On 14 September 2015, Air India announced that they will ground 125 cabin crew if they fail to lose weight and reach the required Body Mass Index (BMI) range. According to TIME magazine, the airline claims that this is due to safety concerns, as they want to ensure the crew are fit enough to handle emergency situations. Male crew have to have a BMI of 18-25, while females are required to meet the range of 18-22.
This follows the 2014 guidelines from the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation which states that overweight cabin crew have three months to lose weight or be declared unfit for duties for six months.
A user @susmitsenn on migme, a social entertainment platform, was happy that the “fat aunties will finally be out and make way for sexier air hostesses”, however he was shocked they would be sacked for being ‘fat’.
While Air India shapes up to meet safety standards, migme has put together a list of airlines with flight crew that are very fit— you know what we mean.
1. Emirates Airlines (Dubai, UAE)
Even though our list is not in order of merit, Emirates deserves to be mentioned first. They received unanimous votes in our casual poll in the migme office.
2. Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
Their tagline “Singapore Girl, you’re a great way to fly”, while being somewhat sexist, is not entirely wrong as the airline prides itself on high service standards.
3. Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
Excuse me, I need to get an oxygen mask, because you take my breath away.
4. Virgin Atlantic (England, UK)
You don’t need Vivienne Westwood to design your uniforms when you are looking like that.
5. Qatar Airways (Qatar)
If there’s anything we’ve learnt from this list, it’s that the Middle Eastern airlines have a bunch of pretty good-looking crew.
6. China Eastern Airlines (China)
If you didn’t know the Chinese word for elegance, now you do.
7. Lufthansa (Germany)
Hi Marc, we want a selfie too! Yes, that is his real name. Don’t ask us how we know. *shifty*
8. EVA Air (Taiwan)
As if the Hello Kitty Jet isn’t cute enough, the crew members are all pretty darn cute too.
9. Safi Airways (Dubai-based, Afghan-owned)
Forgive me if I keep asking for assistance on the plane. I don’t really need water, I just want to look at your face.
10. Asiana Airlines (South Korea)
Does an electronic boarding pass mean we get to see you sooner? Checking in online right now.
11. All Nippon Airways (Japan)
Notice me, senpai!
12. Garuda Indonesia (Indonesia)
You’ve learnt a Chinese word already, so now we will teach you the Bahasa Indonesia word to describe the crew – ‘cantik‘. That means beautiful.
13. Cebu Pacific Air (The Philippines)
Bright uniforms and an even brighter smile? You set our pre-flight jitters at ease.
Source: Migme, asia361.com
The partnership will also link the carriers’ frequent flyer programs. The codeshare will include flights between Japan and the Philippines, as well as domestic routes at either end.
The partners will offer a combined 74 flights a week between the two countries, with the greater share operated by PAL. The Philippine carrier has flights from Manila to Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, and both Tokyo airports, as well as a route from Cebu to Tokyo Narita Airport. ANA flies to Manila from both Haneda and Narita. Cebu Pacific Air and Japan Airlines also compete on Japan-Philippines routes.
Included in the codeshare are 19 of ANA’s domestic routes and 10 routes within the Philippines operated by PAL.
ANA has confirmed it will not be investing in PAL as part of the deal. The Japanese carrier had been discussing the possibility of a strategic investment in PAL last year, according to PAL executives, but the talks ended without result.
The two airlines decided a codeshare partnership was the best option after the investment talks finished. They have reportedly been discussing such an alliance for months. The codeshare was signed by a new PAL management team that took over following business magnate Lucio Tan’s purchase of a larger stake in the carrier in mid-September.
Separately, PAL confirmed it will launch one-stop service from Manila to New York JFK beginning in March 2015. The carrier had previously signaled the introduction of this flight, but it was one of the planned routes that was placed under review by the new management team.
The New York flight will operate 4X-weekly with Airbus A340-300s, stopping in Vancouver. It will be PAL’s fifth US destination, joining Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Guam.
After FAA restored the Philippines to a category 1 safety rating in April, PAL executives immediately revealed their intention to expand in the US market.
Five international airlines, including Philippine Airlines, must face a class-action lawsuit from passengers accusing them of fixing the prices of tickets on trans-Pacific flights, a U.S. judge has ruled.
But in doing so, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco on Tuesday narrowed the suit somewhat, ruling that certain fares to the Philippines and Japan are exempt from price-fixing claims under federal law.
Christopher Lebsock, an attorney for the proposed class of passengers, said most passengers’ claims would not be affected by the ruling.
Attorneys for the airlines – Air New Zealand Ltd, Philippine Airlines Inc, Japan’s All Nippon Airways Co Ltd and Taiwan’s China Airlines Ltd and EVA Airways Corp – could not immediately be reached for comment.
The first class-action suits over alleged price-fixing of trans-Pacific fares were filed in 2007, and multiple cases were consolidated in a multi-district litigation in San Francisco in 2008. The plaintiffs claimed that airlines used alliances, trade associations and other means to fix prices.
The suit originally named 13 airlines, but eight of those have settled for a total of $39.5 million, according to Lebsock.
The remaining five airlines asked the judge to toss the case, arguing that all the passengers’ claims were pre-empted by federal regulation, which requires airlines to file certain international fares with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Breyer ruled that claims over fares that were not filed with the DOT, as well as claims over fuel surcharges, can go forward. He dismissed only claims over fares that were filed with the DOT.
The International Air Transportation Competition Act of 1979 treats countries differently depending on their trade agreements with the United States. As a result, fares to New Zealand and Taiwan are not filed with the DOT, while only non-discounted, one-way economy class fares to the Philippines are filed, according to court documents. Certain fares to Japan were filed until a change in the law 2012.
The case is In re: Transpacific Passenger Air Transportation Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, MDL 08-1913.
Source: Brendan Pierson, Reuters
World’s Top 10 Airlines
1. Cathay Pacific Airways
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
5. Turkish Airlines
6. ANA All Nippon Airways
7. Garuda Indonesia
8. Asiana Airlines
9. Etihad Airways
Best Inflight Entertainment
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Turkish Airlines
5. Cathay Pacific Airways
6. Virgin Atlantic
7. Qatar Airways
8. Air New Zealand
9. Virgin Australia
10. Etihad Airways
Best Cabin Crew
1. Garuda Indonesia
2. Cathay Pacific
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Asiana Airlines
5. Malaysia Airlines
6. Qatar Airways
7. EVA Air
8. ANA All Nippon Airways
9. Thai Airways
10. Hainan Airlines
Best Low Cost Carrier
2. Jetstar Airways
3. Virgin America
4. AirAsia X
7. Jetstar Asia
10. Azul Airlines
ANA: Not Planning To Invest In PAL
Attracting an investor from the airline sector has so far proven challenging. All Nippon Airways (ANA) emerged as a potential suitor in 2013 as part of the Japanese carrier’s initiative to invest in foreign airlines with focus on Southeast Asian market.
But ANA has since ruled out an investment in PAL. ANA also has decided not to complete a planned investment in small Myanmar carrier Asian Wings, which when announced in Aug-2013 was seen as a toe in the water with the idea it would be followed by larger investments in Southeast Asian airline sector.
ANA’s rival Japan Airlines also has been ruled out as a potential investor in PAL. Japan was a logical place for PAL to turn as Japan is PAL’s largest market accounting for about 22% of the carrier’s international seat capacity.
PAL currently operates 63 weekly flights to five Japanese destinations (Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo-Haneda and Tokyo-Narita), according to OAG data. But synergies with Japanese carriers are relatively limited. ANA and JAL are strong competitors in the Philippines-US market.
PAL is now planning to expand its US operation, which is made possible by Philippine authorities securing a Category 1 rating from the US FAA earlier this year. As PAL expands in North America it will try to woo away passengers that have been flying via North Asian hubs including Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Taipei, thus increasing the competitive posture towards airlines from those countries.
Japan is an important and growing source market for the Philippines tourism sector. But Philippines-Japan is primarily a leisure point to point market and seemingly is not of sufficient importance to Japanese carriers to justify an investment. There are also limited opportunities to offer Japanese passengers connections beyond Manila.
Securing Investment from Korean Carriers Would Be Challenging
South Korea is also an important and growing source market for Philippine tourism sector. South Korea is PAL’s second largest market based on current seat capacity and is served with 46 weekly flights across five routes (Seoul to Cebu, Kalibo and Manila and Busan to Kalibo and Manila).
Asiana is the second largest foreign carrier in Philippine market based on seat capacity and currently has 39 weekly flights to the Philippines while KAL is the fourth largest and has 23 weekly flights. It is similarly hard to build a business case for a Korean carrier to invest in PAL.
As is the case with Japanese carriers, potential opportunities for Korean carriers to use Manila as a transit hub for other regions of Asia are limited. San Miguel has talked up building Manila into a transit hub. PAL is generally not well positioned for this type of traffic and will need to compromise yields to attract passengers in markets such as Australia-London and Singapore-North America.
And potential North Asian partners would be impacted if PAL were to pursue this type of traffic aggressively. While an investment seems unlikely PAL could still use partners in Korea and Japan. A Korean and/or Japanese partner would help with local point of sales and connections to secondary cities in Japan.
A Japanese or Korean carrier could also potentially help provide offline coverage to smaller North American markets which PAL does not intend to cover on its own.
Cathay Pacific Codeshare Or Relationship With A Chinese Carrier Is Unlikely
Currently PAL has codeshare with only two North Asians carriers, Air Macau and Cathay Pacific. But both partnerships are limited. The Air Macau codeshare is limited to the MNL-Macau route, which is currently served only by PAL (as well as Cebu Pacific).
The Cathay codeshare is limited to the CEB-HKG route, which is only served by Cathay (as well as Cebu Pacific). The Cathay partnership excludes the much larger and more competitive MNL-HKG route or any destinations beyond Hongkong.
The Cathay-PAL partnership is unlikely to be extended as Cathay competes with PAL in several key PAL markets including Philippines-North America, Philippines-Middle East and Philippines-North Asia. Cathay is now the largest foreign carrier in the Philippines with 43 weekly flights and 12,000 one-way seats.
Cathay regional subsidiary Dragonair also operates nine weekly flights to the Philippines, giving the Cathay group about 25,000 weekly seats and over 5% of capacity in Philippine international market. A partnership with a mainland Chinese carrier would be more appealing as PAL only now serves four destinations in mainland China with a combined 22 weekly return flights.
But a strong partnership or investment from a Chinese carrier may be made less likely in view of the tense state of relations between China and the Philippines. A partnership with a Taiwanese carrier would be more conceivable but again would likely be relatively limited.
Taiwan is a much smaller local market for the Philippines than Hong Kong, Korea or Japan. PAL has only 11 weekly frequencies to Taiwan while China Airlines and EVA Air serve the Philippines with 20 weekly flights and seven weekly flights respectively. The close proximity of Taipei and Manila mean the two hubs compete for traffic and are not synergistic.
Singapore Airlines: Not A Likely Suitor for PAL
The MAS codeshare initially provided PAL with offline access to Kuala Lumpur and has been maintained since PAL resumed services to Kuala Lumpur in early 2013. None of these airlines are in position to invest in PAL or any other foreign carrier.
A partnership with Singapore Airlines (SIA) would be more intriguing as Singapore is by far the largest Southeast Asian market from the Philippines. There are currently over 60,000 weekly seats between Singapore and the Philippines, making it the Philippines largest market after South Korea. But there would be limited synergies for SIA.
PAL is not believed to be on SIA’s list of potential acquisition targets.
PAL Forges A New Partnership With Etihad
In recent years most of PAL’s codeshare partners have been from the Mideast. PAL currently codeshares with Emirates and Gulf Air, according to OAG data. But PAL also previously codeshared with Etihad and Qatar Airways.
Most of its codeshares with Gulf carriers were forged during a period when PAL did not operate any services to the Middle East. In some cases Philippine authorities allowed PAL to have its codeshare partners use PAL traffic rights to Middle East countries, which enabled Gulf carriers to continue expanding in Manila after their own traffic rights were exhausted.
Cebu Pacific launched Dubai and is planning to launch Kuwait in Sep-2014. (Cebu Pacific also has been looking to serve Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar.) PAL forged a partnership agreement with Etihad in late Apr-2014 that builds on the original codeshare between two carriers.
The two carriers announced on 9-Jul-2014 that the new partnership will initially cover the Manila-Abu Dhabi route, which Etihad and PAL both operate. For now the only extension announced beyond the parallel routing is to be on PAL/PAL Express services to 20 Philippine destinations, including holiday destinations such as Cebu, Palawan and Kalibo (a gateway to Boracay Island).
Etihad has said it has no intention of acquiring a stake in PAL. While an investment is always a future possibility for any carrier Etihad partners with, PAL has a better chance of finding a suitor within Asia – although even there it faces an uphill battle to secure an investment.
PAL recognizes the need to work with a Gulf carrier to support its effort to build a more global network. PAL currently does not codeshare with any European carrier. The new Etihad partnership could potentially be extended to destinations beyond Abu Dhabi in continental Europe and Africa as well as secondary destinations in the Mideast.
Much of the foundation for Philippine services to the Mideast is in carrying migrant worker traffic, but Gulf countries in particular have shown increasing interest in holidaying in friendly countries outside the region.
PAL has been looking at launching several potential destinations in continental Europe including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Rome. One or two European destinations may still be added over the medium term but following the Category 1 upgrade by the US FAA it is more likely to focus on expanding in the US market.
As PAL’s only current European destination is London, which is not generally considered a convenient hub for Asia to Europe connections, using Etihad and the Abu Dhabi hub to cover the rest of Europe would be a sensible move.
PAL Expands In US But Lacks A US Partner
PAL plans to shift its remaining San Francisco 747-400 flights to the 777-300ER at the beginning of Sep-2014. This will allow PAL to finally retire its 747-400s after an initial plan to retire the fleet in May-2014 had to be postponed.
Moving the 777-300ERs to the US market improves PAL’s product and efficiency but comes with a catch as PAL has to transition its Vancouver and Toronto services from 777-300ERs to A340s to free up 777s for the US market. PAL currently serves LAX with 11 weekly frequencies, SFO with seven weekly frequencies, GUM with five weekly frequencies and HNL with three weekly frequencies. Vancouver is served with seven weekly frequencies, three of which continue onto Toronto.
PAL has been looking at launching new destinations in the US in late 2014 or 2015. Chicago and New York are the most likely candidates. PAL is also planning to increase GUM and HNL to daily services from late Oct-2014. PAL uses A320s to GUM and A340s to HNL.
The increases in these markets come ahead of Cebu Pacific’s planned launch of services to the US, which is also made possible by the Philippines regaining a Category 1 ranking. Cebu Pacific aims to launch Guam by the end of 2014 using its A320 fleet and begin serving Hawaii in 2015 using its A330-300s. Category 1 also enables Philippine carriers to codeshare with US carriers.
A codeshare partnership with a US carrier would improve PAL’s position in the US market as PAL would gain offline access to domestic destinations. But PAL could find it challenging to attract a US major and may have to settle for a codeshare or interline with a smaller carriers such as Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and Virgin America. Partnering with a top European carrier may also be challenging although this may not be as critical if its able to expand its new partnership with Etihad.
In addition to potentially providing offline access to Europe via Abu Dhabi, the Etihad partnership could lead to partnerships with European carriers that are part of the Etihad equity alliance such as Alitalia and airberlin.
Australia: Philippine Airlines vs. Cebu Pacific
PAL would also find partnership with an Australian carrier valuable, although options are few.
PAL is pursuing significant expansion in Australia. PAL currently operates four weekly A340 flights to Sydney, three weekly A340 flights to Melbourne and three A320 flights to Darwin, with continuing service to Brisbane.
PAL plans to upgrade Sydney to daily in late Oct-2014. At about the same time PAL reportedly is intending to upgrade Melbourne to daily and begin non-stop flights to Brisbane and Perth. PAL briefly served Perth in 2013 with four weekly flights via Darwin but quickly dropped the route while maintaining Manila-Darwin-Brisbane.
The Australia expansion comes just as Cebu Pacific enters the Philippines-Australia market. Cebu Pacific plans to initially operate four weekly flights to Sydney from Sep-2014 and is looking at adding Melbourne in 2015. While Cebu Pacific should stimulate new demand, overcapacity is likely if PAL implements its plan to double capacity to Australia.
Overcapacity is also likely in the Hawaii and Guam markets as both PAL and Cebu Pacific expand. Overcapacity has already resulted in the Philippines-UAE market after both PAL and Cebu Pacific entered the market in 2H2014. Both carriers have also been pursuing significant expansion to Japan.
The prospect of overcapacity and irrational competition results in a relatively gloomy short to medium term outlook for the Philippine international market. The inevitable discounting has the potential to stimulate new business but there is no indication just how the market would respond to lower prices.
Source: http://centreforaviation.com/, Centre for Aviation
MANILA—The president of Philippine Airlines Inc. says a foreign airline is poised to acquire a stake in the Philippine flag carrier, as majority-owner LT Group continues its exit from aviation.
Philippine Airlines President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang declined to identify the foreign airline or say whether it would buy all or part of LT Group’s 51% share. Mr. Ang, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, said the deal would be completed by the end of the year.
“A foreign company is about to come in and buy a stake,” Mr. Ang said.
Mr. Ang is also president of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. SMC.PH +0.12% San Miguel Corp. Philippines: Manilla PHP82.55 +0.10 +0.12% July 8, 2014 10:52 am Volume (Delayed 15m) : 51,520 P/E Ratio 6.58 Market Cap PHP276.28 Billion Dividend Yield 1.70% Rev. per Employee PHP42,238,200 07/07/14 Philippine Airlines Says Forei… 07/04/14 San Miguel Looks to Buy Region… 05/12/14 Emperador Says Whyte & Mackay … More quote details and news » , which owns 49% of Philippine Airlines. LT Group didn’t respond to requests for comment.
The Philippine government expects the number foreign visitors to the country will rise to 10 million by 2016; last year, the figure was 4.7 million. Philippine Airlines also stands to benefit from growth in the Philippine economy, as increasing numbers of Filipinos travel.
Manila also has untapped potential as a regional layover hub for long-distance flights, which Mr. Ang said would also drive passenger growth.
San Miguel paid $500 million for its share of Philippine Airlines in 2012 from LT Group, which was the sole owner. At the time, the conglomerate, which is owned by Lucio C. Tan, signaled that it intended to exit the aviation sector and focus on its other businesses, including tobacco, liquor, banking and real estate.
As part of the deal, LT Group ceded management control of the airline to San Miguel. Mr. Tan remains the airline’s chief executive and chairman. Mr. Ang declined to say whether San Miguel would retain operational control if the new partner were to buy the full LT Group holding.
Mr. Ang said the new partner is capable of expanding the airline’s network.
Japan’s All Nippon Airways has repeatedly been linked with Philippine Airlines over the last two years as it seeks to expand overseas. ANA General Manager Hideaki Izumi confirmed to reporters in March that discussions about a tie-up with Philippine Airlines were taking place.
ANA declined to comment Monday on whether it was buying LT Group’s stake in Philippine Airlines.
Since assuming control of Philippine Airlines, San Miguel has overseen an upgrade of the carrier’s fleet, added new long-haul routes to Europe and the U.S., and reduced losses.
Mr. Ang said all of the airline’s long-haul routes, with the exception of recently added flights to London, are now profitable.
The airline started turning a profit in April, Mr. Ang told an annual shareholders’ meeting in June. Last month, the company said it would cut service between Manila and the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka.
Meanwhile, San Miguel is pushing for the construction of a new airport in Manila. The Philippine capital’s existing airport is stretched far beyond its intended capacity. In May, Mr. Ang unveiled a $10 billion proposal for a new four-runway facility that would be built, in part, on land that would be reclaimed from Manila Bay.
Source: Trefor Moss and Cris Larano, www.online.wsj.com
Philippine Airlines (PAL) will cut services to Japan over the next few weeks, despite a recent boost to schedules between the two countries.
Fights to Osaka’s Kansai International will be reduced from the current twice-daily to daily, despite the recent March introduction of the second schedule. Likewise, PAL is scaling back flights to Tokyo Haneda from 2X-daily to daily, after introducing the increased twice-daily schedule in March. Its existing schedules to Nagoya and Fukuoka remain unchanged.
Japan-Philippine routes have seen intense competition and lower load since a new bilateral air services agreement came into force at the end of March, aimed at boosting tourism trade between the two countries.
Both Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific and Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) are ramping up flight schedules to the Japanese mainland, with ANA operating new Boeing 787-8s in addition to its existing daily 767 service.
Cebu has launched seats on services between Manila International and Tokyo Narita in addition to a daily service to Osaka using new Airbus A320s with a $57 introductory fare.
This withdrawal opens the possibility of ANA taking up PAL’s vacant slots at the Tokyo airport, as it has recently stated it wants to transfer its prime operations completely to slot-poor Haneda. “We need more slots; Haneda is very important to us,” ANA president and CEO Osamo Shinobe recently told ATW.
MANILA, Philippines – Five foreign airlines are scheduled to transfer their operations to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 3 (NAIA3) in August upon the completion of the ongoing P1.9 billion retrofitting and rehabilitation project, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said.
DOTC undersecretary Jose Perpetuo Lotilla said foreign airlines expected to move to NAIA3 in August include Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, KLM, and Delta Airlines.
With the transfer of five foreign airlines, he said the number of foreign airlines operating in NAIA3 would increase to six as All Nippon Airways (ANA) is already operating in the terminal.
“They (airlines) have to do a lot of things such as construction of lounges and offices. I think they will transfer around August,” he stressed.
Lotilla revealed that the P1.9 billion rehabilitation of NAIA3 being undertaken by the Takenaka Corp. of Japan is already 62 percent complete.
He pointed out that the project is expected to be completed in July ahead of the August schedule.
The rehabilitation works at NAIA3 include baggage handling, flight information displays, computer terminals, gate coordination, and fire protection systems, among others to allow a faster and more pleasant experience for passengers flying in and out of Manila.
The objective of the rehabilitation of both NAIA1 and NAIA3 is to bring NAIA1 back to its design capacity of around four to 4.5 million from the current eight million.
“We will be reducing the number of users of NAIA1 from the present eight million so it will now be back to its rated capacity of 4.5 million,” Lotilla said.
He added that the P1.3 billion rehabilitation of NAIA1 being undertaken by construction giant DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI) is expected to be completed as scheduled in January next year in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
Based on latest data from the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the number of domestic and international passengers increased 3.1 percent to 32.865 million last year from 31.877 million in 2012.
The number of arriving and departing domestic passengers at NAIA slipped slightly to 17.689 million from 17.738 million due to several flight cancellations due to weather disturbances led by Super Typhoon Yolanda that battered provinces in the Visayas last Nov. 8.
On the other hand, international passenger traffic reached 15.176 million last year or 7.3 percent higher compared to 14.14 million in 2012 as the number of international flights increased 9.9 percent to 87,629 from 79,685.
Wall St. Cheat Sheet, a United States financial media company, has ranked NAIA eighth among the 10 Worst Airports in the World, citing overcapacity issues in terminals 1 and 3.
According to the report posted online, the 10 worst airports are known for their “smelly bathrooms, long lines and rude staff.” It described NAIA’s terminals 1 and 3 as “particularly crammed.”
The DOTC is looking at putting into operation a new international airport by 2027 with the joint development of NAIA in Manila and the Clark International Airport in Pampanga as a study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that the number of passengers in Greater Capital Region would hit 106.7 million by 2040 from 31.88 million in 2012.
Source: Lawrence Agcaoili