According to a Philippine aviation expert, the anticipated upgrade of the Philippine aviation status by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may be delayed due to the US government shutdown that is happening recently. The Philippines is supposed to be upgraded from Category 2 to Category 1 by the FAA this month, as said by Capt. Amado Soliman Jr., Chairman of Air Safety Foundation. This possible delay may be due to the failure of the US lawmakers to agree on a new budget which forced the federal government to stop all but the vital operations of the country. If the US shutdown would be prolonged, then the plans of local airlines to operate in the US would have to wait. But despite the hold in promoting the Philippines’ status at present, the original plans are still in place and will be addressed by the FAA. The officials are just waiting for the directions and comments of the agency, as said by the CAAP deputy director John Andrews.
In holding the upgrade of the Philippines’ aviation status, planned operations to the US of some local carriers have been on hold as well for they still have to be approved by the said agency. Although the Philippines has been certified to meet the International Civil Organization safety standards, it seemed not enough to let Philippine carriers to operate just yet. With this, there is a possibility that the Philippines is missing on the opportunity to expand its aviation operations which may contribute to the country’s overall profits. Also, this may give a reputation for the Philippines from other countries that the safety standards of the country’s aviation are unstable and therefore would not entice investors for the industry. Moreover, the US government shutdown may also have further impacts not only to the country’s aviation industry but also in other sectors for the country depends on the US aid greatly. This hold may take a while but the Philippines must not lose its hope in achieving its desired upgrade that would enable its further progress and expansion in the aviation industry.
China Eastern Airlines will be opening direct flights from Manila to China in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport 1 (NAIA 1) by next month (October 18) to cope with the increasing air traffic between Philippines and China. According to Channe Chen, the general manager of China Eastern Airlines (Manila office), the airline has been given the green light by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to have daily operations to Shanghai. Furthermore, Chen said that passengers from the Philippines could use Shanghai to gain access to other cities in China as well as serve as a transit point to major cities in Europe, US, Japan, Korea, Australia, and other Asia Pacific region.
Tourism undersecretary Daniel Corpus said that the decision of the airline company to open direct flights from Manila to Shanghai would help address the increasing traffic between Philippines and China. Moreover, this would create higher tourism rates coming from China.
Air traffic and air congestion are some of the issues that the Philippine airline industry are facing nowadays. Since there are only a few airports that could hold international flights, it would be a challenge for these terminals to manage daily flights. But because there is a pressing need to address the air traffic between Philippines and China due to the increasing number of passengers who travel from one point to another, it is a good decision to open more flights from the company to accommodate more passengers. On the other hand, the terminal must be able to manage the possible airport congestion due to the additional flights that they would be accommodating. But with this, the decision of opening daily flights to Shanghai would create not only possible continuous increase in tourism rates from China but also higher revenues, possible cheaper airfares and more access to China and other parts of the world that the airline has access to.
Last August 16, 2013, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) suspended the operations of Zest Air due to a number of violations that they have committed. One of the violations committed was a serious violation that concerns the issue about the safety of their flights while the other violations were considered as minor offenses. Since July 31, Zest Air was in the watch list of CAAP due to non-compliance with some of the rules set by CAAP. However, Zest Air said that the suspension was just a misunderstanding and that their priority is the safety of their passengers. Zest air passed the necessary requirements to CAAP in order to prove to them that they are not violating any of the rules that were set by CAAP. On August 20, 2013, CAAP finally lifted the suspension of Zest Air after they have submitted the requirements. The lifting of the suspension proved that Zest Air is operating safely and that there are no rules that were violated throughout its flight operations.
In this news article, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) proved that they were really doing their job in ensuring the safety of the different airline passengers in our country. The safety requirements that CAAP had set for the airline companies to comply should really be strictly followed to be able for these companies to prove to their clients that their aircrafts are safe to operate. CAAP’s suspension of the operations in one of the airline companies in the Philippines, Zest Air, seemed to be justifiable due to a number of violations that they have committed in CAAP’s safety regulations like the lack of a qualified accountable manager, failure to check aircraft logs, flight manifests and the weather, failure to present to the CAAP the airman license (aircraft mechanic license) during ramp inspection, occurrence of a series of canceled flight operations, refueling with passengers on board, and excessive flight duty time for pilots. CAAP’s actions of supervising the airline industry’s safety could make others see that the Philippine aviation industry is trying its best to maintain its airline companies intact and be competitive in terms of the aviation international scene to be able to qualify in having more international operations through some of our local airline companies. If this expansion of international operations would be made possible, the Philippines would have the chance to improve its tourism more, have an easy access for our foreign visitors as well as our Oversees Filipino Workers (OFWs) who wanted to go back, with all these leading to generate more income for the country.
Flores, Mary Gail
Navlani, Deepak Khumar
Ner, Ma. Katrina
Oppus, Christopher Dominic
From Philippine Daily Inquirer
Philippines Airlines started flying to the city of Guangzhou in China last July 16, 2013. The city of Guangzhou is one of the most progressive cities in China. In fact, Guangzhou is the 3rd ranked city for business, only under Beijing and Shanghai, respectively. It also has a big population, consisting of 12 million, the third largest city, also under Shanghai and Beijing, respectively, as well. Besides this, Guangzhou is a very rich city, garnering a growth rate of 11% last 2011 and 13% in 2010. In addition, it also achieved a milestone by reaching a 1 trillion Yuan GDP last 2010, the third city in China to achieve this, also under Beijing and Shanghai. The city, is not just rich as a whole, it also has rich citizens having an 11,000USD per capita income (2006) and a 2.42% unemployment rate.
Given the facts above, the people of Guangzhou can bring great opportunities to the country and its citizens. Since PAL will generate a direct access to the city, it would provide a convenient access to the richness of the city and its citizens. Business can be generated and expand and the number of tourists has a large potential to grow in both parties.
Guangzhou is one of the western influenced cities in China since it is secluded by mountains; the mainland citizens during those times had little access to the area. This fact can be beneficial to the Philippines because it would be easier to interact to the same influences as the Filipinos have.
Flores, Mary Gail
Ner, Ma. Katrina
Oppus, Christopher Dominic
Article by Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Airlines (PAL), a company under the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), is the leading airline carrier in the Philippines that currently flies to 29 domestic places and 31 foreign cities. PAL also offers other services like the PAL Learning Center, which offers courses for the training of cabin crews and airport staff. The Learning Center also has an aviation school for the training of pilots who wants to improve their skill. PAL also has their own foundation, which caters to the needs of the Filipino community through charity works.
The news talks about international airlines that want to invest and form partnerships with PAL. One of the foreign airlines that showed interest in having a partnership with them is All Nippon Airways (ANA), the biggest airline carrier in Japan in terms of passenger volume. The other foreign airline carrier that showed interest in the partnership with PAL is Emirates Airline, the largest airline carrier in the Middle East and one of the leading airline carriers globally. According to SMC’s president, Ramon Ang, it is possible to have a partnership with one of these airlines by the end of the year. They also started to have initial talks with both airlines but there was still no guarantee whether the partnership will be with All Nippon Airways or with the Emirates Airline.
It would be a good deal for PAL to team up with international carriers in order to be able to push through with their re fleeting program which would require them a big amount of investment. Partnership with these international carriers could help them get that extra boost they may need in order to become a competitive airline in the industry. According to Ramon Ang, it would require them at least another $1 Billon more to be able to provide quality service and be as competitive as other carriers. Partnership with such airline companies could also help PAL to be able to turn their losses into gains. Since fuel and maintenance cost are almost 60 percent of total costs, re fleeting program with brand new efficient planes could help them lessen their costs up to 20%, which can help them save almost $400 Million. Furthermore, SMC’s investment to PAL would also be a big help for the local airline company to cover all the expenses that they needed for the re fleeting of their aircrafts and other expenses that the company may incur in this new venture.
This plan of partnership may be a big step for PAL to become an international airline without the assurance of success, yet it is interesting to see that the company has high hopes for this to materialize. This may also enable us Filipinos to have high hopes of generating more income for the country and more importantly, to have access to the farther destinations without much inconveniences. PAL’s expansion in terms of its destinations would be very helpful also for Overseas Filipino Workers to travel in a much cheaper cost compared to other international airlines. Truly, this may give PAL more income in the long run and at the same time give Filipinos and other travelers an improved service that they could always remember.
Flores, Mary Gail
Ner, Ma. Katrina