Navy Gets TC-90

27 March 2017

Philippine Navy (PN) has received the first two Beechcraft TC-90 King Air advanced trainer aircraft out of the five frames committed by the Japanese  Ministry of Defense (JMOD) to be let to the Philippine military for pilot training on surveillance missions.

It is the first Self-Defense Forces aircraft leased to another country since world war II after it recently lifted a self-imposed ban on weapons exports.The Philippines will pay Japan $7,000 each for four aircraft yearly and only $200 for the fifth—for a total of $28,200. The lease will be renewable every year.

The first two were stripped of surveillance equipment's as they will be used for training purposes while the next three more TC90s expected to arrive by the end of March 2018 will possess some classified surveillance suite for maritime security patrols.

The TC-90 is capable of flying some 1,900 kilometers (1,180 miles), roughly double the flight range of the Philippine navy’s Islander aircraft.

The Philippines through its Defence Ministry had been pushing for a handover of three of the more advanced P-3C Orion aircraft, developed by Lockheed Martin but the request was deferred by Tokyo citing technical and operational deficiencies on the P-3Cs and required permission on the use of some surveillance suite by the US government.

PAL Adds Two More 777

21 March 2017

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will add two new B777-300ER aircraft, part of long-term lease with Intrepid Aviation secured in 2014.

The aircraft is expected for delivery in December 2017 and January 2018 for routes to London and North American destinations.

The aircraft lessor currently holds two of the eight triple seven fleet of the airline in an agreement sealed in New York in 2013.

PAL Adds Direct Kuwait Flights

Grows Dubai

17 February 2017

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is terminating triangular service and will fly instead direct flights to Kuwait beginning March 26, 2017 every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday after traffic negotiations with Kuwaiti authorities for fifth freedom traffic rights between Dubai and Kuwait ended up on a negative note.

Accordingly, fifth freedom traffic rights between Bangkok and Manila granted by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to Kuwaiti Airways is likewise terminated.

Meanwhile, flights to Dubai (PR658/PR659) will grow daily leaving at 10:40 p.m.

PAA Opens Davao Hub

Expands Cebu Hub

17 February 2017

Philippine AirAsia (PAA) is introducing new hub out of Davao International Airport beginning April 22, 2017 as it flies to Caticlan and Puerto Princesa and re-introduce Davao-Cebu to its route network.

The airline will also open Cebu-Caticlan and Cebu-Puerto Princesa on the same date. Flight schedules shall become available after securing regulatory approvals.

Davao airport will be the airlines fifth hub. PAA operates hubs in Manila, Kalibo, Cebu, and Puerto Princesa.

From Russia With Love

Russia Delivers Aid To Earthquake Victims In Surigao

16 February 2017

The Philippine government yesterday received from the Russian Federation some 30 tons of humanitarian aid for the victims of the recent earthquake that struck Surigao Del Norte on February 10 delivered from the Kremlin's Special Flight Squadron.

The relief items from Moscow Vnukovo Airport, valued at some 20 million, arrived yesterday morning at Davao International Airport aboard a military aircraft from the Russian Federation for Civil Defense.

Russia also sent aid to Bohol and Cebu when earthquake hit the area in 2012 coincidentally on the same month and date.

CEB Opens Up Masbate and Tablas

15 February 2017

Cebu Pacific subsidiary Cebgo flies Masbate and Tablas beginning Wednesday, February 15 utilizing the newly acquired ATR 72-600 aircraft.

The airline will operate daily flights between Manila and Masbate and fly four times weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) between Manila and Tablas, in Romblon.

Cebgo operates from six hubs across the country in Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark, Kalibo, and Iloilo from which it connects the Philippine islands.

Tablas inaugural flight of Cebu Pacific.

Radar Migration Shuts Down Manila Center

13 February 2017

The radar station in Tagaytay responsible for air traffic navigation within Manila Centre will be shut for six days in March 6 to 11 for migratory maintenance and upgrading works, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP) said Monday.

The migration will affect air traffic in Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) as its terminal radar station in Pasay has limited range to see all incoming and departing aircraft.

CAAP in a press conference this morning said that instead of the 40 aircraft movements allowed at NAIA per hour, there will only be 32 flights that are permitted to operate at the airport because they are increasing flight separation time to avoid accidents in the air as there will be blind spots that are beyond the range of Cebu and Laoag survellance radars.

Caap Director General, Capt. Jim Sydiongco said the en-route radars in Laoag and Mount Majic in Cebu will be used instead to cover Tagaytay radar.

The installation of new radar system in Tagaytay is part of the new system, the Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) project, which aims to make air traffic flow safer and more efficient, the government agency said.

Once the upgrade is complete, the air traffic flow within the Philippine airspace will be integrated with the ASEAN FIR, Hong Kong FIR, Taiwan FIR, as well as other Flight Information Regions for an uninterrupted and seamless air traffic flow.

Complete integration into the world-class air traffic control system is slated for June 2017.

Surigao Airport Closed Due to Earthquake Damage

PALEX Cancels Flights

11 February 2017

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has closed Surigao Airport this morning due to massive damage of its runway caused by intensity 6.7 earthquake that hit the city at 10:03pm last night. The airport closure is expected to last until March 10 as airport authorities rushes emergency repair works.

CAAP Surigao said the runway ground is still moving up to this writing due to aftershocks.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines subsidiary PAL Express (PAL) suspended its flights to the airport and offered free rebooking to the nearby Butuan Airport. PAL said they will accommodate Surigao-bound passengers via Butuan.

Cebu Pacific (CEB)  in its latest bulletin has also suspended flights to the airport until further notice.

PAL flies to Manila while CEB flies to Cebu from Surigao Airport.