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PAL studies Davao as new regional hub

by June 13, 2016 General

Philippine Airlines said it is looking at Davao as its new hub for regional and inter-island operations. 

“Davao would be another airport we would consider to be a hub. In fact, one of our profitable domestic routes is Davao,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said in a recent interview. 

Bautista said PAL planned to fly from Davao to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manado, Bali, Australia and Palau. 

PAL also announced the direct service between Saipan and Manila would start on June 15. 

“Over the past decades, our ‘kababayans’ have not taken other routes to Manila via Guam. With this new offering, they now have a direct link to our country. The high passenger count is proof that this new flight is keenly awaited,” Bautista said. 

Filipinos make up 35.8 percent of the total population in Saipan (44,220) or an equivalent of 22,000. 

Saipan is PAL’s 43rd destination in its international network, which includes countries in Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, the United States and Europe

PAL, now wholly-owned by tycoon Lucio Tan after he bought back a 49-percent stake that San Miguel Corp. purchased from him in 2012, earlier signed a memorandum of understanding in February with Airbus for the acquisition of six A350-900 aircraft with the option for another six for delivery in the years 2018 to 2019. 

The acquisition of six Airbus A350 was valued at $1.83 million. 

PAL plans to deploy the A350 extra wide-body, which seats more than 300, on new routes to North America and Europe. The first A350 is scheduled to be delivered in 2018. 

A350 is the world’s latest generation airliner, featuring the most modern aero-dynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings. With the Trent XWB engines, A350 operates at 25 percent less fuel burn and emissions, significantly lowering maintenance costs. The extra-wide cabin provides passengers more personal space in all classes.

PAL Holdings Inc. earlier reported a net profit of P2.71 billion in the January-March period, down by 28 percent from P3.78 billion registered in the same period last year. 

Revenues rose 4.1 percent in the first quarter to P29.12 billion from last year’s P27.98 billion. 

Passenger revenues rose to P24.65 billion in the first quarter from P23.09 billion in the same period last year. Cargo revenues fell 31 percent to P1.47 billion from P2.14 billion.

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