PAL Flies Siberian Airspace

Polar Route From North America Commences

18 December 2017

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has began flying Siberian Airspace overflight to North America beginning with PR flight 119 from Toronto to Manila Sunday.

The Arctic polar routes are now common airways for airlines connecting Asian cities (Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo) to North American cities (New York City, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Montreal,San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C.)

Asian Airlines Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, China Airlines, EVA Air, Philippine Airlines and China Eastern using polar route
The Annex to the Air Services Agreement with the Russian Federation signed in 14 July 2014 paved the way for Philippine Airlines (PAL) to overfly the Siberian Airspace towards North America and Europe for the first time in the airline's history. It uses the airspace for its flight to London in 2014.

PAL used to fly North America via Alaska for its flight from Toronto to Manila westward instead of a more direct path via Siberia over polar routes 2,3, and 4. It also flew Europe following the routes via Bangkok, India and Iran, which is the same route flown by other EU and ASEAN carriers from Bangkok.

PAL intends to fly Toronto, New York, Chicago and Houston on a more direct flight to Manila via Western and Central Russia saving the airline passengers 2-3 hours of travel time.

Russia earns "royalty payments," from foreign airlines that want to fly over the country's airspace. Although these payments are significant for the airlines, it's still cheaper to pay them than divert flights away from Russian airspace.

Ipil Airport Takes Shape

17 December 2017

The Transport Department (DOTr) has awarded the construction of ₱14.5 million Ipil Airport Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) (Phase 3) slated for completion on the third quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, a runway extension (250x30m) under Phase 2 component in the amount of ₱45.1 million from the 2017 GAA is scheduled for award extending the airports runway from the existing 600 meters to 850 meters.

The first phase of the project was started in 2009 under the stewardship of President Gloria Arroyo with a cost of ₱45 million. Second phase involves runway extension and expansion from the current 18 meters to standard 30 meters for Class C airport.

The third phase of the project will also involve 350 meter runway extension, construction of control tower and navigational facilities installation.

Ipil airport is expected to commence civil aviation operations in 2020 with Cebu Pacific ATR 72-600 flight services to Cebu.

CEB Announces MEL

11 December 2017

Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific has announced that it will fly from Manila to Melbourne by the middle of 2018.

Cebu Pacific has increased flight frequency between Manila and Sydney from five times weekly to daily operations beginning Dec. 1, 2017 to Jan. 31, 2018.

Due to utilization of flight entitlements by the airline it has run short of the required seats to make the route to Melbourne viable.

Cebu Pacific vice president of corporate communications JR Mantaring said the airline has already requested the Philippine air panel to hold air talks with the government of Australia for additional seats as these was provided in the 2015 air bilaterals.

The Philippine air panel and its counterpart in Australia raised seat entitlements between the two countries to 9,300 seats from 6,300 seats per week in 2015.

Manataring said the airline requested for 872 seats between Manila and Melbourne equivalent to thrice a week schedule on the A330-300 which the airline intends to use.

PAL Announces Delivery Schedule for A350

Triple seven arrives on the 16th 

7 December 2017

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has announced that it will take delivery of the A350-900 ultra-long haul aircraft beginning June 2018 with first flight bound to Toronto, Canada.

The changed plan was brought by regulatory delays which prompted the airline to defer inaugural Manila to New York direct flight which is tentatively set as early as August 2018 coinciding with the delivery of the second A350.

The airline will take delivery of four 295 seater Airbus A350-900 with 3 class configuration in 2018 with the first frame arriving in June, according to PAL President Jaime J. Bautista.

“We will receive another one in August, September and December,” Bautista remarks.

In the meantime, two new Boeing 777-300ER planes let from Intrepid and Avation will be arriving in the Philippines on December 16 and 19 according to PAL for rotations to North America and London. The ninth 77W (RP-C7781) will be flown from Paine Field to Vancouver Canada for its first revenue flight to Manila on the 16th of December. 


16 November 2017
Philippine Air Asia unveiled its newest aircraft with a new aircraft livery culminating the 50th anniversary of the formation of ASEA, with the 10-country economic bloc's culture as the main design theme.

The aircraft livery, dubbed "I Love Asean", showcased designs inspired by textiles, architecture, art and nature from all 10 Asean nations, namely batik cetak from Malaysia, poom khao bin from Thailand, ulos Batak from Indonesia, tapis from the Philippines, trong dong from Vietnam, kbach pka Chan from Cambodia, Lao phouthai from Laos, chate from Myanmar, jongsarat Brunei from Brunei, and Vanda Miss Joaquim from Singapore.

"We owe our success to Asean. As a truly Asean airline, we want to bring the people across the region closer together in line with the amazing work Asean has done over the past 50 years." AirAsia group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said.

Philippine Air Asia operates a fleet of 18 A320-200s flying domestic and regional destinations.

PH-SK Upgrades ASA

16 November 2017

The Philippine and South Korean government signed a new Air Services Agreement between the two countries increasing seat allocations between Manila and Seoul.

The new memorandum of understanding (MOU) on air services concluded in November 8, 2017 at Seoul, South Korea increased seat allocations for each country from the current 13,500 per week to 20,000 per week.

The Philippines was represented by DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo, and South Korea was represented by Ms. Kim Jung Hee.

Carmelo Arcilla, Civil Aeronautics Board(CAB) executive director,said the new MOU means that all Philippine carriers authorized to operate between Manila and Seoul can utilize a combined total of 20,000 seats per week, while the same number of 20,000 seats per week is also available for all the Korean airlines authorized to operate between Seoul and Manila.

Arcilla was part of the Philippine delegation to Korea which includes Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Rowel Barba, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Leo Herrera Lim, Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Benito Bengson, and Jesus Ibay from CAB.

Representatives from Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia Philippines, and Pan Pacific airways and the Korean Air carriers attended the 2-day talk.

“The expanded air traffic rights in Manila is intended to address the increased demand for air services between Manila and Korea,” Arcilla said.

Airlines from both countries are also allowed unlimited traffic rights to airports outside the country’s premier gateway.

“The unlimited air traffic rights outside Manila is in line with Philippine government policy to develop airports outside Manila and spur the economic development of new tourism, trade and economic centers outside Manila,” Arcilla said.

The new seats made available is equivalent to 3 Boeing 747-400 additional services per day. It will enable PAL and CEB to fly its B777 and A330 thrice daily from Manila to Seoul while also giving more seats to Air Asia to fly its A330 twice daily. 

According to CAB there are eight Korean air carriers and five Philippine air carriers operating between the two countries.

South Korea remains the topmost foreign visitor to the Philippines registering 1.6 million passengers arriving in different points in the country, data from Department of Tourism showed.

CEB Cancels Sandakan

 23 October 2017

Low cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) has cancelled the 4x weekly services from Zamboanga-Sandakan-Zamboanga route citing poor sales to the proposed upcoming route slated to commence on October 29 despite one way promotional sales pegged at 1,119.00.

The airline said it was postponing the flight indefinitely without notice as to when it commence soon as it announced fare refunds for the said services.

“We apologize to all our partners, agents, suppliers, our stakeholders, and most importantly to all our guests who booked flights between Zamboanga and Sandakan for any inconvenience this postponement has caused. We had to make the difficult decision to postpone the launch of our Zamboanga-Sandakan service to give more time to work on operational details,” said Alexander Lao, president and CEO of Cebgo.

CEB was supposed to fly four times weekly to Sandakan every Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays on ATR72-500 aircraft which begins Sunday.

Legaspi Night Flights Suspended

19 October 2017

Night flights to and from Legaspi Airport was suspended Saturday by the Civil Aviation Authority CAAP) after lightning strike disabled its runway lights Friday night. The lights are currently being repaired and is expected to be back in service tomorrow.

CAAP disclosed that a lightning bolt struck and damaged the less than a year runway end identification lights (REIL) system as it was activated for aircraft landing from Manila. REIL are high intensity strobe lights that are placed at both sides of the runway to mark the threshold.

Cebu Pacific (CEB) is the sole night flight user of Legaspi airport as it operates six daily flights to and from Legazpi via Manila and Cebu. Evening flights operated by CEB subsidiary Cebgo, depart Manila at 6:15 p.m. and 7:20 p.m, and arrive in Legazpi at 7:40 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., respectively. The return flights leave Legazpi at 8:20 p.m. and 9:35 p.m., and land in Manila at 9:40 p.m. and 10:55 p.m., respectively.

The airline operates night flights to and from secondary CAAP airports of Caticlan, Dumaguete, Naga, Roxas, and Butuan airports on top of trunk routes in Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga.

The lighting facilities for Legaspi airport was recently made operational in October last year.