currently bidding out the contracts for the Bacolod-Silay, Iloilo, Davao, Laguindingan and New Bohol airports in a deal that has lured SMC, Metro Pacific, Aboitiz, JG Summit and Megawide apart from international players.

Source: Miguel R. Camus, Philippine Daily Inquirer

MacroAsia Sells 13% Stake In Catering Arm To Singapore’s SATS

LISTED aviation services provider MacroAsia Corp. will cut by 13% its stake in its in-flight catering subsidiary via the sale of the shares to its Singapore-based partner SATS, Ltd.

Both parties signed on Wednesday a sale and purchase agreement covering 162,500 shares in MacroAsia Catering Services, Inc. (MACS), bringing down its stake to 67% from 80%, it said in a disclosure to the Philippine bourse.

As a result, SATS’ shareholding in MACS will increase to 33% from 20%. Payment was P168.8 million in initial cash plus a potential earn-out consideration. The deal is targeted for closure by Aug. 31.

MacroAsia had acquired an additional 13% stake in MACS through a P36.4-million sale and purchase agreement with Compass Group International BV in 2006.

“The Transaction today effectively reverts the shareholding of MAC in MACS to 67%, its original stake when MACS started operations in 1998,” the disclosure read.

“The transaction today is a strategic move to further strengthen the partnership and relationship of SATS and MacroAsia Corporation in their food services venture in the Philippines.”

Both companies formed another joint venture (JV) firm, MacroAsia SATS Food Industries Corp., as a MACS subsidiary. They are investing P300 million for a new food commissary located in Sucat, Muntinlupa City to serve institutional clients like hotels, casinos, and call centers.

“This transaction will serve as further impetus for SATS to strengthen its support for the growth of the JV’s food business in the Philippines,” MacroAsia said.

MACS operates a two-hectare facility inisde the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the new Muntinlupa facility will also complement the existing in-flight kitchen.

MacroAsia has a 60% market share among airlines in NAIA, including Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, Dragon Air, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, All Nippon, Saudia, Qantas, Qatar, China Airlines, Air Niugini, Korean Air and other chartered flights.

SATS, or Singapore Air Terminal Services, is listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange. The firm has been providing aviation services for 65 years and the two have been partners since 1998, when MACS started operations.

Source: DJ Magturo, http://www.bworldonline.com

Pictogram: Cathay Pacific Lounge, Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge, Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Lounge

Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge (photo: Singapore Airlines), Terminal 3, Ninoy Aquino International Airport

STEPPING UP. Travelers on suites, first, or business class, or members of the PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite Gold departing on Singapore Airlines operated flights, as well as STAR Alliance Gold card members can enjoy access to the lounge. Photo from Singapore Airlines

AMPLE ROOM. The lounge can sit 117 people comfortably. Photo from Singapore Airlines

HOME COMFORTS. The SilverKris lounge designed to be a ‘home away from home.’ Photo from Singapore Airlines

Photo: Asia Tatler
Photo: Joven Cagande)
Photo: Adobo Magazine
Photo: Asia Tatler

Cathay Pacific Lounge, Terminal 3, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (photo: Cathay Pacific, floor area: 650 sqm)

Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Lounge, Terminal 2, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (floor area: 520 sqm)

Iloilo In Talks For Air Service To Incheon & Xiamen

ILOILO CITY — The Iloilo City government is in talks with carrier AirAsia Philippines over the possibility of offering flights to the South Korean gateway of Incheon and Xiamen in China, the Tourism department said.

The push for more connectivity comes as the city hosts meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) this year, raising the region’s profile among international tourists, the Department of Tourism in Region 6 (DoT-6) said

“With Iloilo’s hosting of the APEC meetings this July, September and October, we do hope that more visitors will be coming in from the 21-member economies of APEC that will impact our number of flights and hotel accommodation,” said lawyer Helen J. Catalbas, DoT-6 director.

Ms. Catalbas said Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog is currently leading talks with AirAsia Philippines, Inc. with the aim of launching services next year.

South Korea and China are both APEC members, along with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the United States,and Vietnam.

For domestic flights, Ms. Catalbas said she has participated in discussions for the introduction of flights between Iloilo and Cotabato.

“For Mindanao, our flights for Davao, General Santos and Cagayan de Oro are going strong. We are looking at adding Cotabato. What is important is we can sustain the flights,” she said.

The airport’s current local routes include Manila, Cebu, Tacloban, Puerto Princesa, General Santos, Davao and Cagayan de Oro.

The Iloilo International Airport, located in the town of Cabatuan, will be bid out for upgrade works under the public-private partnership (PPP) program. The contract cost is P30.4 billion covering expansion, operation and maintenance over a 30-year period.

It is part of the PPP airport Bundle 1 that includes the Bacolod-Silay Airport with an indicative cost of P20.26 billion.

Prospective bidders, based on the PPP Center Web site, include GMR Infrastructure Ltd.-Megawide Construction Corp., the Metro Pacific Investments Corp.-JG Summit Holdings, Inc. consortium, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, San Miguel Corp., Philippine Skylanders, Inc., and Union Equities, Inc.

The submission of qualification documents has been moved to Aug. 10 from July 27.

Source: Louine Hope Conserva, http://www.bworldonline.com