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PhilippineAirlines: PAL Q1 Income up on strong summer traffic

Due to the usual strong demand during summer vacation, Philippine Airlines (PAL) reported total comprehensive income of USD 31.6 million for its peak months April to June 2010. The figure is lower by USD 3.9 million or 11% compared to the same period last year.
Despite encouraging numbers on account of the peak travel season, PAL president and COO Jaime J. Bautista said PAL is bracing for lower passenger volumes during the airline’s ‘lean season’ usually between August to November.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, PAL reported revenues of USD 426.7 million for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2010-11, an improvement of USD 99.0 million or 30% over the same period total of USD 327.7 million in 2009.

During the first three months of its current fiscal year, the airline benefited from improvements in passenger traffic as well as cargo, reflecting signs of economic recovery worldwide. Higher yields generated per seat offering also complemented growth in passenger demand.

Total expenses amounted to USD 391.6 million, up by USD 106.1 million or 37% from the same quarter total of USD 285.5 million the previous year. Jet fuel, which continues to be the airline’s biggest operating expense, rose by USD 55 million during the first quarter with fuel prices at an average of USD 100.47 per barrel from USD 70.28 per barrel in 2009. The airline also reported a reduction in “Other Income” by USD 47.5 million to USD 15.4 million for the first three months this year compared with USD 62.9 million for the same period the year before.

Bautista said that while the aviation industry is showing signs of slow recovery, PAL remains focused on continuing efforts to generate more revenues and control costs. Moving forward, he said PAL must “swallow bitter pills” and handle its labor issues with “utmost care” to survive amidst the difficult and cut-throat operating environment.

During its last fiscal year ending March 2010, PAL reported a net comprehensive loss of USD 14.4 million in spite of a USD 35.5 million profit during the first quarter.

PhilippineAirlines: PAL Heeds P-NOY'S Call To Solve Labor Row

Philippine Airlines (PAL) today (19 August 2010) welcomed President Benigno Simeon Aquino’s decision to consider opening the country’s skies to foreign carriers as one of government’s options should the flag carrier and its workers fail to resolve their differences.
“The President’s pronouncement is a wake-up call for both PAL management and its cabin crew union to immediately solve the CBA impasse. We hear the President’s call that we must find solutions to avoid any inconvenience to the riding public,” PAL president Jaime J. Bautista said.

“More than anyone else, PAL wants to put closure to its 2005-2010 CBA with its cabin crew. But like any negotiated CBA, it must take into consideration not only the union’s demands but the airline’s capacity to pay and meet those demands. It’s give and take,” he said.

He added that non-economic benefits such as the retirement age and other peripheral issues can be discussed in the next round of CBA talks which PAL and the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association (FASAP) “can immediately begin”.

“The important thing is to first close the 2005-2010 CBA, then we can start talking of the new one for 2010-2015,” he said.

On the open skies issue, Bautista said: “Let’s make it clear: PAL is not against open skies. We just want it to be fair, reciprocal and its implementation should be phased-in and calibrated.”

He added that open skies should be viewed in the context of available infrastructure like NAIA’s congested single runway, overburdened terminals and the country’s negative image as a tourist destination.

As he welcomed calls for more relaxed access to the Philippines, he said all airlines with existing capacity rights to Clark, Cebu, Davao and other areas should be encouraged to mount more flights to these areas to decongest Manila and promote nationwide tourism. (end)

PhilippineAirlines: P80-M offer a sign of good faith – PAL

The P80-million offer of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (FASAP) was a sign of good faith. It was in response to our employees’ need for better pay and in recognition of their valuable contributions to the company.
Despite nearly P15-billion in losses in the last two years, PAL did its best to set aside P80-million in the hope of putting closure to the 2005-2010 CBA negotiations with FASAP. However, it appears that FASAP’s motivation for the CBA is not purely economic. They seek abrogation of CBA provisions on early retirement which they call “unreasonable” and “unjustified”.

A CBA is a contract between labor and management. It is the law governing relations between the two parties. A CBA, therefore, is not a one-sided document. It is signed by the company’s authorized representatives and union board members, ratified by the general union membership, and submitted to the Department of Labor and Employment.

It is therefore surprising that FASAP accuses PAL of foisting upon its members a lopsided CBA that allegedly discriminates and forces its members to retire at an agreed age. All cabin crews who joined PAL after 1996 are well aware of this provision. In short, FASAP is questioning, and seeks abrogation of, a CBA provision that it approved not once, but twice since 1996.

As regards what FASAP calls a “discriminatory” and “unlawful” maternity policy, PAL wants to clarify: the forced leave of absence of pregnant crew members is also in the same CBA FASAP and management approved. The reason for preventing pregnant crew members from flying is simple: it is to promote their personal safety and that of the child they carry.

Besides, a female cabin crew is first and foremost a safety officer. Her job, therefore, is not simply to serve but to ensure passenger safety especially in times of emergency. A crew who is on the family way cannot run, jump or carry heavy loads without putting themselves and their baby at risk. This is the reason for the forced maternity leaves, not the baseless accusation that PAL management discriminates against pregnant crew members.

PhilippineAirlines: PAL statement as of August 17, 2010

There were no significant breakthroughs in today’s talks between the management of Philippine Airlines and the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association.

PAL maintained its P80-million offer to the cabin crew union, saying the company cannot give more due to its current financial difficulties.

Management also insisted on limiting talks to the economic aspect of the CBA to put closure to its 2005-2010 CBA with FASAP.

PAL wants the early retirement issue to be discussed during the next CBA covering the years 2010 to 2015. It’s not until 2018, or eight years from now, when the early retirement provision will affect any cabin crew.

Our president and COO, Mr. Jaime Bautista, was unable to attend the conciliation meeting at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB). He's not feeling well. PAL was represented by its lawyers and some executives from our Human Resources Department.

On the early retirement age issue, PAL lawyers said the company should not take the blame for a CBA provision that FASAP leaders approved. Officers of the cabin crew union signed the CBA containing the provision setting an early retirement age not only once but three times in the past. They were not forced. They signed it voluntarily.

PhilippineAirlines: ADDITIONAL FREE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE

+ 5 kilos more Free Baggage Allowance

PAL passengers taking our Airbus A330 aircraft for flights between Manila & Cebu and Manila & Davao can now enjoy extra free baggage allowance of 5 kilos applicable on all fare types.

Valid for travel from 11 to 31 August 2010.

Other existing fare conditions shall strictly apply.

Book and buy through www.philippineairlines.com using MasterCard, VISA credit card or BancNet ATM card. Or, purchase tickets at PAL ticket offices or travel agencies.

You may also call PAL Reservations Cebu (032) 340-0191, Davao (082) 221-5513 and Manila (02) 855-8888.

PhilippineAirlines: PAL TO FASAP

Spare Public from inconvenience

The Management of Philippine Airlines (PAL) today (August 10, 2010) appealed to its cabin crew to exhaust all peaceful means in resolving differences with the company stressing that it is sincere in addressing their concerns.

“Let's find a peaceful solution to our internal problems for the sake of the flying public,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said as he urged members of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) to reconsider threats of filing a notice of strike.

He said negotiations are still ongoing before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) where FASAP members could ventilate their grievances instead of threatening to go on strike, which would not redound to the public’s interest.

The next meeting between PAL management and FASAP officers is scheduled for August 17 before the NCMB.

Focus on negotiations

“We recognize the flight attendants' right to express their concerns, and they can use the negotiating table to do that,” Bautista pointed out.

Bautista said PAL is experiencing financial difficulty hence, it could only offer an P80 million one-time package to FASAP to close their negotiations for the 2005-2010 collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

“PAL was hit hard by the global economic recession and slowdown in travel just like the other airlines around the world. We could not afford at the moment what they are asking, but to show our good faith and sincerity in addressing their concerns, we offered the P80 million one-time package to be divided among FASAP members,” he said.

Retirement age

Bautista said it’s not true that management refuses to discuss the retirement age issue during the mediation talks yesterday at the NCMB. PAL was simply asking that it be included in the next CBA (2010-2015) which we can commence immediately, said Bautista.

“We told them that since the first flight crew to be affected by the 40-year-old retirement rule under the existing CBA is still years from now, we have enough time to discuss it with no one being adversely affected by the said rule,” he stressed.

He said the first crew – assuming she was hired in year 2000 at the age of 22 – will only turn 40 in 2018. Those hired in 1996, on the other hand, will only turn 45 by 2019.

Under the existing CBA, male and female flight attendants who were hired before November 1996 would be retired once they reach 60 and 55 years old, respectively, and those hired from 1996 and beyond would be retired at age 45 for both males and females. Those hired after November 2000, on the other hand, will be retired by the age of 40 for both males and females.

On pilots' return

Meanwhile, PAL said none of the 26 pilots who suddenly left their jobs have returned to their posts even as the airline gave them seven days to come back without sanctions.

"It's apparent that these pilots already have commitments abroad and opted not to return," Bautista said.

He added that the administrative process is ongoing, in line with the Company’s internal rules and regulations. Pilots will be served notices to explain why they continue to fail to report for flight duty. So far, the pilots (26) have been served “notices”, to which they were given the opportunity to respond, he explained.

"Right now, the administrative process is taking its course. But even while this is ongoing, our legal department is studying what cases will be filed in the coming days," Bautista stressed.

PhilippineAirlines: PAL offers P80-M to settle CBA with Flight Crew

Philippine Airlines (PAL) management today offered an P80-million package to its flight attendants and stewards to settle and close their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the period 2005-2010.


The offer was made at the resumption of CBA talks between PAL management and officers of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).

PAL said the “one-time” P80-million package is the only amount it could offer the flight attendants’ and stewards’ union due to the company’s dire fiscal condition. He added it is up to FASAP to determine how it will divide the P80-million among its 1,600 members.

PAL lost almost US$320-million or over P15-billion in the last two fiscal years due to the global economic crisis exacerbated by spikes in fuel prices, downgrade of the Philippines’ aviation safety rating to Category 2 by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the European blacklist of all Philippine carriers.

“We hope FASAP members will understand PAL’s predicament and accept the offer. While we recognize their desire for higher compensation, PAL’s current financial situation will not allow it offer more,” Bautista said.

Meanwhile, PAL management expressed its desire to move discussions on the retirement age issue for the 2010-2015 CBA. It said the priority is to put a closure to the previous CBA which has dragged on for the past three years.

Bautista explained that there is more than enough time to discuss the retirement age provisions and issues.

He explained that a 22-year old flight attendant who was hired by PAL in the year 2000 will only turn 40 in 2018, while those who were 22 when hired by PAL in 1996, will only turn 45 by 2019.

Under the existing CBA, male and female flight attendants who were hired before November 1996 would be retired once they reach 60 and 55 years old, respectively, and those hired from 1996 and beyond would be retired at age 45 for both males and females. Those hired after November 2000, on the other hand, will be retired by the age of 40 for both males and females.

As a sign of good faith, Bautista said PAL management is willing to conduct marathon meetings with FASAP for the 2010-2015 CBA. “The immediate goal now is to put closure to the 2005-2010 CBA, which has become a major source of misunderstanding between management and FASAP,” he said.

PhilippineAirlines:PAL realigns flights as 'lean season' starts

Philippine Airlines (PAL) released today (August 7, 2010) a new flight schedule to further optimize operational efficiency as the travel sector enters the ‘lean season’.

The 'lean season' schedule will take effect beginning August 9 up to November 30, 2010.

Based on the list submitted by PAL to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), routes with reduced frequencies include those going to and from Manila and Ozamiz, Dipolog, Puerto Princesa and Cebu. Meanwhile, there will temporarily be no operation between Cebu and Davao. This route will be reinstated during the peak season.

“Capacity rationalization is routinely done in anticipation of lower passenger volume, especially tourists, during the rainy months from August to November. It also coincides with the reduced number of PAL pilots who left for jobs abroad,” PAL president and chief operating officer (COO) Jaime Bautista said.

He said it is during ‘low’ season when airlines normally introduce promotional programs to entice passengers to travel. It’s also the time of year when PAL schedules major maintenance checks on the fleet. PAL launched several promos a few weeks back.

The new flight schedule which will be published in major dailies is also available at the PAL website at www.philippineairlines.com. Passengers may also call 855-8888 for inquiries.

PhilippineAirlines: PAL MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

Let our surprise treats perk up your Saturday late night and Sunday early morning!

Selling and Ticketing Period from 12:01 am to 6:00 am, 08 August 2010. Valid only at www.philippineairlines.com. Limited seats only!

Below are the fares INCLUSIVE of surcharges and estimated taxes. Philippine Travel tax, other airport fees and charges are not included.

Note: Fare amounts are subject to change due to conversion rates.

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

*
For travel between Manila and USA, fares do not include USD56.70 U.S. Government Taxes and Fees including the September 11th Security Fee.

**Inclusive of Canadian Navigation surcharge

From
MANILA
Travel
Dates
(Outbound)
Base
Fare
in
USD
Surcharges
(YQ) +
Est.
Taxes
Total
(Fare+
YQ+
Est.
Taxes)
in USD
FIESTA (ECONOMY) CLASS
Minimum/Maximum days:
Manila to San Francisco - 3 days/3 months
Manila to Honolulu - 3days/2months
Fare Basis:
Manila to San Francisco - EWEBNITE
Manila to Honolulu - WWEBNITE
San Francisco

16SEP-
15OCT10

588*286.70874.70
Honolulu 01SEP-
15OCT10
368*266.70634.70
MABUHAY (BUSINESS) CLASS
Minimum/Maximum days:
3 days/6 months
Fare Basis: IWEBNITE/ZWEBNITE
Las Vegas

16SEP-
15OCT10

2,298*286.702,584.70
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Vancouver16SEP-
15OCT10
2,328**270.502,598.50
Honolulu

01SEP-
15OCT10

1,488*266.701,754.70


PhilippineAirlines: PAL beefs up Zambo airport security

Philippine Airlines has beefed up its security at Zamboanga Airport to ensure the safety of its passengers, following last night's suspected suicide bombing outside the airport terminal.

PAL operations at Zamboanga remain normal, with a daily morning and evening flight to/from Manila, using the Airbus A320 aircraft, according to Lolito Galarrita, PAL's branch manager at Zamboanga.

The Zamboanga Aviation Security Group intensified body and baggage searches at the airport while the PAL Security office in Manila alerted all its domestic stations to be extra vigilant.

Security at the NAIA Terminal 2 was also heightened with the deployment of additional explosive detecting dogs (EDDs) of PAL's exclusive K-9 unit.

PAL is extending assistance to the 9th Police Center for Aviation Security (PCAS) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in their investigation on the deadly Zamboanga bombing that killed one and wounded 23 others.

Galarrita said no PAL passenger was among those killed or wounded. After the explosion, PAL and the Zamboanga PNP immediately secured the arriving passengers and the PAL airplane. After the aircraft departed back for Manila, the passengers who just arrived were moved to the pre-departure area until the whole terminal was cleared of any further security threat.

Police Senior Superintendent Danilo M. Abadiano, chief of the 9th PCAS, identified the lone fatality as Hatanil Harun Yacub, resident of Lantawan, Basilan, who died on the spot just outside the arrival area.

Most of the wounded were rushed to Ciudad Medical Center and Doctors Hospital.

Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat immediately convened the Crisis Management Committee to investigate the bombing.

PhilippineAirlines: PAL promo and special fares.

PAL Promo Fares and PAL Special Fares

Celebrate with us as Asia's first airline soars to greater heights. Enjoy exciting events and discounts all year round as we kick off towards our 70th anniversary in high gear.

LATEST OFFERS

Red Arrow PAL-MASTERCARD “Barkada Flights” Promotion
Hang out with your barkada at your favorite destination with the Barkada Flights Promo. Count everyone in... because you're getting ONE SEAT FREE!

Red Arrow PAL-MASTERCARD “Soaring Higher" Promotion
Purchase e-tickets with your MasterCard and travel to any domestic, regional or international destination within the promo period and earn raffle entries. Double your chances of winning by purchasing at www.philippineairlines.com!

Red Arrow Promo Fare from Manila to Bangkok
Short-term promotional round-trip fare from Manila to Bangkok.

Red Arrow Swingaround Lite
The newest and freshest option for the new traveler. Seasonal Tour Packages that are packed with fun, but lite on the budget.

SOARING TO 70

Red Arrow Internet Promo Fare from Manila to Honolulu
Web fare from Manila to Honolulu. Valid for sale until 20 August 2010.

Red Arrow US Web Promo Fares
Web fare from Las Vegas, Los Angeles or San Francisco to Manila.

Red Arrow 3-month Web Fare from Manila to USA flights
Web fare from Manila to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Red Arrow Grand Seat Raffle
Travel to your favorite domestic and international destination for FREE by winning this raffle promo. The more you fly, the more you can win. You can win more than once!

Red Arrow Y Flyer
Get a cool 10% discounts on your domestic flights by becoming a Mabuhay Miles Y Flyer--the exclusive card for young flyers!


OTHER PROMOS

Red Arrow Shanghai World Expo Tour 2010
A World of Wonders awaits you in Shanghai. See the World Expo 2010 for as low as USD387 per person.


Red Arrow Corporate Sales
Special perks and added convenience for our corporate clients courtesy of PAL's Corporate Sales unit.


Red Arrow Domestic Fare Discounts
We offer special discounts for specific individuals and groups.


Red Arrow PAL-Cebu Hilton Promo
Package price includes roundtrip airfare (Economy), hotel accommodations and airport-hotel-airport transfers.

Red Arrow PAL EconoLight
Available for sale strictly in the internet.

Red Arrow Special Web Fares
All-year-round special fares when you book online.

Red Arrow Regular Buy One Take One
Enjoy our buy one take one offers on Mabuhay (Business) class for selected routes. Available for sale at any PAL Ticket office.

PhilippineAirlines: PAL Rejects Pilot's resignation; Asks them to return to work

PAL Rejects Pilot's resignation; Asks them to return to work

To avert more flight delays and cancellations, the management of Philippine Airlines (PAL) today (01 August 2010) said it rejected the resignation of more than two dozen pilots and gave them seven days to return to work.

In a statement, the flag carrier called on its pilots to respect their existing contracts with PAL and demanded that they immediately return to work or face civil, criminal and administrative charges.

This developed as PAL was again forced to cancel eight (8) flights today owing to the pilot shortage, but most affected passengers were accommodated in merged or succeeding flights. “PAL makes sure that all passengers are attended to,” the airline said as it assured the public that it hopes to get schedules back to normal “within a week.”

The eight cancelled flights include Manila-Cagayan-Manila (PR181/182); Manila-Bacolod-Manila (PR133/134); Manila-Iloilo-Manila (PR147/148); and Manila-Cebu-Manila (PR847/848). Meanwhile, a Manila-Iloilo-Manila flight (PR145/146) that usually departs Manila at 4:20PM was rescheduled to 6:30PM.

PAL doesn’t want to get in the way of its pilots’ dream of landing better paying jobs abroad, but they have contractual obligations with the company and a moral responsibility to thousands of passengers,” PAL stressed.

In the last few days, PAL was forced to cancel several regional and domestic flights after 13 captains and 12 first officers flying its Airbus A319s and A320s resigned from the flag carrier. They left without giving PAL ample time to train replacements, PAL said.

Recognizing the plight of its passengers, PAL sought public understanding as it adjusts flight schedules and merges some flights. It also intensified the training of more pilots to fill the gap.

“We apologize to our loyal patrons for the inconvenience. We know our passengers missed connecting flights, including important personal and business appointments. But the pilots’ resignation is something we couldn’t prevent. Many of them simply did not show up for work and just handed in their resignation letters. Some of them even owe PAL millions of pesos for the cost of their training,” the flag carrier said.

PAL added that most of the resigned pilots were reportedly ‘pirated’ by other carriers in the Asian region including the Middle East where the pay is allegedly two or three times their current salaries.

“By Philippine standards, an Airbus A320 pilot’s pay at PAL is considered ‘high’. But it’s still no match to the offer of foreign carriers. Our problem is, our competitors abroad seem to prefer PAL pilots because of they were highly-trained by PAL and renowned for their flying skills,” PAL added.

Considered “Mission Critical Skills”, pilots and aircraft mechanics are required by government regulations to give their local employers at least 180 days or six months to find suitable replacements before taking another job abroad.

PAL said it is in talks with various government agencies like the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to avert the loss of more pilots to ‘poachers” abroad.