Philippine Airlines and Lufthansa Technik AG have signed a five-year Total Component Maintenance (TCM) contract for the Airline’s Airbus A320 and A340 Fleet. The services will be extended end of 2016 to support additional Airbus 320s operated by Philippine Airlines.
Lufthansa Technik will support Philippine Airlines at its main base in Manila, the Component Service offices in Manila and Shenzhen will coordinate the customer support. Maintenance, repair and overhaul services will be carried out at Lufthansa Technik’s component Centres in Hamburg, Germany and Shenzhen, China.
“We were pleased with Lufthansa Technik’s ability to customize its services to the individual needs of Philippine Airlines and ensuring 24/7 worldwide AOG services at locations such as JFK which are vital for our Flight operations,” said William Tan, Vice President of Purchasing, Philippine Airlines.
Jens Behrend, Sales Executive from Lufthansa Technik, said: “I want to thank Philippine Airlines for the trust they continuously place in the Lufthansa Technik Group. The signing of these contracts is a great success for us in this highly competitive market.”
Lufthansa Technik is committed to extend its partnership with Philippine Airlines and to support other Aircraft types in the future.
A logo can make or break an airline in terms of branding. According to the image makers of these airline companies, the logo or livery (and the gamut of colors that go with it) represents the company ideals and to a large extent, the identity and culture of its home country.
Typical of an airline livery consists of people, animals (mythical and real), flags and coat of arms/emblems. There are a handful of airlines which sport symbols, odd shapes, decorative handwriting and play on colors. These visual traits make airlines more recognizable.
Visual recognition is achieved over time. Some airline logos/liveries never changed since its inception making them national icons of their respective countries. If changes are applied, usually these are kept to a minimum.
Airlines love glamorizing their logo. When a new font is used or a change of color is applied, expect a kilometric explanation to follow describing these boring and uneventful changes. To common folks there are just two criteria: beautiful or ugly. People don’t bother to know, much more read, the reason behind these changes.
In the last five years, quite a number of airlines have changed liveries. There are hits and misses (and some totally missed the mark big time!). There are radical and subtle changes in colors, fonts and cheatlines which are ‘revolutionary’ aesthetically or simply an ‘evolution’ from the old design.
Alex Simon, 28, a travel blogger from Ischgl, Austria, found himself unexpectedly onboard a “private jet” when no one else showed up for the flight of Philippine Airlines from Manila to Boracay.
Simon took a video of the bizarre experience where he was seen talking to the lady pilot in the cockpit, and jokes around with his personal cabin crew.
According to Daily Mail, when he arrived at the airport his name was called over the loudspeaker and he was asked to make his way to the information counter. Staff explained the flight would be leaving in 30 minutes instead of the scheduled two hours because he was the only passenger.
“I thought I was dreaming. Later while boarding I just realized that it’s gonna be a special flight because this time I didn’t even need to line up.”
He even asked the cabin crew if he could take a window seat. “She answered, ‘You can sit anywhere, because you’re the only one passenger.'”
“It was an unforgettable feeling to take a flight to the one of the most beautiful islands of the world, but to be alone and feel like a superstar it made it more special.”
Flights between the Philippines capital and the tourist island of Boracay were normally packed.
January 22, 2016. The Philippines’ largest carrier Cebu Pacific received its first Airbus A320 aircraft with the new livery today.The aircraft was delivered brand-new from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France.
Equipped with fuel-saving wingtip devices called Sharklets, the Airbus A320 is coated with CEB’s new logo which was first rolled out in June 2015. The theme builds on the Philippines’ natural canvas as inspiration, and showcases shades of the country’s land, sea, sky, and sun.
CEB is also set to accept delivery of another brand-new Airbus A320 with the revamped livery, before the end of January. With these two deliveries, CEB will be operating 8 Airbus A319, 35 Airbus A320, 6 Airbus A330, and 8 ATR 72-500 aircraft. CEB’s fleet is one of the youngest in the world, with an average age of 4.69 years.
“As we look to celebrate the airline’s 20th anniversary this year, we proudly welcome this addition to our fleet which features Cebu Pacific’s new logo. The plane’s refreshed livery signifies the airline’s growth and evolution from pioneering low-cost travel in the Philippines, to successfully growing its flight operations across key domestic and international markets today,” said Atty. JR Mantaring, CEB Vice President for Corporate Affairs.
Between 2016 and 2021, CEB will also take delivery of 3 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 16 ATR 72-600 aircraft.
CEBU, Philippines – The consortium that now operates the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Administration (MCIAA) says Cebu could become an alternative gateway for both domestic and international flights.
The US$326 million (P15.61 billion) Mactan-Cebu International Airport expansion and management project will help ease air traffic congestion in Manila according to Andrew Acquaah-Harrison, chief executive of GMR-Megawide consortium.
Harrison also said they expect passenger traffic to increase to 8.9 million by 2018, “Right now, we have 220 daily flights but we expect the volume to increase to 350 by 2018 when the Terminal 2 building is completed.”
At present, Cebu has an annual passenger volume of 4.7 million. The country’s main gateway, Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila currently struggles to handle more than 700 flights a day, making it one of Asia’s busiest airports.
There have been small alterations done, but have resulted in significant changes. For example, the arrival gate was moved to a bigger area formerly used as the entrance of airport personnel. The really long queues at the former entrance have all but disappeared.
The check-in area is currently undergoing a facelift, with more counters and wider spaces. This also aids in eliminating passenger congestion, and is a perfect example of how space is managed so that passengers are able to move more conveniently inside the departure area.
Also being tested were the electronic entry gates that could read electronic boarding passes. This, together with the self-service check-in kiosks, brings the standard of operations at the Mactan Terminal 1 departure area to far superior levels than any of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals.
Huge LED display panels that announce airplane arrival and departure status are visible at strategic locations of the airport, and provide useful and timely information to passengers.
But changes are not just cosmetic. The back room operations and equipment are being improved. A luggage carousel that had not been functioning for five years is currently under repair, and its subsequent operations will help tremendously in moving passenger cargo.
Airport terminal staff, not just those greeting and facilitating people movement at the check-in counters, and the pre-departure and arrival areas, but also those responsible for luggage, are being empowered to enhance passenger services.
GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) – which is 60% owned by listed Filipino construction company Megawide Construction Corporation and 40% by Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Limited – signed in April last year a 25-year concession agreement to manage and upgrade Mactan airport.
Further improvements should be in place by 2018.
In addition, the Filipino-Indian consortium also transferred the taxi terminals allowing passengers to pick up their cabs right outside the arrival area.
All these improvements, GMR Megawide said, were introduced at no cost to the passengers. “We want to make Cebu not only a destination but a gateway to both the Philippines and the rest of the world,” Harrison added.
He said the immediate goal is to make Mactan airport a resort airport. “Tourism starts at the airport. Tourists should feel that they are here at the moment they touch down,” the 48-year-old executive said at a dinner for a handful of reporters at the posh Plantation Bay resort.
Cebu first gained international prominence when it was promoted as an “Island in the Pacific” in the 1970s.
Back then, the bulk of tourists then were Japanese. Today, tourists are more multi-national with Koreans being the top arrivals in Cebu.
More Flights, OFWs
GMR-Megawide said it also plans to tap into the huge overseas Filipino worker (OFW) market. Although 34% of international passengers are OFWs, less than 5 % use Cebu as exit point. Harrison added that GMR-Megawide is investing in a 120-capacity dormitory for increased OFWs departing from Cebu.
The consortium is also trying to lure back Cathay Airways, which previously suspended Cebu flights.
“We have come up with a routes development plan and are sending teams to make pitches to the airlines that Cebu could be a viable and profitable alternative gateway,” he said, that the airport will soon open direct Philippine Airline flights to San Francisco, Osaka in Japan and Dubai.
New Terminal, New Runway
GMR-Megawide consortium outbid 6 others in cornering the management of MCIAA. The multi-billion peso project includes a second terminal building adjacent to the existing one.
With construction already under way, GMR-Megawide expects the Terminal 2 building to be completed in 30 months.
Harrison said that the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is already planning to build an additional runway to meet the growing passenger and air traffic in Cebu.
Harrison pointed out however that this is unlikely to be completed before 2022.
“I have no idea when the government will do it. But yes, we later will need another runway if we reach our targets,” he said.
JEDDAH — Philippine Airlines, the flag carrier of the Philippines, has finally regained its place at the King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah on Wednesday (Jan. 20) after a long lull, when PAL’s new A330-300 plane made the inaugural flight to mark the start of its regular service from Manila via Dubai.
Flight PR 658 departed Manila at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday with its 414 seats filled with overseas Filipino workers going to Dubai and the Western region, Saudi Arabia and other foreign passengers who went to the Philippines for business and leisure.
Piloted by Captain Rubito J. Samedra, who has been with PAL for 37 years, and flies Airbus planes since 1997, the flight with 13 crew members arrived in Jeddah at 8:58 a.m. Wednesday amid a warm reception tendered by Kanoo Travel, its General Sales Agent (GSA) in the Western and Eastern regions. PAL senior executives, officials of the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia, as well as other dignitaries were visibly excited to welcome the return to Jeddah of the airline which is close to their hearts due to the distinctive hospitality of the crew and professional service.
PR 659 departs Jeddah at 2:15 p.m. local time every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and arrives in Manila the following day at 8:20 a.m.
Ahmed Fawzi Kanoo, Area Manager, Western Province, expressed his strong optimism on the resumption of PAL’s regular service to Jeddah, and told Saudi Gazette that the initial three weekly flights to and from Jeddah is subject to expansion particularly during peak seasons.
Ricky Solomon L. Pacquing, PAL Country Manager, Saudi Arabia corroborated the plan, adding that when PAL resumed its flights to Riyadh and Dammam in 2013, it also started with only three flights weekly, but now has 6 and 4 flights a week, respectively.
Close to 300,000 OFWs are based in the Western region alone, some sources said.
Founded in 1941, PAL is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name, but was forced to downsize its international operations by completely cutting flights to Europe and Middle East as a result of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Hence, the resurgence of PAL’s international flights is indicative of the renewed strength of the Philippine flag carrier.
In the region, PAL has also opened flights to Kuwait on January 17 this year, bringing to seven the flag carrier’s total number of Middle East destinations which includes Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dammam, Dubai and Riyadh.
“Opening up new routes to and from the Middle East such as Kuwait and Jeddah enables us to serve the flight needs of our ‘kababayans’ who work overseas. Our flights aim to provide our Filipino compatriots as well as leisure and business travelers the distinct Philippine Airlines brand of service,” said PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista.
“Jeddah serves as a gateway for pilgrimages to the Islamic holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. Pilgrims may now choose PAL for their travels in observance of the Umrah and Haj,” Bautista added.
PR 658 departs Manila at 10:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Saturday and arrives in Jeddah the following day at 8:45 a.m. local time; PR 659 departs Jeddah at 2:15 p.m. local time every Wednesday and Sunday and arrives in Manila the following day at 8:20 a.m.
Gulrez Khan, Kanoo Regional Sales Manager, Western Region, told the Saudi Gazette that “definitely, PAL services and fare will be competitive”, adding that initially, PAL’s new A330-300 will be servicing the Middle Eastern routes, including Jeddah, with a fare of as low as SR1,895 for a two-way journey. However, this offer is valid up to March 15 only. Nonetheless, he further said, as a full service airline, PAL’s fares are pretty reasonable, adding that for its Premium Economy Class is only for SR3.070, “which is still cheaper.”
THE ASEAN community’s dream of a single aviation market, which was expected to come true at the end of 2015, remains unfulfilled as not all signatures required to ratify the ASEAN Open Sky Policy are in.
Alan Tan, professor of aviation law at the National University of Singapore, told TTG Asia e-Daily in an interview: “Indonesia has not opened up its secondary cities, and the Philippines and Laos have not done so for their capitals. The industry as well as governments, through the ASEAN Secretariat, should urge the remaining member states to complete the full ratification of the ASEAN instruments.”
Tan added: “Once these are fully open, we will have full and unlimited third, fourth and fifth freedom rights for ASEAN carriers to fly from points in their home countries to all points in the other countries.”
Two high-level industry personnel in the Philippines who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the obstacle to obtaining Philippine support lies in protectionism sentiments.
One of the sources revealed that “Cebu Pacific is alright with (the) signing, but not Philippine Airlines which is protecting its turf.”
The Philippine flag carrier is also reluctant about opening up Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila on grounds that the facility’s runways and terminals are already congested and no more slots for flights are available, the two sources shared.
However, they pointed out that Indonesia, which has also run out of slots for foreign carriers at its airports, had gone ahead to ratify the agreement.
Commenting on the issue, Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation’s chief analyst, Brendan Sobie, said further liberalisation would be meaningless if there were insufficient landing slots.
Sobie elaborated: “This is not a topic worth exploring at this point, given the limited or zero impact from the ASEAN Open Sky Policy on the South-east Asian market. Slot restrictions rather than traffic rights are the main impediment to further growth.
“The open skies policy means nothing unless you are able to secure a take-off or landing slot at both ends of the route.”
Sharing similar sentiments, Tan said: “This is something the respective governments must address through building new infrastructure. The ASEAN Open Sky Policy cannot resolve that problem.”
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has announced that all cabin crew in the Philippines are now required to take psychological test before they are issued a professional license.
CAAP revised the rules for cabin crew licensing following an incident last year where a flight crew member intentionally crashed an airplane in the French Alps (last year’s March 24 intentional crash of a Germanwings plane by 28-year-old German pilot Andreas Lubitz when he was left alone in the cockpit).
This incident prompted changes in flight rules, particularly on having two persons in the cockpit at all times where a male cabin crew member is required to be inside should one of the pilots leave the flight deck for any reason.
The CAAP likewise extended the validity of the license from three to five years.
Likewise, he said, aircraft mechanics are also required to undergo psychological testing because they could also interfere with a flight by sabotaging the aircraft.
All licensing requirements are to be personally submitted by applicants for renewal to the Cabin Crew Safety Inspectorate for review and certification. After paying the licensing fee, the documents are to be filed for processing in the civil aviation licensing officer at the FSIS-LCD.
The license should be released within five working days.
As for new cabin crew members, they must submit all application requirements along with their certificate of ground training to the FSIS-LCD.