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

JG Summit Ready To Join SMC For USD 10B Airport Project


MANILA, Philippines—Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings, owner of dominant budget airline Cebu Pacific, is open to partnering with San Miguel Corp. should the government approve the latter’s proposed $10-billion international airport in Manila Bay, company president Lance Gokongwei said. The planned airport, which was recently presented to President Aquino but still requires various approvals from several departments, was aimed at decongesting Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Gokongwei also welcomed San Miguel’s airport suggestion, citing Naia’s single runway as a factor behind congestion at the aging Naia complex, which handled about 32 million passengers last year.

“We will certainly consider [San Miguel’s airport] if we were approached,” Gokongwei said.

“Clearly, the limiting factor is now capacity. Any plan to increase access to a capital city like Manila should be thoroughly considered,” he added.

Airlines like Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines, partly owned by San Miguel, would benefit from a new airport. PAL, for example, claimed that it loses about $2 million per month due to delays related to airport congestion.

Ang’s proposal calls for a four-runway international gateway, which would occupy half of the 1,600 hectares San Miguel would need to reclaim in Manila Bay. Gokongwei was among three groups that Ang said San Miguel could partner with. He also cited Henry Sy’s SM Group and Ayala Corp., led by the Zobels.

Each of these companies also made unsuccessful bids for the P17.5-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport public private partnership deal, which was bagged by Megawide Construction Corp. and India’s GMR Infrastructure last month.

SM confirmed in a stock exchange filing Tuesday that it would consider participating in San Miguel’s airport proposal. Ayala Corp. managing director Eric Francia said in an e-mail to the Inquirer there have been no discussions at this time.

The proposal was still in the early stage and the Department of Transportation and Communications said it would invite San Miguel to provide more details.

The proposal would be under a build-transfer-operate scheme and will have transport links including a proposed 15-kilometer Airport Expressway linking to Fort Bonifacio, Ortigas and Eastwood, with alternative routes to Makati City.

It also includes plans for an “airport express rail service” that would bring the total travel time between the airport and the Makati City financial district to 11 minutes. Ang said San Miguel would welcome an open bidding process should his proposal be accepted by the government.

“Everybody will have an equal chance to build this airport using the same location, same idea and same study, which I have provided the government,” Ang said in an interview last week.

Source: Miguel R. Camus, PDI

Jetex Opens New Handling Facility In Ninoy Aquino International Airport


Jetex

Jetex Flight Support (Booth H706) has set up a new handling facility at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the Philippines. The Dubai-based group will provide a full range of support services for private jet operators in Manila, as well as being able to supervise ground handling at other Filipino airports.

The new facility features a comfortable lounge and Jetex staff can assist crews with any local arrangements. The company provides credit terms and facilitates applications for overflight and landing permits, as well as all aspects of ground handling.

“Manila is the ideal place for us to establish a strong presence and expand our network. The rising demand combined with the region’s potential make this a strategic move for us,” said Jasper Gargollo, Jetex’s station manager in Manlia.

“Our operations team in Manila will be working closely with the operations center in Dubai to ensure smooth and seamless flight service,” said Khaled Shurbaji, operation manager for Jetex. “Our clients will receive the same level of service they are used to getting at all of Jetex’s locations.”

Since its launch in 2005, Jetex has expanded throughout the world and offers handling services in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and the company also operates FBOs in Paris, Dubai and Shannon.

Source: Charles Alcock/AINonline

Philippine Airlines Asked To Ban Illegal Shipment of Shark Fins


Image

Philippine Airlines is under renewed pressure to stop transporting shark fins to Hong Kong after a local green group found what it described as a “suspected illegal” shipment in Sheung Wan.

About 100 groups and individuals have given their support to an open letter sent to senior executives of the airline, urging them to publicly commit to ending the trade.

Overall imports of shark fins to Hong Kong fell 35 per cent last year compared with 2012, WWF-Hong Kong says.

The fall comes amid a crackdown by the central government on extravagance and corruption, and pressure by environmental groups to stamp out the trade.

The letter says the airline “directly contradicts” its commitment to sustainable development by allowing carriage of shark fins and related products on flights from Manila to Hong Kong.

It was written after a Wildlife Risk, a Hong Kong conservation group, and Fins Attached, an ocean-advocacy group based in the United States, discovered what they suspected was an illegal shipment of shark fins sent from Dubai by Philippine Airlines.

“Simply put, the tonnes of shark fins transported as cargo into Hong Kong on Philippine Airlines flights are directly leading to the endangerment of shark species and the marine environment in Asia and beyond,” the letter says.

“We need the airline’s help in cutting the supply chain of shark fin to Hong Kong,” it said, demanding that the company to set an “aggressive timetable” to stop carrying shark fins and post as pledge on its website.

The 136 bags of fins with an estimated weight of 6.5 tonnes, were delivered to dried seafood trader Global Marine in Sheung Wan. The company, which also has an office in Tsim Sha Tsui, denied the shipment was illegal.

“We have documents like import or export permits. There is nothing illegal and we have nothing to hide,” said a spokesman who identified himself as Ahamed.

However, Alex Hofford, from WildlifeRisk, said there was “a low chance” the shipment was legal.

He said Dubai was a trans-shipment centre for fins harvested from regions in Africa where enforcement of fishing regulations was ineffective.

He said Philippines Airlines was still active in transporting shark fins from the Middle East, although Emirates stopped such shipments on its route to Hong Kong last June.

“Philippine Airlines fly a lot of migrant workers, such as domestic helpers and nurses to Dubai, and often [the planes] come back empty,” Hofford said.

At least five airlines have followed Cathay Pacific’s example to ban shark fin cargoes on its flights. Korean, Asiana, Qantas and Air New Zealand enforce a blanket ban, while Fiji carrier Air Pacific allows only fins from sustainable and verified sources.

Hofford said Greenpeace activists in Philippines were furious over the shipment to Hong Kong, regarding it as a breach of trust after they met the airline’s executives in March.

Ahamed said Global Marine received regular shipments, usually two to three tonnes each, from Dubai and had used Philippine Airlines from time to time.

He said he was just a wholesaler of shark fins and the imports would be re-sold to anybody who paid for them.

Ahamed said he had no idea what shark species the fins came from.

Alex Anotoniou of FinsAttached said that the fins could be from any of three species — hammerhead, reef or silky sharks. He suspected the shipment could be small tail fins of baby sharks and it was possible that they might be mixed with scallop hammerhead which was listed as a regulated species in international trade.

Last night, the airline could not be reached to comment on the matter.

Source: Cheung Chi-fai, chifai.cheung@scmp.com, South China Morning Post

United Airlines Launches Fund-Raising Effort for Philippines


Image

United Airlines has announced it will partner with AmeriCares, the American Red Cross and Operation USA to help raise funds for the tens of thousands of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Chicago-based United (NYSE: UAL) also said it will offer customers a gift of bonus MileagePlus miles if they donate funds to the relief effort.

The United Airlines Foundation will donate up to $50,000 to match donations to the carrier’s partner organizations involved in Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts.

MileagePlus members who donate between $50 and $99 dollars will receive a 250-mile bonus. Those who contribute $100 to $249 will receive a 500-mile bonus, while members who give more than $250 will get 1,000 bonus miles. United said it will make available up to 5 million bonus miles for the Philippines relief effort.

Said Mark Anderson, United’s senior vice president of corporate and government affairs: “Our hearts go out to the people in the Philippines as they recover from this devastation. In difficult times like these, our employees and customers always show their generosity.”

Source: , Reporter-Chicago Business Journal

Japan Airlines Extends Support to Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts


Image

Transport of Relief Goods

JAL will transport relief goods and supplies at no charge from November 12 to December 13, 2013. Relief goods and supplies will be carried as air freight and under the conditions specified below:

– The shipper and consignee must be governments, embassies, local municipalities and agencies of the United Nations (such as UNICEF) etc.

– Contact information of the shipper and consignee must be provided in detail.

– The arrival point must be Manila International Airport and the departure point must be Tokyo (Narita) Airport.

– Arrangements for customs clearance and surface transport at the departure point and arrival point must be completed by the shipper beforehand.

– Shipments must not contain dangerous goods, live animals, or other restricted items.

– The weight of relief goods and supplies should be within one ton for each transport.

– Shipment is subject to space availability.

Transport of Relief Aid Personnel

JAL will also provide free air transport on its flights between Tokyo (Narita) and Manila for persons supporting local relief operations and coordinating volunteer activities who belong to the authorized non-profit organizations introduced by Japan Platform (JPF)*1, starting from November 12 to December 13, 2013.

Mileage Donation Drive

JAL is offering its full support to devastated area in Philippines and is calling on its JAL Mileage Bank (JMB) members to donate miles to raise funds necessary for relief work.

– Application period: November 14, 2013 ~ December15, 2013

– Mileage for application: Donation will be accepted in units of 3,000 miles, as an amount of JPY 3, 000 for donation. JMB member can make mileage donations on JAL’s website or by telephone to each region’s JAL Mileage Bank Center.

Website (English):http://www.jal.co.jp/en/jalmile/use/charity/

Enquiries

Media: +81-(0)3-5460- 3109

Others (Transport of relief goods and aid personnel): +81-(0)3-5460-3104

*1Japan Platform (JPF)

Flying Giant in Cebu


Image

The world’s biggest aircraft is set to make an appearance at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport early tomorrow morning (Tuesday) to make a very important delivery.

According to our sources, the Russian-built Antonov An-225—dubbed by some as the “aluminum overcast”—will fly to Cebu to deliver some outsized equipment (most likely power turbines) for the Lopez-controlled First Gen Corp.

Only one An-225 was ever made by the former Soviet Union, meant to ferry on its back the USSR’s version of the Space Shuttle in the 1980s. It is powered by six jet engines and has a total of 32 wheels (to distribute its weight evenly and thus prevent damaging the concrete on airport runways).

The Ukranian-registered plane also holds the world record for heaviest take off weight of a little over 253 tons. Needless to say, it is larger and heavier than either the Airbus A380 or the Boeing 747.

For a better idea on how big the An-225 is, imagine its cargo hold which has a volume of 1,300 cubic meters (6.4 meters wide, 4.4 meters high and 43.3 meters long).

The entire first flight of the Wright brothers’ “Flyer” could have been performed comfortably within the An-225’s cargo hold.

First Gen officials have confirmed that the aircraft has been hired for the delivery, but are tight-lipped on what exactly it will be delivering on its early morning flight. We’ll know by Tuesday morning.

Source: Daxim L. Lucas, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Dnata Expands To 75th Airport: Clark International Airport


Image

Dnata continues its international growth with the announcement it will commence airport handling operations at Clark International Airport, in the Philippines. The announcement marks the company’s 75th airport location, and its second location in the Philippines.

Dnata started providing airport handling for Emirates Airline’s daily service from Dubai to Clark International on Oct. 1, 2013. Clark International serves the Greater Manila area and the northern regions of Luzon. Last year the airport welcomed more than 700,000 passengers.

“Entering Clark International Airport is a milestone for dnata, growing our international footprint to 75 airports,” said Gary Chapman, dnata’s president. “The dnata team in the Philippines has a reputation for delivering industry-leading services to each of our customers. It is this reputation which fuels the expansion into Clark International.”

Operating in the Philippines since 1999, dnata’s team at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila handled more than 1.2 million passengers last year. To fulfil the terms of the new contract, dnata expects to hire an additional 30 individuals, growing dnata’s team in the Philippines to more than 250.

Source: DNATA

Cebu Pacific Air Boosts Cargo Services with Airbus A330 Flights


A330-300 CEBU MSN1420 TAKE OFF

The Philippines’ leading low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific Air (PSE:CEB) offers additional cargo services in time for the holiday season. It now accepts cargo on its Airbus A330 flights from Manila to Dubai, Seoul and Singapore and vice versa.

CEB recently launched direct daily flights between Manila and Dubai, after it took delivery of two brand-new Airbus A330 aircraft from Toulouse, France. It also utilizes the Airbus A330 aircraft on a daily service between Manila and Seoul, and one of four daily services between Manila and Singapore.

“We are proud to offer cargo services on our wide-body aircraft, to accommodate the influx of cargo being transported during the holiday season. Aside from Dubai, Incheon and Singapore, Cebu Pacific Air Cargo ships to the widest network in the Philippines and 19 more international destinations. It is a 24/7 airport-to-airport cargo operation, ensuring that cargo gets delivered quickly through our extensive route network,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.

CEB Cargo will also take delivery of additional Nordisk lightweight unit load devices in December 2013, for efficient and fuel-saving cargo storage in its Airbus A330 aircraft.

CEB Cargo currently serves more than 2,000 accounts, customizing cargo products based on the clients’ domestic and international cargo needs. Its services also include trans shipments through 15 interline global partners.

For cargo bookings on A330 flights, forwarders and shippers may call (02)851-9660. For domestic cargo bookings and concerns, call (02)802-7070 or visit the Manila Cargo office located along the Domestic Road, beside NAIA Terminal 4. For more information regarding cargo products and services, visit www.cebupacificaircargo.com.

CEB’s 47-strong fleet is comprised of 10 Airbus A319, 27 Airbus A320, 2 Airbus A330 and 8 ATR-72 500 aircraft. It is one of the most modern aircraft fleets in the world. Between 2013 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of 15 more brand-new Airbus A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and 4 Airbus A330 aircraft.

Iraq War Opens Door for $3-B Clark Project


Source: 

 

KGL

 

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.