Philippine Airlines (PAL) President, Jaime J Bautista, reportedly recently stated the carrier is in urgent need of a capital infusion or it will go bankrupt (Manila Bulletin, 19-Jan-2010). PAL Employees Association (PALEA) has now written to the Philippine Government asking whether it would be possible for the government to take over operations of the carrier if it is indeed on the verge of failing. However, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) has stated the chances of a government take over are “very remote”, as it does not have the “capacity to operate an airline”.
PAL in urgent need of a capital infusion
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Caticlan Airport: capacity doubles with expansion from AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines
Capacity at Caticlan Airport in the Philippines has quickly doubled following the opening of a runway extension enabling narrowbody jet operations. Capacity at Caticlan will approach, and could exceed, 40,000 weekly seats in the coming months, compared to 18,000 weekly seats a year ago.
Jet operations began at Caticlan in Nov-2016 after Philippine authorities approved the use of a runway extension. The new owners of the airport, San Miguel, also plan to open a new terminal by early 2018, which will be capable of handling international flights.
Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines (PAL) have already transitioned most of their flights at Caticlan – the gateway to the popular resort island of Boracay – from turboprops to A320s. Philippines AirAsia is planning to enter the Caticlan market in Mar-2017 with flights from Manila, Cebu and Davao. AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and PAL may also launch international flights from Caticlan in 2018, along with a potential new Caticlan based airline that San Miguel is looking to establish.
Manila Airport: capacity can be increased by adopting single runway system & expanding terminals
Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is planning to increase capacity through a series of upgrade projects and potential privatisation. Manila will eventually require a new airport because NAIA is space constrained and has no room for new runways or terminals. However, there are opportunities to increase capacity of the existing four terminals while significantly improving the customer experience.
Runway capacity may also increase through a transition to a single runway operation. Closing NAIA’s smaller intersecting runway would improve air traffic management, similarly to the change Mumbai Airport adopted in 2013.
Infrastructure constraints have limited growth at Manila in recent years. The airport cut slots in 2012 in an attempt to reduce congestion, but again has the opportunity to increase slots as general aviation operations move out and air traffic management improves.