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Who would be the next Skyteam member?

Who would be the next Skyteam member?

Old May 13, 2009, 1:05 am
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Has PAL express to join an alliance?

I too thought VN was going to join OW with all the comotion from JAL!
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Old May 13, 2009, 8:11 am
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PAL says that it doesn't want to apply; rather, they want to be invited to an alliance. I hope someone (KL, NW/DL, KE, VN, anyone) will extend to them that privilege. PR will make a good fit for SkyTeam over Oneworld, where their most likely role there will be to only feed passengers to HKG and NRT.
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Old May 13, 2009, 10:26 am
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Why would PAL make a good fit? What destinations would PAL add to SkyTeam's existing network, esp. after VN joins? I am just curious...
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Old May 13, 2009, 11:17 am
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The biggest benefit would be increased Australia coverage, since PAL is returning to BNE and expanding to AKL and PER in 2009-2010, in addition to existing service to SYD and MEL. Adding on to their network would also be non-stop flights to the U.S. and Canada from Southeast Asia (VN has none, and Vietnamese people are said to use PR to fly to the U.S. and Canada), an additional frequency for MNL-NRT, CEB-NRT and onward U.S. service on either NW/DL or KE (CEB-NRT-U.S. on NW was rumored in the Philippines for a while, but did not happen), additional flights to Southeast Asian destinations (35x to HKG, 28x to SIN, 14x to BKK to name a few), increased frequencies in GUM (and potentially SPN) to fill in CO's departure from SkyTeam, increased coverage in Japan and a solid domestic route network.

In addition, daily MNL-SGN is codeshared with VN but operated by PR.

Last edited by Akiestar; May 13, 2009 at 11:28 am
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Old May 13, 2009, 10:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Akiestar
PAL is returning to BNE and expanding to AKL and PER in 2009-2010
do you have a source for this ? I would be astonished to see this happen , I know that in another forum on another site a few months ago someone was pushing the case for direct AKL-MNL flights and after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing it turned out that there really wasn't much of a case , IIRC , even in the extremely unlikely event of the flights capturing 100% of the New Zealand-Phillipines market they would be lucky to fill 1-2 widebodies per week , and it is pretty unlikely that QF and CX , who I believe currently carry the bulk of traffic between the two countries would not offer some pretty competitive fares to keep their share of the market.
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Old May 14, 2009, 12:29 am
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I read it in a newspaper article a while back. MNL-AKL is a product of the recently-signed air services agreement between the Philippines and New Zealand. There are a lot of Filipinos there, so there is bound to be some demand.

Last edited by Akiestar; May 14, 2009 at 3:41 am
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Old May 14, 2009, 3:28 am
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Originally Posted by Akiestar
... increased frequencies in GUM (and potentially SPN) to fill in CO's departure from SkyTeam.
I, for one, would very much appreciate this. CO Micronesia will be a great loss to SkyTeam, IMO. But who will fill in for the island-hoppers?
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Old May 14, 2009, 3:38 am
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If I were to be fanciful and inventive at what PAL's future network would be like, I'd have it expand in the Pacific. I was hoping for it to return to POM and start service to NAN, ROR, PPT, SPN and APW as a more convenient means to connect the Pacific Islands with Europe and inner Asia, all of which will be connected to MNL.

Choosing an island-hopping airline though is not easy. I wanted to relegate this job to FJ, but their precarious financial situation is not too pleasing.

Last edited by Akiestar; May 14, 2009 at 3:48 am
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Old May 14, 2009, 4:03 am
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Your not suppose to wait for someone to ask you! I think the process goes, you express your intrest and then get back-up from the airlines in the alliance! (eg. Garuda + KE) Well VN was kinda promoted by JAL for OW but maybe was wooed by KE, CZ & AF? to join ST?

VN also plans to luanch BNE & PER & AKL (Pacific Expansion) with Europe including LHR & Prague and USA flights expected next year when they receive their 787's. While KE is also trying to expand it's Oceanic operations as well so the area is going to be well served.

Has PAL got any EU destinations of interest?
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Old May 14, 2009, 4:33 am
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Originally Posted by soorox
...Has PAL got any EU destinations of interest?
PAL does not fly to anywhere in Europe:

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Old May 14, 2009, 4:44 am
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Rumors have it that if it does return to Europe, PAL will restart services to FCO, FRA and LHR first. Maybe later on, they'll return as well to CDG, AMS, ATH, ZRH and MAD.

Moving on from Europe, PR is also being persuaded by the Philippine Department of Tourism to commence service to DEL. According to the DOT, PAL will begin serving MNL-DEL in June (though I'm not sure since no sale of tickets has taken place yet). PAL also wants to return to the Middle East. If they do restore their Middle Eastern network to what it was prior to the Asian financial crisis (BAH, DXB, DMM, RUH, AUH, JED, KWI; TLV can be added on but was discontinued prior to the crisis), PAL would have the strongest Middle East network out of any Southeast Asian carrier.

Their biggest priority, however, is increasing service to the U.S. They intend to add frequencies to MNL-LAX and MNL-SFO while also starting service to SAN, ORD and JFK with the 77Ws that they will receive, but that will be impossible as long as Category II remains.

Last edited by Akiestar; May 14, 2009 at 4:59 am
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Old May 14, 2009, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by Akiestar
I read it in a newspaper article a while back.
Do you have a link to this article? These threads generate speculation not backed up by much, there was a claim earlier in the thread that Singapore Airlines may join ST by FB-guru, with nothing to back it up.
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Old May 14, 2009, 2:28 pm
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It's lost in the archives of another forum. I'm still looking for it. In the meantime, here's some serious news from PAL and their expansion into North America, India and the Middle East (although the timetables are not yet set).


PAL to spend US$ 1.4B for fleet modernization program

November 4, 2008
By Lynda B. Valencia

MANILA, Nov. 4 – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will spend some US$ 1.4 billion for the fleet modernization program, which will make it one of the youngest fleets in the region.

Jaime J. Bautista, PAL president and CEO, said the company is expected to complete its narrow-body fleet upgrade program later this year.

Bautista said the last two of 15 firm orders comprising Airbus A319 and A320 jets are scheduled for delivery before the end of this year, giving PAL one of the youngest narrow-body fleets in the region.

He said the wide-body modernization programs reach their peak in 2009 when two of the six Boeing 777-300ER aircraft enters into service. PAL 777 planes will arrive beginning the second quarter of 2009 to 2011.

The state-of-the-art, ultra long-range jets will be used mainly on the key trans-Pacific routes, he said.

”We want to fly to San Diego, Chicago, New York, Seattle, and Saipan,” he added.

Bautista said “How can we go to the different places when the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) downgraded the country’s aviation safety rating from Category I to Category II last December 26, following an assessment conducted by the US agencies in November also of last year?”

He said the company is banking on the premise that the government, through Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro R. Mendoza (who heads the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines), will get the nod of the US FAA to upgrade the local aviation’s status back to Category I from Category II by the first quarter of next year.

PAL is also in the midst of a comprehensive Php3.6-billion cabin refurbishment on its current wide-body fleet, which will see a new, bi-class product, alongside with the upgrade of the interiors and amenities, introduced soon.

The launch of PAL Express last May of a new, low-fares unit that will operate a fleet of turbo-propeller aircraft and the restoration of a network of mostly secondary routes exemplifies this thrust.

”We will leverage on the strength of the PAL brand to make PAL Express the leader in the markets it serves. In turn, PAL benefits from the expansion of its network to areas it does not presently fly to, from where PAL Express aims to draw traffic to feed the trunk routes,” Bautista said.

At full operation, the projected profits will increase by around Php300 million while revenue should be about Php1 billion, he said.

”But the biggest beneficiary will be the traveler, who is now able to tap into PAL’s extensive route network and enjoy seamless connections between erstwhile inaccessible provincial points and 43 destinations across the Philippines, Asia, Australia and North America,” Bautista added.

The division, however, is still supervised by the parent airline, which also provides logistical and administrative support. Examples of these structures are American Airlines’ American Eagle, United Airlines’ United Express, Air Canada’s Jazz, and Lufthansa’s Lufthansa Cityline.

But despite the higher cost of fuel, PAL is expected passenger traffic for the fiscal year 2008-2009 to end with over eight million on 47,403 flights, for an average load factor of 79.5 percent.

PAL reported a total comprehensive income of US$ 30.6 million for its financial year ending March 31, 2008. Its profit was US$ 99.9 million decline from the previous income of US$ 130.5 million, due mainly to the absence of extraordinary gains that boosted the airline’s revenues a year ago.

Still, it was PAL’s fourth consecutive annual profit and its first since successfully emerging from an eight-year stint in receivership in September 2007-indication of the flag carrier’s robust financial health.

The results revealed a stellar performance by PAL on the core operating front. Operating revenue was up 15 percent to US$ 1.46 billion in fiscal year 2008, leading to an operating profit of US$ 84.3 million, exceeding fiscal year 2007’s US$ 70.3 million by impressive 20 percent.

Cargo contributed US$ 119.5 million in revenue, with 122,672 tons lifted during fiscal year 2008.

”These results, while modest, confirm that PAL has strong fundamentals that enabled it to weather many challenges, including constant oil-price shocks,” Bautista said. (PNA)


Tourism goal moved to 2012

Written by Manuel T. Cayon / Reporter
Monday, 23 February 2009 02:35

DAVAO CITY—In spite of rosy forecasts about the continuing progress of the tourism industry amid the gloom of the world recession, the government has been forced to move to 2012 its target of doubling foreign visitors.

Tourism Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano said the setting back of the target date of breaching the 5-million mark in arrivals was due to the recession in the United States and the financial doldrums in Japan and South Korea. These are the top three markets of Philippine tourism, comprising half of the country’s source of visitors.

“The new target year is our forecast that by then, the economies of the developed nations would have bounced back,” he said in a huddle with reporters here late last week.

Nonetheless, he said Philippine tourism could still “outperform” its Asian neighbors with its expected minimal growth. He was claiming a seat in the growth train that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has projected will keep on running in the Asia Pacific region, to grow its tourism industries “by at most 2 percent, but many would post no growth.”

Between now and 2012, he said outright the Philippine tourism would post an average growth of 2 percent, or about 600,000 visitors this year, right on the WTO button. He expects this small advance to be sourced from the other half of the industry’s source countries, many of which are in the Asia Pacific region also.

So far, the biggest and most promising source of tourists and business visitors would be India, after the Philippine Airlines opens its Manila-New Delhi route, directly linking up the second biggest economy in the region to the country.

“This was the missing link we have to that country. Access now is being addressed. The PAL is expected to start flying the route by the middle of this year,” he said. “The visa requirement has also been relaxed, an issue that has been important for Indian travelers and which was expressed by their tour operators who joined the Asean Tourism Forum here in 2006.”

The Philippines began preparing for the India tourism market three years ago, Durano said, bringing their operators and writers of big media organizations to the country to be able to promote the Philippines. “Even then, we are already getting sizeable growth from that country at 20,000 visitors.”

With India are China, Russia, and Vietnam. “Their attraction to the country is mostly in shopping and the night life,” said Durano.

“They wanted the local brands of our ready-to-wear apparels, those that they can use everyday and are cheap,” he said. Singapore and Hong Kong, with their small population, “do not have to make those local brands and have to import the already branded items.”

The growth in the industry this year would also come from the increased value of visitor spending. “The Russians, for instance, are staying longer, at three weeks on the average to escape their bitter winter and to seek cheaper products, too, and therefore, although they are not still coming in big numbers, they are spending more.”

“The Europeans are still coming to us, too. The French spend in high-value products and services such as spa, wellness and medical services. They stay longer,” he said.

Last year, tourists spent $4.8 billion, excluding visa and terminal fees and in investments in tourism.

He said that about 5,000 rooms would be opening from this year to 2012, contributed mostly by foreign investments. The new hotels and resorts are found in banner destinations Manila, Boracay, Cebu, Bohol, and Palawan.

“These new openings would prepare us when the economies of the US, Japan, and South Korea would have bounced back,” he said.


PAL targets Northwest breakfast

After decades of conceding the morning market, the Philippine Airlines is now keen to take a bite of the long-uncontested territory of Northwest Airlines.

No less than PAL president Jaime Bautista has confirmed the flag carrier’s plan to launch a new daily non-stop service to the US West Coast that leaves Manila in the morning, just like the two Northwest flights.

The morning flight is expected to be launched by the fourth quarter, when PAL shall have taken delivery of the first of the two Boeing 777s, Bautista said.

But the new service, to complement the two evening flights to the West Coast that PAL now currently operates, would still have to depend on the US Federal Aviation Administration’s returning the Philippine civil aviation system to the so-called Category 1 status.

“We may be unable to use these new planes on our flights to the United States, and the cost advantage offered by the aircraft may only be realized by implementing our alternative plan for the deployment of the aircraft,” Bautista told PAL shareholders in late September.

Translation: If Uncle Sam continues the squeeze, PAL will deploy the 777 to the Middle East market.
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Old May 15, 2009, 4:09 am
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Here's a bit for Brisbane and Perth from a Philippine aviation insider:


5J drops B777 deal in favor of brand new A330

Cebu Pacific to add Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Bandar Seri Begawan this year!

Manila - Low cost airline Cebu Pacific, JG Summit Holdings (PSE), intends to convert its remaining A320 orders from Toulouse based aircraft manufacturer Airbus, to new generation A330-300 planes after receiving offers from the France based aircraft manufacturer.

Currently, the airline has 10 pending orders for A320 series 200 planes for delivery until 2014, and inside sources said they may opt to convert as high as 8 narrow-body orders for 4 medium ranged airliners. Plans however calls for 2 outright lease and 2 wide-body purchases against 4 A320 orders. The brand new A330 will be made available before the end of the year from an aircraft leasing firm whose order was not taken by another airline company.

The next generation A330-300 offered by Airbus is similar to the ones delivered to Finnair powered with more fuel efficient General Electric CF6-80E1 engines but left to the airline its engine of choice, as it manifested to make flight runs between the Middle East, Australia, and Japan.

The Gokongwei led airline is set to make announcement soon after approval by its holding company. Cebu Pacific has already filed a petition before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to mount flights to 3 major cities in Australia and Brunei following the conclusion of air service agreements with the two countries. It also filed applications to fly Dubai, Kuwait, and Abu Dhabi in the Middle East.

"We’re very interested to operate flights to Brunei and Australia. We’ve been asking for entitlements so that we can offer low fares for these markets," Candice A. Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice-president for marketing, said.

The airline will utilize initially the Airbus 320 aircraft on the route down under with fuel stop in Darwin, Australia. Cebu Pacific sought 540 seat entitlements for a thrice-weekly Manila to Sydney flight, 300 seat entitlements for a twice-weekly Manila to Melbourne flight, and 360 seat entitlements for a twice-weekly Manila to Brisbane flight. It also applied for a petition for "designation as official Philippine carrier to Brunei" since it intend to start daily flights to Brunei’s Bandar Seri Begawan airport.

The Air Service Agreement between Australia and the Philippines increased seat entitlements to 6,000 seats from 2,500, for flights between Manila and Clark to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth. While flights between other regional airports in Australia and airports in the Philippines have no capacity or frequency restrictions.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines is set to fly Perth and reintroduce Brisbane to its international network next year.
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Old May 15, 2009, 5:12 am
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::: Abit off topic!

SkyTeam Current members!
Korean Air
Northwest (Delta)
Delta Air Lines
China Southern
Air France - KLM
Czech Airlines
Aero Mexico

> Associates
Kenya Airways
Air Europa
Copa Airlines

> Future Members!
Vietnam Airlines (joining in 2010)

> Future Associates!

> Possible Members!
Malaysia Airlines
Phillipine Airlines
China Airlines
Garuda Indonesia
China Eastern
GOL + Varig
Kingfisher Airlines
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