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.


13 Airlines with the Best Looking Flight Crew (Migme, http://asia361.com/)

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)

Image Source: Emirates

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)

Image Source: Singapore Airlines

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)

Image Source: Etihad Airways

Excuse me, I need to get an oxygen mask, because you take my breath away.

4. Virgin Atlantic (England, UK)

Image Source: Virgin Atlantic

You don’t need Vivienne Westwood to design your uniforms when you are looking like that.

5. Qatar Airways (Qatar)

Image Source: Qatar Airways

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)

Image Source: China Eastern Airlines

If you didn’t know the Chinese word for elegance, now you do.

7. Lufthansa (Germany)

Image Source: Lufthansa

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)

Image Source: asia361.com, Kat Goh

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)

Image Source: Safi Airways

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)

Image Source: Asiana Airlines

Does an electronic boarding pass mean we get to see you sooner? Checking in online right now.

11. All Nippon Airways (Japan)

Image Source: ANA

Notice me, senpai!

12. Garuda Indonesia (Indonesia)

Image Source: Garuda 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)

Image Source: Cebu Pacific

Bright uniforms and an even brighter smile? You set our pre-flight jitters at ease.

Source: Migme, asia361.com

PAL to Maintain Code-Share Deal with Middle East Carriers

Source: Lenie Lectura, Business Mirror Online


PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) maintains its code-share deal with Middle East carriers despite having recently launched its return flight to Abu Dhabi.

PAL President Ramon Ang, in an interview, said the code-share arrangement with Etihad Airways, Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways stays. “Yes, we will continue. There will be no conflict. The market is big enough for everyone,” he said.

Code share is an aviation business term in which two or more airlines share the same flight. A seat can be purchased on one airline but is actually operated by another airline under a different flight code.

Etihad currently mounts two flights per day, or a total of 14 weekly flights, via a code-share agreement with PAL.

PAL, on October 1, flew to Abu Dhabi. It mounts five weekly flights.

Four other cities in three Gulf countries will be linked by PAL and its affiliate PAL Express to Manila before the year ends—Dubai and Doha in November, and Riyadh and Dammam in December.

“The return of PAL to the Middle East will not only offer Filipino workers the most direct link to the Philippines but also provide travelers convenient connections with PAL’s extensive international and domestic route network from our hub in Manila,” Ang said.

With PAL and Qatar Airways on code-share cooperation, Doha will be served by both airlines.

Meanwhile, PAL Express will operate its first long-haul flight to Dubai on November 6 via a code-share arrangement with Emirates. PAL Express will also use the new A330-300 on a five-times-a-week service to Dubai.

Etihad President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said PAL’s return to the Middle East will not affect the good relationship between the two airlines.

“The more entrants the better, because it stimulates activity. It may take away some share but it will be good for the people because they will be aware that Abu Dhabi is a transfer point. It’s just a matter of lining up the flights,” he said in an earlier interview.

Besides, Etihad is looking to add more flights between Manila and Abu Dhabi to service the growing demand for travel.

From twice daily, Etihad wants to mount three daily flights. “Obviously, the Philippines is a very strong market. At some point in time, we would like it to become thrice daily,” Hogan added.

Emirates Philippines Country Manager Gigi Baroa, likewise, said the code-share deal with PAL remains unchanged for now. “It is still in place, that’s what I can say,” she replied, when asked if there are negotiations to extend or discontinue the deal.

An industry source said, though, that some of PAL’s code-share contracts “is good until end of November.” PAL officials declined to comment on this.

Emirates Touches Down at Clark

Source: Janice Ponce de Leon, Staff Reporter (gulfnews.com)


Clark: Emirates airline on Tuesday touched down at Clark International Airport, marking the start of its daily non-stop flights between Dubai and Clark, Pampanga.

Clark, a city 80 kilometres north of Metro Manila, is Emirates’ 135th destination around the world and its second gateway to the Philippines.

Emirates has been serving the Philippines in Manila since 1990 and has since increased its flight frequency to three times a day, non-stop. The opening of a new flight route in Clark will provide more flight options and convenience to people living in the northern part of the country, Luzon.

“A big number of people are living in this area. It is difficult for them and takes them hours, for some maybe more than two hours, to reach Manila. With Emirates here, they can choose this airport and fly with us to Dubai and beyond Dubai,” Mohammad Mattar, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice-President Airport Services, told Gulf News.

An estimated two million Filipino expatriates around the world come from Clark. The airport’s strategic location also offers a catchment population of 17 million passengers in the area.

“Both countries, both people—be it in leisure, business, tourism, they will benefit because they have more choices now,” Mattar added.

The opening of the new flights to local and foreign carriers is also part of the open skies policy of Philippine government. Clark International Airport is poised to complete its expansion project of the current terminal by December this year, to increase capacity to up to five million passengers.

“The presence of Emirates here [signals] to us that you have seen our sincerity and our promise as a nation and it signals to the world that without doubt, the Philippines has begun to take flight as a nation determined to make permanent positive transformation it enjoys today,” President Benigno Aquino III said in a speech read by Joseph Abaya, Secretary of Department of Transportation and Communication.

Emirates’ non-stop service is not only expected to bolster passenger traffic between two destinations. It is also projected to boost cargo transfers in the region..

“Traditionally, cargo from the north goes all the way to Manila. So we want to provide an alternative gateway. They could straightaway bring it here and reduce the total transportation time for cargo from four days to three days,” Ravishankar Mirle, Vice-President of Emirates’ Cargo Commercial Operations-Asia and Australasia, told Gulf News.

With the new daily flights, Emirates SkyCargo will be able to provide 160 tons of additional cargo capacity per week to further support Philippine exports of perishable goods.

Currently, Emirates uses a Boeing 777 with passenger capacity of more than 200 people. Emirates flight EK338 departs Dubai International Airport at 4am while the return flight EK339 leaves Clark at 6.35pm. The trip takes roughly eight hours, 40 minutes.

Clark International Airport Prepares for Long-Haul Flights

Source: Reynaldo G. Navales, Sun Star Pampanga


CLARK FREEPORT — The Clark International Airport is preparing for the long-haul flights of Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways next month.


This came despite the temporary suspension of Air Asia Philippines’ local and international flights, according to Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) president Victor Jose Luciano.


“The expansion of the passenger terminal is to accommodate the coming of the long-haul flights from the Middle East, the wide-body planes of Emirates and Qatar, and Clark is being readied for the coming of more of these long-haul flights,” Luciano said.


Emirates Airlines will start its non-stop daily flights (Dubai-Clark-Dubai) on October 1. Qatar Airways will also launch daily flight (Doha-Clark-Doha) on October 28. Emirates will utilize a Boeing 777 aircraft with a capacity of 438 passengers while Qatar will use a Boeing 330-300 aircraft with a capacity of 308 passengers.


Air Asia Philippines on Thursday announced the temporary suspension of local flights to Davao and Kalibo starting on October 8, and international flights to Hong Kong and Taipei on November 6. Hong Kong flights will resume on December in time for the Christmas Season.


He stressed that the suspension of local and international flights by Air Asia Philippines is only temporary saying that “they will resume operations this coming December.” “Clark acknowledges the challenges confronting Air Asia Philippines, made more daunting with the acquisition of Zest Air while the latter is in the midst of hurdling regulatory issues,” he said.


“Clark will continue to give fullest support to its airlines, and will give all the encouragement to Air Asia to increase flights out of Clark. Clark believes in the capability of the management of Air Asia, not only to overcome its present difficulties but even grow the airline soon,” Luciano added.


CIAC is also preparing for the expansion of the P360 million passenger terminal, which is currently being constructed. The facility is expected to accommodate 5 million passengers annually once completed.


The Airline Operators Council (AOC) recently declared full support in the government plan of a “Dual Airport” — the development Clark International Airport and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). The AOC cited the potential of Clark Airport as the next premier gateway of the Philippines.


AOC Chairman Florante Isidro said that Clark Airport will play a major role in the development of the aviation industry in the country. AOC represents various local and foreign airlines.


Clark Airport is hosts to various airlines including Cebu Pacific Air, Tiger Air Philippines, Asiana Airlines of South Korea, Dragonair of Cathay Pacific, Jin Air of Korea and Air Asia Berhad of Malaysia. The airlines are operating international and local flights at Clark Airport.