Xiamen Airlines flies to Cebu from Fuzhou

SkyTeam member Xiamen Airlines recently launched Fuzhou-Cebu flights last 18 April 2017. The twice a week flight (every Tuesday and Thursday) utilizes B737-800 aircraft. Xiamen Airlines now operates 27 weekly flights from China to the Philippines.

The Fuzhou-Cebu route faces no competition from either Chinese or Philippine carriers. This is Xiamen Airlines’ second Cebu flight. Last 10 April, it launched Jinjiang-Cebu flight.

It now accounts for 17% of seat capacity between China and the Philippines.


Philippine Airlines Acquires 2 Addt’l B777-300ER

Image result for Boeing 777 Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines is set to accept the deliveries of two Boeing 777-300ER this December, 2017. The acquisition of the airlines’ two B777 is based on a long term agreement with Intrepid Aviation.

These planes are capable of flying longhaul and will have 370 seats in two classes, 42 BCL seats and 328 ECY.

“The Boeing aircraft will serve the Manila-London route, a move designed to primarily enhance the total passenger travel experience and inflight service delivery. While we already have eight B777 serving the West Coast, the incoming units will also augment other trans-Pacific flights,” according to PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista.

On top of the two B777-300ER, PAL is expected to receive Bombardier Q400 turboprops for domestic operations and  two Airbus 320NEO.


Emirates & Etihad Increase Frequencies to MNL

Etihad Airways will add three new weekly services between Abu Dhabi and Manila from 1st May 2016 offering a total of 17 return flights per week.

All 17 weekly flights will be operated by a two-class Boeing 777-300ER with 28 seats in Business and 384 in Economy, Etihad said in a media statement.

Code share partner Philippine Airlines places its PR code on the current 14 weekly flights Abu Dhabi-Manila operated by Etihad Airways. From May 1, 2016, the partner airlines will offer a combined total of 22 weekly flights between Manila and Abu Dhabi.

The enhanced flight schedule also provides seamless connectivity over the Abu Dhabi hub; 1085 weekly connections to 58 destinations on the airline’s global network. This includes connections to Bahrain, Dammam (KSA), Doha (Qatar), Jeddah (KSA), Kuwait and Riyadh (KSA) which are in the top 10 destinations for travelers to and from the Philippines.

Meanwhile Emirates has added a new Dubai-Cebu-Clark route starting March 30, 2016.

Services will operate seven days a week from Dubai to Cebu, Cebu to Clark and onto Dubai on a circular pattern, according to the Emirates official.

“We plan to commence operations from March 30, 2016 with a 2-class 777-300ER. I am sure you will join me in welcoming this fantastic new for the Philippines, which should be a hugely positive development for tourism, trade and the ongoing development of the Philippines’ regional economies.”

“We also hope that our desired introduction of the world’s flagship A380 aircraft on one of our daily Manila services will take place soon further adding to the prestige of the airport and underlining the global significance of the city,” Obaidalla said.


Philippine Airlines Studying Potential A340 Replacements

Philippine Airlines Boeing 777-300

Philippine Airlines (PR, Manila) president and Chief Operating Officer Jaime Bautista says his airline is studying the A350 and the B787 as potential replacements for its fleet of A340-300s.

Bautista told the Philippine Star newspaper in an interview this week that the airline would likely phase out its six A340s by 2020.

“We are in the process of preparing a long term fleet plan for PAL. What we have finalized is for domestic and regional only but for long haul, we have yet to finalize our fleet plan,” he said. “We will change the A340 over time because they are 12-year old airplanes. Maybe over the next five years.”

The type’s retirement was expected to occur much sooner but the recent slump in global petroleum prices has eased the pressure on the jets. The A340s, which collectively average 14.3 years of age, are currently used on flights to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Xiamen regionally as well as London Heathrow, Los Angeles Int’l, New York JFK, San Francisco, CA, and Vancouver Int’l internationally.

The Filipino carrier’s widebody fleet also includes six B777-300(ER)s and fifteen A330-300s.

Source: http://www.ch-aviation.com

United Airlines To Expand Market Share In The Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – United Airlines is looking at growing its market share in the Philippines as it is carefully studying other possible destinations from Manila including San Francisco.

United Airlines Philippines country manager Maria Concepcion Perdon said in a press conference that the airline is looking at growing its four-percent market share in the Philippines.

“Right now we have a four-percent market share and we hope to grow it. The Philippines is a very important market for United that is why we have been here for 30 years,” Perdon said.

The airline flies to Guam and Koror in Palau 13 times a week using a Boeing 737 aircraft.

“The Manila-Guam route has been profitable for us. There are many Filipinos living in Guam,” Perdon said.

According to her, United Airlines has a load factor of 80 percent for its operations in the Philippines.

She explained that United Airlines is looking at getting the share of Hawaiian Airlines that stopped servicing the Manila-Honolulu route a few years ago.

United Airlines vice president for sales in Atlantic and Pacific Jake Cefolia told reporters that the airline is studying opportunities in the Philippines including the possibility of flying to other destinations in the US including San Francisco.

“The Manila-San Francisco route is always on the drawing board,” Cefolia said.

He pointed out that the airline is looking at growing its businesses in the market where it has presence below the gross domestic product (GDP) growth to avoid overcapacity.

“We intend to keep the capacity growth between the level of GDP growth in the markets that we serve because we want to keep from a situation wherein there is more supply than demand,” he added.

According to Cefolia, the airline would have to carefully study opportunities in the Philippines.

“There is a tremendous among of demand, sometimes it seems insatiable demand in Manila. It is the highest volume market between Asia and the US. However, it is also an incredibly price sensitive market,” he said.

Cefolia said the airline is in the middle of a refleeting program and is scheduled to take the delivery of 34 brand new Boeing aircraft including the B787-9 Dreamliner as well as 50 new Embraer 175 aircraft.

Source: Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Ailing Philippine Airlines, Under New Management, Seeks Investor


Struggling Philippine Airlines said Friday it is looking for a new investor to help fund an expansion programme that would see Asia’s oldest airline buying more long-haul jets.

“I would prefer an airline with more destinations so we can expand our presence,” newly-installed president Jaime Bautista said.

He added that the company may take another airline, or a company with interests in the aviation sector, as an equity partner.

Under Philippine law a foreign airline may acquire up to 40 percent of a carrier like PAL, Bautista said, while stressing there were no ongoing talks at this point.

“There are names we are looking at, but we are not at liberty to disclose (them) at this time,” he told a news conference.

Bautista said the carrier plans to buy long-haul planes over 10 years — either by converting a previous order for narrow-body aircraft from Airbus into bigger planes or taking up Boeing’s proposal to sell it 777 jets.

PAL is to open new local and international routes over the next three years, including Manila-New York from March 2015, he added.

After struggling with losses amid competition from budget carriers, high fuel costs and a labour dispute, PAL returned to profitability this year, posting a net profit of 1.49 billion pesos ($33 million) in the three months to June.

Lucio Tan, one of the Philippines’ richest men, named Bautista to lead the airline after regaining control of PAL in September, buying out San Miguel Corp’s 49 percent interest in the airline for a reported $1 billion.

Bautista said PAL is reviewing a massive refleeting programme initiated by the previous management, which had ordered 64 planes from Airbus for more than $7 billion after San Miguel won management control of the airline in 2012.

The airline’s listed parent PAL Holdings disclosed last month it was “seriously studying” the possibility of deferring aircraft deliveries, complaining that “too many orders” had been made.

PAL will take delivery of 10 Airbus A321s this year and another 10 of the same model in 2016, Bautista said Friday.

Some of the 28 Airbus planes set for delivery after 2016 may be converted to long-haul jets, he said, without giving further details.

“We’ll have to study this very carefully. It’s easy to buy airplanes but difficult to dispose,” he added.

“We will take advantage of the refleeting programme to improve our service, reboot costs and hopefully, become a profitable airline.”

PAL will now focus its European operations on its newly-opened London route and add more flights to Honolulu, while scaling down Middle East operations due to lower-than-projected demand, he said.

Its new fuel-efficient Airbus jets will allow PAL to compete better when Southeast Asian nations ease air traffic restrictions next year, he added.

The company will also be “more aggressive” domestically and may reopen its hub in Cebu, the commercial capital of the central Philippines, said Bautista.

Source: AFP and Interaksyon

Boeing Woos Philippine Carriers To Buy Its Planes

Citing the expected growth of airline passenger traffic in the Philippines, US aircraft maker Boeing is wooing Philippine carriers to buy its long-range planes, especially for the North American market.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. on Thursday (PHL time) said Boeing officials relayed this to Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. when he visited the firm’s factory in Everett near Seattle recently.

Noting the 6.6 percent projected growth in airline passenger traffic for the Philippines in the next 20 years and the backlog in Airbus aircraft orders, Boeing executives told Ambassador Cuisia they are ready to make aircraft for Philippine carriers available in 2016,” the embassy said.

It also noted the Philippine market is presently dominated by Airbus Industries.

John Schubert, managing director for marketing for Asia Pacific and India, said the demand for aircraft in Southeast Asia over the next 20 years will reach 3,500 units valued at $500 billion.

But in the Philippines, he said that of the 141 commercial aircraft currently being used, only six are Boeings – a “dismal four percent market share.”

The six include 777-300ERs used by Philippine Airlines for its long-haul flights to North America.

North America, with four million Filipinos, is considered PAL’s biggest and most profitable market.

Boeing 777

Boeing Commercial Airplanes director of product marketing Dave Kell said Boeing’s 777 is one of the most in-demand aircraft, with 1,805 firm orders from 69 customers.

Kell added the 777 is the most preferred, most reliable and most valued aircraft in the market.

“The 777 is the most suitable aircraft for long range North American routes such as those of Philippine Airlines,” he said.

Assistance to calamity victims

On the other hand, Boeing executives informed Cuisia of the firm’s assistance to the Philippines.

This included $750,000 from the Boeing Company and Boeing employees for relief efforts for victims of super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which left more than 6,000 dead.

Also, Boeing is part of a joint effort with World Vision and PAL to airlift relief supplies during a 777-300ER delivery flight last year.

Source: Joel Locsin /LBG, GMA News