PhilippineAirlines: PAL needs restructuring, spin off to survive!

Philippine Airlines
told Congress today (November 10, 2010) that its corporate restructuring and spin-off programs are necessary to ensure the flag carrier’s continued survival in a cut-throat airline industry buffeted by massive losses in the last two years.

Speaking before the House Committee on Labor, PAL President and CEO Jaime Bautista maintained that the recent decision of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) affirming PAL management’s prerogative to restructure its organization “is based on solid legal grounds.” It also provides a generous separation package to about 2,600 affected workers.

He said the DOLE decision allows PAL to spin-off or sell three of its non-core units such as in-flight catering, airport services and call center reservations and contract the same to third party service providers. The agency also ruled that the termination of affected employees as a result of the spin off is in accordance with law, and that PAL is not liable for any unfair labor practice as a result of said termination.

Bautista said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz based her October 29, 2010 Order on pertinent provisions of the Labor Code, Civil Code, past rulings of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), Supreme Court decisions and the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between PAL and the PAL Employees Association (PALEA).

He said complaints by PALEA officers and other militant groups that the DOLE ruling trampled on workers’ rights have no factual or legal justification. He stressed that PAL’s string of massive losses in the last two years amounting to US$312-million or almost P15-billion necessitated the spin-off to ensure PAL’s continued survival. He said the sale of the three non-core units was only done as a last resort after 14 major cost-cutting measures proved inadequate to guarantee PAL’s continued operations. He also stressed that hiring third party service providers after PAL decided to close down its non-core units is not ‘contractualization’ as the union claims.

“DOLE upheld not only once, but twice, PAL’s position that the planned spin-off ‘is a matter of sound business judgment… in order to maintain the survival and sound financial health of the company in a globally competitive airline industry’," Bautista said.

He explained that PAL’s spin-off move was spurred by the need to restructure and reduce costs to be sustainably viable. This, he said, were done by many airlines worldwide which are now experiencing the current rebound as reported by the International Air Transport Association.

Had DOLE ruled against PAL’s restructing plan, Bautista said the airline and all other businesses in the Philippines would be placed in a very difficult situation. “Local and foreign investors would shy away from the country if businesses are barred from exercising their right to control and manage the course and direction of their respective enterprises,” he told lawmakers.

Meanwhile, Bautista begged off from discussing in detail the issues related to alleged age and gender discrimination, maternity benefits and additional pay for PAL’s flight attendants, stressing that the same are currently pending litigation before the labor department and Commission on Human Rights.

The PAL spin-off plan as approved by DOLE was estimated to cost the airline some P2.5-billion broken down as follows: workers’ separation pay equivalent to 125% of their monthly salary for every year of service; a one-time cash gratuity of P50,000 per worker; commutation of 100% of their vacation and sick leave credits to cash; free plane tickets depending on years of service; one year extension of hospitalization benefits; and employment with the third party service providers with guaranteed payment for one year of whatever salary is granted by their new employers.- Philippine Airlines.

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Conditions of Travel:

  • Valid for round trip travel on Fiesta (economy) class. Fare Family: Fiesta Saver
  • Minimum 3 days and maximum 3 months stay
  • Inbound - Not valid for travel from 01 to 11 January 2011
  • Extension of ticket validity is not permitted
  • Changes - Changes must be within the validity of the ticket
    Before Departure - Ticket must be presented at the Ticket Office and shall be reissued to an applicable fare in effect during date of change (current fare). The new fare must be equal to or higher than the original fare paid. Change fee shall be collected in addition to any fare difference plus No Show fee if applicable.
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    Accompanied Child 2-11 years old -80% of the fare
    Unaccompanied Child 8-11 years old - 100% of the fare
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Philippine Airlines:HongKong Promo

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Avail of our irresistible package promo for flight to Hong Kong and visit Hong Kong Disneyland Park. Valid for sale and travel from 01NOV10 until 31DEC10.

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*Higher package price applies for travel from 25-27NOV and 23-31DEC10

For more information, please get in touch with PAL ticket office or call our Tours Hotline at (632) 855-7777.

Conditions for travel

Package Inclusion:

  • Total package is 4 days/3 nights
  • Round Trip Airfare Manila-Hong Kong-Manila on Economy (Fiesta) class
  • 1 night stay in Disney's Hollywood Hotel
  • 2-night stay in downtown hotel on twin-sharing basis with breakfast outside hotel
  • 2 consecutive days Hong Kong Disneyland Park ticket
  • Transfers: airport/downtown hotel/Disney's Hollywood Hotel/airport
  • Hong Kong half day city tour
Reservations, Payment and Ticketing:
  • Minimum of 2 days and maximum of 8 days stay
  • Promo fare is EXCLUSIVE of Philippine Travel Tax, surcharges including HKG security service fee, other airport fees and charges
  • No children/infant discounts
  • Tickets can only be purchased at PAL ticket office
  • Confirmed reservations are required for bothways
  • Rebooking is not permitted
  • Ticket is non-endorseable, non-reroutable and non-refundable
  • Mileage accrual applies

PAL News: PAL seeks dismissal of union’s strike notice

Philippine Airlines (PAL) today (Nov. 11, 2010) sought dismissal of the second Notice of Strike (NOS) filed by the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) last November 5, saying the issues being raised by union officials have already been decided when the labor department upheld PAL’s planned spin-off as a valid exercise of management prerogative.
During today's second conciliation meeting at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), PAL said the union’s claim that the airline management was directly negotiating with union members has no basis.

“It’s simply illogical for PAL to ‘bargain’ or even attempt to negotiate directly with individual rank-and-file workers after it has already secured a favorable decision from DOLE upholding its right to spin off and retire its workers in the process,” said PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna.

In the same manner, she said claims of Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) and union busting due to the planned spin off have already been ruled upon by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

“There is no attempt by the PAL management to ‘restrain, coerce or interfere’ with the workers’ exercise right to self organization – which are basic elements of ULP. Since DOLE already ruled that the spin off is valid and stands on solid legal grounds, the union’s claim of unfair labor practice cannot hold water,” Villaluna stressed.

Meanwhile, she said PALEA's public threat to proceed with a strike – even in the event of a possible assumption of jurisdiction over PALEA’s complaint – is a clear indication of the union's intention to ignore the rule of law. It likewise shows disrespect for the Secretary of Labor and her office which has primary jurisdiction over labor disputes, Villaluna added.

During Wednesday's (Nov. 10) public hearing at the House Committee on Labor, PALEA President Gerry Rivera openly declared the union's plan to proceed with the strike vote and stage a strike notwithstanding a possible assumption of jurisdiction order by DOLE.

"PALEA's threats to stage a strike and ignore legal processes is tantamount to ‘taking the law into one’s hands,’ which does not speak well of the organization that lodged a complaint before DOLE in the first place,” Villaluna added.

She said strike threats only serve to scare away passengers especially during the coming holiday peak season. This could push the airline into further financial difficulty which is the very reason for its planned spin off.

PAL wins P3.3-M lawsuit vs. 'AWOL' pilot

For violating his contractual obligations and training agreement with Philippine Airlines (PAL) in 2006, a former PAL pilot was ordered by the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) to pay the flag-carrier millions of pesos in training fees and other penalties.

In a decision dated September 15, 2010, Presiding Judge Elpidio Calis of the Makati RTC Branch 133 ordered pilot Zenon Lukban to pay PAL P1.5-million plus interest, at the rate of six percent annually, for the cost of his training at the PAL Aviation School.

In addition, the respondent was held liable to reimburse PAL the amount of P1.87 million, plus interest, for the cost of training his replacement, as well as P50,000 in attorney’s fees.

Judge Calis said one of the conditions of Lukban’s training agreement required him to serve the flag carrier for five years in exchange for the cost of training shouldered by PAL.

Court records indicate, however, that only two years after completing his training, Lukban, on April 19, 2006, wrote a letter of resignation to chief pilot Capt. Rolly C. Canlas. His resignation was to take effect on May 20, 2006.

On May 8, 2006, PAL management officially rejected Lukban’s resignation saying this was in violation of his training contract which was to expire on July 2009. The agreement also required the pilot to file his notice of resignation 120 days before the intended date of resignation. This requirement has since changed to 180 days after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) declared the job of pilots and aircraft mechanics as “mission critical skills”.

But since Lukban went AWOL (absent without official leave) immediately after tendering his resignation, administrative and civil cases were pursued by the airline against the erring pilot.

The RTC’s order comes on the heels of PAL’s move to lodge multi-million peso damage suits against 27 pilots and first officers who resigned in August 2010 to take higher-paying jobs in the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia. So far, 16 pilots and first officers are facing charges of abandonment of duty and breach of contract before a Makati trial court.

The abrupt resignations forced PAL, which is currently mired in a labor dispute with its cabin crew and ground unions, to cancel some of its domestic flights last July.

PhilippineAirlines: PAL Midnight Sale

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, 26 September 2010 (Manila time). Valid only at Limited seats only!

Selected Regional flights To Manila

(YQ) +

Minimum/Maximum days: 2 days/8 days
Fare Family:
Fiesta Deal
Fare Basis:
Bangkok/Singapore – WEBNYTX/UWEBNYTX
Other destinations - WEBNYTX

THB 1,800.00THB 3,670.00THB 5,470.00
THB 2,750.00THB 6,420.00
Hong KongHKD 740.00*HKD 314.00HKD 1,054.00
JakartaUSD 58.00USD 120.00USD 178.00
MacauMOP 710.00MOP 302.00MOP 1,012.00
Ho Chi Minh
USD 58.00USD 118.00USD 176.00
SingaporeSGD 78.00SGD 152.00SGD 230.00
SGD 110.00SGD 262.00
TaipeiTWD 1,600.00TWD 1,580.00TWD 3,180.00
*Inclusive of HKG security surcharge

-Fares are based in the currency of the country of departure
-Fares are INCLUSIVE of surcharges and estimated taxes. Other airport fees and charges are not included.
-Fare amounts are subject to change due to conversion rates.


Grab these low internet fares from Manila to Honolulu. Valid for sales and ticketing from 21 September to 05 October 2010.

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



in USD
(YQ) +
in USD
Minimum/Maximum days:
Fare Family:
Fiesta Deal
Fare Basis:

Note: Airline fares, government taxes and fees are subject to change without prior notice.


Grab these low internet fares from selected regional destinations to Los Angeles/San Francisco. Valid for sales and ticketing from 17 September to 30 November 2010.

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*For travel between Manila and USA, fares do not include USD56.70 (or its equivalent) U.S. Government Taxes and Fees including the September 11th Security Fee.
**Inclusive of Hong Kong security surcharge

Los Angeles/
San Francisco
(YQ) +
Minimum/Maximum days:
Travel Period Outbound:
BangkokWL2MTHUTHB 20,340.00THB 9,875.00THB 30,215.00
BeijingWL2MCNUCNY 4,190.00*CNY 2,366CNY 6,556.00
Ho Chi Minh
WL2MVNUUSD 598.00*USD 274.40USD 872.70
Hong Kong WL2MHKUHKD 4,720.00**HKD 1,526.00HKD 6,246.00
JakartaWL2MIDUUSD 598.00*USD 256.70USD 854.70
MacauWL2MMOUMOP 4,790.00*MOP 948.00MOP 5,738.00
ShanghaiWL2MCNUCNY 4,190.00*CNY 2,366.00CNY 6,556.00
SingaporeWL2MSGUSGD 832.00*SGD 428.00SGD 1,260.00
TaipeiWL2MTWUTWD 19,136.00*TWD 5,413.00TWD 24,549.00
XiamenWL2MCNUCNY 4,190.00*CNY 1,776.00CNY 5,966.00


  1. Fares are based in the currency of the country of departure.
  2. Fare amounts are subject to change due to conversion rates.

PhilippineAirlines: FASAP talks moving P105-M new PAL offer

Philippine Airlines (PAL) management and the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (FASAP) on Wednesday (22 September 2010) “agreed in principle” to expand maternity benefits but remained “deadlocked” on the issue of compensation and changes in the retirement age of crew members.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said on top of PAL’s original P80-million offer last week, the flag carrier offered the union a P25-million increase in their rice allowance for the period 2007 to 2010. This brings to P105-million the total economic package offered to FASAP.

Villaluna stressed, however, that the expanded benefits and allowances are part of a package. Hence, their approval are contingent on the signing by PAL and FASAP of a final agreement that puts to rest all economic, gender and retirement issues under discussion.

“The offers were made in good faith, proof that PAL is sincere in its efforts to settle and finally put closure to its 2005-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with FASAP,” she said.

Despite significant strides during Wednesday's five-hour PAL-FASAP talks, Villaluna said ‘sticky’ points remain such as the compensation package and changes in the retirement age of crew members. She said PAL could only offer P105-million after suffering huge losses in the last two years, but it appears that the union wants much more than what PAL is capable of giving.

Meanwhile, PAL is willing to change the retirement age to 45 from 40 for both male and female crew members, on the condition that FASAP agrees to a mixed crew complement – a work rule arrangement allowing younger cabin crew to fly international together with the more senior attendants, and vice-versa, the senior crew taking domestic flight assignments.

Management said junior cabin attendants are well-trained and capable of serving international flights but provisions in their CBA prevent them from doing so.

Current work rules restricting the flight assignments of younger flight attendants were inserted in the previous CBA by FASAP itself. Because of this, only senior cabin crew enjoy higher perks and per diems when they fly international, Villaluna said.

“We want to introduce changes in the current work rules so that both young and senior cabin attendants can both serve in domestic and international routes,” she said.

PAL hopes the union would agree to the proposed changes for the sake of younger crew members. Otherwise, it would appear that some FASAP members are discriminating against their own kind, she said.

PhilippineAirlines: Get a free PAL ticket for your birthday

Birthday celebrants in the next two-and-a-half months are in for a treat from Philippine Airlines – a free ticket on any domestic route for every similarly routed ticket purchased during the promotion period.
In a new promo dubbed “Halloween Trip and Treats for your Birthday,” PAL is offering a free domestic ticket to all those marking their natal day within the months of September, October and November 2010.

To avail of the free tickets, birthday celebrants must purchase a revenue ticket between September 16 and 30, 2010. The celebrant should present proof of birthday along with the revenue ticket at any PAL ticket office and the complimentary ticket is immediately issued.

Both free and revenue tickets must reflect the same domestic route and class of service. The free ticket is for the birthday celebrant and cannot be given to another person. Both tickets must be used for travel between September 16 and November 30, 2010, except for a brief blackout period from October 28 to November 2, 2010.

PAL flies between Manila and 20 domestic destinations: Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Kalibo, Laoag, Legaspi, Ozamiz, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, Tacloban, Tagbilaran and Zamboanga.

To avail of the promo, visit, any PAL ticket office or accredited travel agents. For inquiries and bookings, call PAL Reservations at (02) 855-8888 in Manila, (032) 340-0191 in Cebu and (082) 221-5513 in Davao.

PhilippineAirlines: PAL operations 'normal' despite FASAP strike notice

Philippine Airlines (PAL) today (September 9, 2010) assured the riding public of continued and unhampered service despite a notice of strike filed by its cabin crew union.

"PAL's operations remain normal and all flights are operating as scheduled. There is no immediate work stoppage," PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna stressed.

She explained that the notice of strike filed by the Flight Attendants' and Stewards' Association of the Philippines (FASAP) commences a legal process by which the two parties, with guidance from the labor department, would find ways of striking a balance between what the union wants and what management can afford and is prepared to give.

Under the law, parties have a 30-day cooling-off period after the filing of a notice of strike. During this time the labor secretary will continue to mediate and find a compromise settlement. It is also within the labor secretary's authority to issue an assumption order which automatically enjoins the intended strike.

Villaluna said the union's plan to strike is ill-timed as it would scare away tourists and cause further damage to the flag carrier’s fragile finances. “We are saddened by the union’s decision, but we recognize their right to file a notice of strike,” Villaluna said. She added the union’s move is untimely in the wake of thousands of Hong Kong and Chinese tourists canceling their forward bookings in the aftermath of the Rizal Park hostage tragedy. “A strike threat doesn’t help in efforts to lure back tourists to the country.”

She added that management is willing to sit down again with FASAP leaders to discuss and settle any pending issues in the 2007-2010 collective bargaining agreement.

Villaluna said FASAP’s claims that they are overworked and underpaid are without factual basis. “PAL's cabin attendants receive an average gross monthly salary ranging from P30,000 to 80,000. They also enjoy enviable rest periods.”

She also refuted accusations of age and gender discrimination. “The early retirement age is part of the negotiated CBA FASAP leaders signed on two separate dates. They complain of alleged inequity of early retirement provisions when in fact the older batch of FASAP members, including the union leaders themselves, have been receiving and enjoying financial benefits in exchange for the younger retirement age of their colleagues,” Villaluna stressed.

On the claim that PAL discourages pregnancy among cabin attendants, Villaluna said there were at least 65 cabin attendants who went on maternity leave last year. “All of them received maternity benefits in accordance with the Labor Code and the CBA. PAL even advanced P30,000 in SSS benefits before they gave birth,” she said.

PhilippineAirlines:Soar High

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Available at or visit PAL ticket office or travel agent.


  1. Airline fares, government taxes and fees are subject to change without prior notice.
  2. Airfares may round-up to even numbers due to system processing.

in USD

(Fare +
in USD
Travel Period Outbound: 01OCT10-27NOV10
From Las Vegas/Los Angeles/San Francisco To
ManilaFiesta Deal
Fiesta Deal

Travel Period Outbound: 16SEP10-30NOV10
From Honolulu To

ManilaFiesta Deal

*For travel originating USA to Manila, fares do not include USD 56.70 U.S. Government Taxes and Fees including the September 11th Security Fee. Philippine Travel Tax, other airport fees and charges are not included.

Conditions of Travel:

  • Minimum of 3 days and maximum of 1 month stay
  • One free stopover in Manila is permitted. For inbound only.
  • Tickets must be issued on or after 06 September 2010 and on or before 25 September 2010
  • Extension of ticket validity is not permitted
  • Booking Changes
    Originating Las Vegas/Los Angeles/San Francisco/Honolulu
    Change fee is USD 250. No Show Fee is USD 75
  • Changes in fares must equal or higher than original paid
    Original non-refundable amount remains non-refundable
  • Cancellations/Refunds
    Rerouting is not permitted
    Ticket and surcharges are non-refundable
    Government taxes are refundable subject to refund service fee
  • Fare and surcharges are non-refundable
  • No child discount/Infant without seat - 15% of adult fare
  • 25% Mileage Accrual applies


For sales, ticketing and travel from 09 September 2010 to 20 October 2010.

Valid only at Limited seats only!

From/To MANILAFare
All-In Fare
in PHP


de Oro/
General Santos/

-ALL-IN One-way fares on Economy Class are INCLUSIVE of V.A.T. but EXCLUSIVE of Aviation Security Fee (ASF).

PhilippineAirlines: Wear Your True Colors

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Book and buy through using MasterCard or VISA credit card. Or, purchase at PAL Ticket Offices and your travel agency. For sales in the Philippines and internet only.

Selling and Ticketing Period: 08 to 20 September 2010 only

Fare amounts are subject to change due to conversion rates.
Philippine Travel Tax, ticketing service fee, other airport fees and charges are not included.

Selected International flights

in USD
Minimum/Maximum days:
Fare Family:
Fiesta Deal
Fare Basis:
Outbound Travel Dates:
16SEP10 -15NOV10
Blackout Period:
Not valid for inbound travel 05Dec10-22Dec10
Los Angeles/
San Francisco/
Las Vegas

*For travel originating USA to Manila, fares do not include USD 56.70 U.S. Government Taxes and Fees including the September 11th Security Fee.

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.


+ 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 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 Passengers may also call 855-8888 for inquiries.

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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.

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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.