Mar 202015

NEW YORK – National flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) is looking at mounting its 37th international destination via the Manila to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea as early as next month.

PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said in an interview with reporters that the new route would be launched within the next three months as the airline is just awaiting the green light from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

Last Sunday, PAL returned to New York after an 18-year hiatus. It last flew to the “Big Apple” in 1997. This is the first long-haul destination of PAL after the Tan Group successfully bought back the shares of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

To mark its 74th founding anniversary, PAL started flying to New York four times a week via Vancouver. New York marks the fifth US city in PAL’s network, following Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Guam.

PAL is also scheduled to fly to Jinjiang in China soon bringing the number of destinations in China to seven. It currently flies to Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, and Xiamen.

PAL has a total of 67 routes comprised of 37 international routes including Jinjiang and Port Moresby as well as 30 domestic routes including Tablas in Romblon launched yesterday.

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The Tan Group has decided to defer the complete delivery of close to 40 brand new aircraft from Airbus after successfully taking back full ownership of the airline from diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

The orders, Bautista explained, has deferred the delivery of 38 Airbus A321 aircraft to 2024 instead of 2020 without any additional cost from the national flag carrier.

For this year alone, he pointed out that PAL is scheduled to take the delivery of 10 A321 but has decided to accept only five while the remaining five would be delivered in 2016.

Immediately after buying back the shares of SMC in PAL last September, the Tan Group evaluated the fleet renewal program undertaken by the diversified conglomerate headed by president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang.

The Tan Group through Buona Sorte and Horizon Global Investments bought back the 49 percent interest of SMC’s San Miguel Equity Investments Inc. last Sept. 15 for a total consideration of $1.3 billion.

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