Cebu Pacific now accepts applications for pilots

A Cebu Pacific Airbus A330
Photo: Laurent Errera from L’Union, France (

(From Cebu Pacific)

MANILA — The Philippines’ leading carrier, Cebu Pacific is now accepting applications for the second batch of cadet-pilots.

CEB will be recruiting 16 candidates to join its corps of pilots, after completing a 56-week training program, including 52 weeks at Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) in Australia, in a “study now, pay later” scheme.

The Cebu Pacific Cadet Pilot Program is a 56-week program that recruits candidates from ab initio, and puts them on a 56-week integrated flying training; flight theory and education course to become licensed Commercial Pilots.

After completion of the program, the cadet-pilots become First Officers at CEB, and join the corps of aviators at Cebu Pacific, flying domestic and international routes.

The program is open to all Filipinos who are college graduates, proficient in English and hold passports valid for at least two years prior to the start of the program. (Full Story Here)


Philippine Airlines strengthens lineup to sustain 4-Star rating

PAL Airbus A320, with additional “75” anniversary titles, touching down on at Bangkok airport in Thailand.
Photo: Alec Wilson (

(From Philippines Airlines)

MANILA — After receiving the 4-Star Certification from Skytrax, Philippine Airlines (PAL) will undertake major initiatives within 2018 to follow through on this historic milestone and sustain the 4-Star rating.

First in the lineup is the introduction of a new line of aircraft tailored for mid-size markets on medium-range routes.

The new Airbus A321neo is slated for delivery starting March, to be deployed on the new Manila-Brisbane nonstop route by May. With the
A321neo, PAL becomes the first Asian airline to utilize a narrow-bodied aircraft equipped with 12 full-flat Business Class seats.

All 168 seats (Business Class and Economy) on the A321neo have in-seat video monitors – another first for PAL’s single-aisle aircraft fleet – loaded with more than 300 hours of inflight entertainment. Economy seats are more spacious with wider legroom.

The eco-friendly and powerful A321neo engines generate less noise and can fly up to a maximum of eight hours. The whole cabin also offers free Wi-Fi connectivity.

A total of six A321neo and four Airbus A350-900s will be delivered within 2018.

The A350-900s – equipped with exciting cabin features in PAL’s most luxurious Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins to date – will start arriving in June, allowing PAL to deploy non-stop flights to the US East Coast through the polar region, along with more routes to European cities. (Full Story Here)

Philippine Airlines certified as international 4-star airline

PAL President and COO Mr Jaime Bautista and PAL Chairman and CEO Dr Lucio Tan receive Philippine Airlines’ 4-Star Plaque from Skytrax President Edward Plaisted in a presentation ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza Singapore on February 8, 2018.
Photo: Philippine Airlines

(From the Philippine Airlines)

MANILA — Philippine Airlines (PAL) has been certified as a 4-Star airline by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organization.

PAL, joining 40 other well-renowned airlines in this prestigious category, is the first and only airline in the country to have a 4-Star Rating.

PAL achieved this coveted rating after Skytrax conducted a rigorous audit of the airline’s inflight and on ground service for both international and domestic flights and noted major enhancements on its end-to-end passenger experience and distinct wholehearted service called Buong Pusong Alaga.

“This is a big win for the Philippines,” said PAL Chairman and CEO Dr. Lucio C. Tan. “We are elated by this recognition which is a victory for the more than seven thousand members of the Philippine Airlines family. Our achievement is the country’s achievement and we share this with all Filipinos around the globe.”

This 4-Star Airline rating is a mark of quality distinction that recognizes excellent standards of Product and Staff service across different assessment categories for both the Onboard and Airport environment. (Full Story Here)

Philippine Airline intensifies presence in China

Beijing, China
Photo: Kentaro Iemoto (

(By Philippine Airlines)

MANILA — In support of the Philippine government’s campaign targeting two million annual Chinese tourist arrivals, flag carrier Philippine Airlines is ramping up operations to China by increasing flight frequency on existing routes and opening up new destinations in mainland China.

On March 25, PAL will increase its flights between the Philippines and Greater China from the current 99 times weekly to 103 times weekly.

The spike is due to the shift to DAILY Manila – Jinjiang and Manila – Guangzhou (Canton) services from the current five times weekly on each route.

The daily Manila – Jinjiang service – PR356 – leaves Manila at 11AM and arrives in Jinjiang at 1:40PM; flight PR357 departs Jinjiang at 2:30PM and touches down in Manila at 4:40PM.

The daily Manila -Guangzhou service – PR382 – departs Manila at 2:30AM and touches down in Guangzhou at 5AM ; PR383 leaves Guangzhou at 6:30AM and arrives in Manila at 8:30AM.

PAL’s multiple flights from various Chinese cities were a major factor in the huge 43.33 percent increase in the Philippines’ tourist arrivals from mainland China, a final total of 968,447 visitors for 2017.

Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan together contributed several hundred thousand more tourists, for a combined total of 1.33 million tourists hailing from the Greater China region. (Full Story Here)

Philippine Airlines to fly nonstop to Brisbane

Philippine Airlines
Photo: Alec Wilson (

(By Philippine Airlines)

MANILA — Philippine Airlines will begin operating direct nonstop flights between Manila and Brisbane from March 27, giving passengers the convenience of a shorter flying time of less than seven hours, compared to the current one-stop service of 9 hours 20 minutes with a stopover in Darwin.

The Manila – Brisbane nonstop flights will operate four times weekly, utilizing the 254-seater Airbus A340 aircraft initially, and PAL’s brand new Airbus A321 NEOs aircraft later in the first half of 2018.

The A321 NEO is the longer-range version of the popular A321, outfitted with full-flat business class seats and entertainment systems.

PR 221 leaves Manila at 11:30PM every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and arrives in Brisbane at 9:20AM local time the following day, every Thursday, Saturday Sunday.

Return flight PR 222 departs Brisbane at 11AM local time (Th/Sa/Su) and touches down in Manila at 5PM on the same day.

Effective May 1, PAL will operate the fourth weekly frequency every Tuesday. PR221 leaves Manila at 12:55AM (Tue) and arrives in Brisbane at 10:45AM local time on the same day. Return flight PR222 departs Brisbane at 12NN local time (Tue) and touches down in Manila at 6PM on the same day.

The nonstop service is expected to boost travel and tourism on the increasingly popular route that links the Philippines with the commercial center of Queensland and gateway to the spectacular beaches, theme parks and lush rain forests of the Gold Coast.

Queensland is also home to a growing number of migrant and expatriate Filipinos. Flying direct to Manila will help encourage Queensland-based Australians to consider holiday trips to the Philippines.

This is the latest move of PAL to convert one-stop flights to nonstop services for the convenience of the traveling public. (Full Story Here)

Philippines, New Zealand ink deal on direct flights

(By Camille Diola,

MANILA, Philippines — Newly installed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern officiated on Tuesday the signing of a new cooperation agreement allowing nonstop direct flights from Manila to Auckland.

The 37-year-old Ardern, who is in Manila to attend the East Asia Summit, said the nonstop flights will inject NZD 13.6 million (P477 million) annually into the New Zealand economy.

Philippine Airlines
Photo: Alec Wilson (

She said the flights, which will commence in December, will also “further enable our people and our commercial links,” citing the 23,000 visitors from the Philippines annually. The Philippines, meanwhile, welcomes around 29,000 visitors from New Zealand.

She also noted that the Filipino student population of more than 4,000 in New Zealand is also among the largest.

Jaime Bautista, president of Philippine Airlines, signed the memorandum of understanding with Tourism New Zealand CEO Stephen England-Hall at a breakfast meeting.

Bautista said the high demand for direct flights to the south Pacific island nation warranted a shortened route.

The flights will reduce travel time from Manila to Auckland to 10 hours, while seat capacity is increased by 60 percent. The current route from the Philippines to New Zealand includes a stopover in Cairns, Australia and would normally take 12 hours.

The flag carrier will also utilize dual class, 254-seater Airbus A340s for the service.

The MNL-AKL service will operate thrice weekly on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays starting on December 6.

Besides the tourism MOU, Ardern also witnessed the signing of an agreement allowing the sharing of data and technology between the two state weather bureaus. Metservice CEO Peter Lennox and PAGASA’s Deputy Administrator Flaviana Hilario inked the agreement. (Full Story Here)

Promo seats from AirAsia for Manila to Bali and Jakarta

(By AirAsia)

MANILA — Staying true to its commitment as a truly Asean airline, AirAsia today announced it is offering promo fares for its newest flights from Manila to Bali and Jakarta in Indonesia.

To celebrate the expansion of AirAsia’s ASEAN connectivity, all-in promo fares are available from as low as P1,990 starting October 24 to November 6, 2017 for travel period on 9 January – 24 March 2018 for Manila-Jakarta and 19 January – 24 March 2018 for Manila- Bali.

AirAsia Philippines CEO Captain Dexter Comendador said, “We are thrilled to offer our signature low fares to mark our first two direct flights to Indonesia starting January next year.

Bali, Indonesia
Photo: Matt Croxson (

AirAsia will continue to bring the Philippines closer to our neighboring cities within the Asean region and beyond via inter-Asean connectivity and massive network.”

AirAsia is the only airline that directly services all ten Asean countries with established operations in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

“The AirAsia Group carried 13.4 million people within ASEAN last year and we aim to continue delivering only the best service and widest connectivity.” Comendador added.

AirAsia’s Manila – Denpasar/Bali (IATA CODE: DPS) and Manila – Jakarta (IATA CODE: CGK) will operate daily starting January next year while the airline is also set to start Manila – Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon (IATA CODE: SGN) on 17 November with flights every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. (Full Story Here)

Xiamen Airlines launches more direct Cebu-China flights

(By Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, The Freeman)

CEBU, Philippines — Business and tourism opportunities await Cebu as two more direct flights this month from China are launched.

Xiamen Airlines launched its Cebu- Jinjiang and Cebu – Fuzhou routes, which are seen to strengthen air linkages between China and Cebu.

China-based Xiamen Airlines launched its first scheduled service to Cebu last March 2016 with Cebu – Xiamen flight three times weekly.

Cebu City, Philippines
Photo: Lucky Malicay

The two additional routes begin just a little after a year from the airlines first-ever operations to Cebu.

Xiamen Airlines Flight MF8001 flies from Jinjiang to Cebu, departing at 11:30 am and arriving at 2:15 pm every Monday and Friday.

Flight MF8002 flies Cebu back to Jinjiang, departing 3:15 pm and arriving at 6:00 pm on the same days. The route started April 10.

The company operating and managing the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) welcomed the latest development.

Aines Librodo, marketing head at GMR-MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation, said Cebuanos and people from central and southern Philippines now have many options to reach United States of America and Europe. – (Full Story Here)

Singapore schools helping boost Philippine tourism

By (Rene H. Martel) 



At least two schools in Singapore have partnered with the Philippines’ Cebu province and the Department of Tourism (DOT) for a 36-month “Tourism and Hospitality Capability Development Program.”

Temasik Polytechnic (TP) and Republic Polytechnic (RP) will provide instructors for a training program involving the sharing of best practices and strategies to stakeholders and partners in Cebu’s tourism and hospitality sector.

RP is “the first educational institution in Singapore to leverage problem-based learning approach for all its diploma programmes,” while TP is one of the leading higher learning institutions in Singapore that “infused global realities into its programmes and develop a mindset on campus that embraces socio-cultural diversity.”

The program comes at a time when the DOT projected that between 2015 and 2022 “Cebu will experience the highest growth with tourist terminal capacity and international tourist traffic projected to increase from 4.5 million to 15 million (3 times) and 1.7million to 8.80 million (5 times) respectively.”

With the program, “Singapore’s tourism experiences in M.I.C.E. (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions), Cultural and Heritage, and Eco-tourism can be a source for mutual sharing on best practices and emerging trends.”

Made for 120 participants, the program has three phases divided into seven workshops. Workshop 1 under Phase 1 took place last September 25-29 at the University of San Carlos. Workshop participants included representatives from the local government units, hotels, museums, travel and tour service providers, and the academe.

The instructors, who came all the way from Singapore, discussed their country’s “Best Practices in Tourism Development.”

“I think it is a very fruitful workshop. We are getting inputs from a leading global tourism industry. These (speakers) are the same people who worked with the Singapore Tourism Board. We all know Singapore is one of the best in the world. We are learning a lot and I cannot wait to apply what we are learning here,” said Casa Gorordo Musuem curator Florencio Moreño, in an interview before Workshop 1 ended. Full Story Here offers free online booking of tour activities, a leader in providing excellent online hotel booking deals in the Philippines, now becomes a one-stop website as it is now offering tours, activities and transfers.

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