Airline of the Year 2016


Airlineratings.com Airline of the Year Awards:

Airline of the Year: Air New Zealand

Best Business Class: Singapore Airlines

Best Economy: Air New Zealand

Best First Class: Etihad Airways

Best Low Fare Carrier (Asia/Pacific): Scoot

Best New World Carrier: Virgin Australia

Best Premium Economy: Air New Zealand

Inflight Entertainment Award: Singapore Airlines

Long Haul (Asia/Pacific): Cathay Pacific

Regional Airline Award: Silk Air

 

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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)

lufthansa
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)

Asia361-9461
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)

safiairways
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)

asianaairlines
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)

ANA
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

2015 Skytrax World Airline Awards: Airline of the Year Is…


Airline of the Year:

1. Qatar Airways

2. Singapore Airlines

3. Cathay Pacific

4. Turkish Airlines

5. Emirates

6. Etihad Aiways

7. All Nippon Airways (ANA)

8. Garuda Indonesia

9. EVA Air (Taiwan)

10. Qantas

Singapore Airlines, The Official Carrier of Philippine Team to SEA Games


Image Source: Yasutaka,S.

Singapore Airlines (SQ) – and not flag-carrier Philippine Airlines – will be the official airline of Team Philippines to the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia said yesterday that Singapore Airlines came up with many perks on luggage allowance and a measly quotation of $283 for a Manila-Singapore-Manila roundtrip airfare.

Garcia said SQ got the nod after PR presented a $300 offer for the same route.

“Not only did SQ come up with a lower rate but it also offered about 20 upgrades and a generous luggage allowance, something that will benefit us and the athletes since they carry a lot of gear,” said Garcia.

SQ’s decision to lower its rates and become official airliner of the 451-strong delegation to the Singapore SEAG scheduled June 5 to 16 can also be attributed to its celebration of 50 years of independence, said Garcia.

World’s Safest Airlines for 2015


AirlineRatings.com identified the top 10 safest airlines (legacy) in the world, in alphabetical order:

AIR NEW ZEALAND https://i2.wp.com/bestawards.co.nz/media/uploads/2012_7/Air_NZ_Black_Plane_Environmental_Graphics_2_1.jpg

BRITISH AIRWAYShttps://i2.wp.com/cms.travelstart.com/uploads/image/asset/1682/British_Airways_757.jpg

CATHAY PACIFIC https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/ff/Cathay_Pacific_Boeing_777-300_Pichugin-1.jpg

EMIRATEShttps://i1.wp.com/cache.pakistantoday.com.pk/emirates_9.jpg

ETIHAD

EVA AIRhttps://i2.wp.com/freeware.aerosoft.com/forum/screenshots/monthly_09_2012/6a7717b07a6fc3292a43b6261a09de88-a320_cfm_eva_air_b-25569-1.jpg

FINNAIR https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Finnair_B757-200_OH-LBS_at_CYYZ_20110605.jpg

LUFTHANSA https://i2.wp.com/www.insidesocal.com/aviation/files/2013/06/lufthansa-747-8.jpg

QANTAS https://i1.wp.com/australianaviation.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/AIRBUS-A330-200-QANTAS-SYD-SEP12-RF-IMG_6414.jpg

SINGAPORE AIRLINES

World Airline Awards 2014: World’s Top 10 Airlines


World's best airlines for 2014
World’s best airlines for 2014

World’s Top 10 Airlines 

1. Cathay Pacific Airways

2. Qatar Airways

3. Singapore Airlines

4. Emirates

5. Turkish Airlines

6. ANA All Nippon Airways

7. Garuda Indonesia

8. Asiana Airlines

9. Etihad Airways

10. Lufthansa

emirates

Best Inflight Entertainment

1. Emirates

2. Singapore Airlines

3. Turkish Airlines

4. Qantas

5. Cathay Pacific Airways

6. Virgin Atlantic

7. Qatar Airways

8. Air New Zealand

9. Virgin Australia

10. Etihad Airways

Garuda-Indonesia

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

AAsia

Best Low Cost Carrier

1. AirAsia

2. Jetstar Airways

3. Virgin America

4. AirAsia X

5. Indigo

6. Norwegian

7. Jetstar Asia

8. easyJet

9. WestJet

10. Azul Airlines

Souce: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/traveller-tips/worlds-best-airline-named-at-2014-skytrax-awards-20140716-3c0a2.html#ixzz38p1MQQzk

CAPA: Philippine Airlines Seeks A Strategic Investor As International Expansion Continues


philippine-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 (FukuokaNagoya, 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 KongSeoul 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).

Korean Air and Asiana each have large presences in Philippine market, supported by strong inbound demand from Korea as well as sixth freedom traffic, particularly to North America.

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

PAL’s codeshare partnerships in Southeast Asia are also relatively limited. Currently PAL has codeshares with Garuda IndonesiaMalaysia Airlines (MAS) and Vietnam Airlines.

Garuda and Vietnam Airlines currently do not serve Manila although Garuda is planning to enter the Jakarta-Manila route by the end of 2014.

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.

PAL and other Philippine carriers have since taken back most of these traffic rights. In 2H2014 PAL launched Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Dammam and Riyadh services (Dubai is served by PAL Express).

Cebu Pacific launched Dubai and is planning to launch Kuwait in Sep-2014. (Cebu Pacific also has been looking to serve Saudi ArabiaOman 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 AmsterdamFrankfurt, 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

In US, PAL currently serves Los AngelesSan FranciscoHonolulu and Guam. Restoration of Category 1 status has allowed PAL to shift all its LAX and some  its SFO flights to the 777-300ER.

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 AirlinesJetBlue 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

Singapore Airlines B777 & Malaysian Airlines B737 Damaged in Manila Due to Typhoon Glenda


A Singapore Airlines jetliner was unlatched from its jet bridge (seen at right) at Bay 6 of the NAIA Terminal 1 on Wednesday as Typhoon Glenda barreled through Metro Manila. No one was hurt in the incident. (Ariel Fernandez)
A Singapore Airlines jetliner was unlatched from its jet bridge (seen at right) at Bay 6 of the NAIA Terminal 1 on Wednesday as Typhoon Glenda barreled through Metro Manila. No one was hurt in the incident. (Ariel Fernandez)
Two foreign airliners parked at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport were damaged by Typhoon Glenda as the powerful storm barreled across Metro Manila and nearby provinces Wednesday.
In an e-mailed statement, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines revealed that strong winds damaged a Singapore Airlines Boeing B777-200 and Malaysian Airlines Boeing B737-800.
The Singapore Airlines plane damaged its left wing after hitting an air bridge in Terminal 1, while the Malaysian Airlines plane impaired its fuselage after turning 45 degrees and hitting a service stairs, the statement read.
CAAP assigned investigators Judy Armenio and Marivic Apao to determine exactly what happened.
The agency also noted that Typhoon Glenda caused “limited structural damage at the airport facilities.” It did not elaborate.
Meanwhile, NAIA has resumed operations around 10:40 a.m. Authorities shutdown the main gateway earlier Wednesday as the typhoon barreled through Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The first flight to land at NAIA after the runway operations resumed was an Eva Air at 11:13 am, CAAP noted.
Glenda, the strongest typhoon to hit the country so far this year, barrelled through the Bicol Region, the Southern Tagalog Region, Metro Manila, and Central Luzon.
As of this posting, the typhoon has weakened, packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 170 kph. It was spotted 87 km west of Olongapo City.
Source: Rouchelle Dinglasan/VS, GMA News, http://www.gmanetwork.com/

‘With Move To NAIA 3, Fraport Case Can Be Settled’


MANILA, Philippines – Germany expressed hope yesterday that the transfer of five foreign airlines to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 3 would speed up the settlement of the legal dispute between the Philippine government and German airport operator Fraport AG.

NAIA Terminal 3
NAIA Terminal 3

“It’s a good window of opportunity… Once they do this step, it might also be a good idea to come to a settlement,” German Ambassador Thomas Ossowski told The STAR yesterday. “Everyone should now be interested to come to a settlement.”

Ossowski said bilateral economic and trade ties have improved and German investors like the reforms implemented by the Aquino administration to make the Philippines more business-friendly.

“We have moved a good way forward but more needs to be done,” he said.

Among the things that must be settled, he said, is the dispute with Fraport, which European officials have said has scared away investors.

“Fraport is like a lighthouse that others look at,” Ossowski said. “All the other investors see money which went down the drain.”

Airport general manager Jose Angel Honrado announced recently that Cathay Pacific, Delta Airlines, Emirates, KLM and Singapore Airlines planned to transfer operations to NAIA 3 by August as Terminal 1 undergoes repair.

Foreign carriers have reportedly resisted transferring operations to NAIA 3 for fear of becoming entangled in the unresolved dispute with Fraport.

With the planned transfer of the five major carriers, Ossowski said a settlement of the dispute with Fraport would be a good follow-up.

“If everyone acts with goodwill and determination, everything will reach a settlement that is acceptable to all sides,” he told The STAR. “Other investors will be encouraged to come.”

He expressed confidence that a legal settlement will be reached on the case that arose from the government’s termination of the contract awarded to Fraport and its Philippine partner Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco) amid allegations of corruption.

“We want to close that chapter,” Ossowski said. “It has cast a shadow on bilateral relations in the past and we want to overcome that.”

Source: philstar.com

SilkAir Launches Kalibo as 3rd Destination in PH


SilkAir, the regional arm of Singapore Airlines, launched its inaugural flight to Kalibo, the third destination for the airline in the Philippines, saying developing new routes is part of the business strategy.

Kalibo comes on the heels on Cebu and Davao and brings to 46 Silkair’s destinations in 12 countries.

The capital of Aklan province, Kalibo is popularly known as the gateway to Boracay Island, one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

“The launch of these direct flights to Kalibo highlights our commitment to the Philippine market,” said Leslie Thng, SilkAir chief executive.

“We’re excited to be connecting our customers to more destinations in the Philippines and are confident that they will be delighted with the ease in which they can now visit yet another unique destination in the region with SilkAir,” Thng added.

The airline operates its Singapore-Kalibo route three times a week – Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays – using Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft that houses business and economy class cabins. – VS, GMA News