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Philippine Airlines Celebrates 75th Anniversary with Goal to Achieve 5-Star Status in 5 Years

Philippine Airlines celebrated its 75th Anniversary on Tuesday with the launch of its inaugural direct flight from Cebu to Los Angeles. After beginning a fleet modernization plan and aggressive international route expansion, the national flag carrier is now aiming even higher with an ambitious goal to achieve the status of a five-star airline in five years.
philippine airlines five star carrier
Image Source: Philippine Airlines
According to Philippine Airlines President Jaime Bautista, transforming the carrier from a three to five star carrier will not be a simple task. "Getting the five-star ranking is not easy but we think we can do that in five years," said Bautista. "For us to be able to do that, we need to improve service, from passengers' booking to getting their baggage after the flight. Our objective is to give a passenger experience that will exceed their expectations."

The star ranking is currently administered by Skytrax, a UK aviation consulting agency. If Philippine Airlines is able to achieve its goal of reaching five stars, it will join the likes of Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore Airlines. Bautista remains confident that recent innovations at the carrier will enable it to attain four-star status in 2017 after Skytrax completes another audit. He added that achieving four-star status would elevate PAL's global presence, making it more attractive to foreign investors.

Philippine Airlines will be investing heavily in in-flight technology and the reconfiguration of its existing fleet of aircraft as part of the strategic plan to achieve five-star status. The national carrier currently has fifteen Airbus A330 aircraft in the fleet that require reconfiguration and upgraded in-flight entertainment in order to achieve the rating. "The plan is to reconfigure them to around 311 seats to make it more comfortable for passengers and it would entail a huge amount of investment, more or less $10 million per plane to reconfigure," noted Bautista.

Philippine Airlines also has a number of other plans in the works including the possibility of developing a hub at Clark International Airport to help address congestion issues faced at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. "We are considering Clark as another hub for PAL," said Bautista. "Our corporate planning department is working on it and as soon as studies are finalized and flights are scheduled, we will announce it."

In addition, the carrier is also planning to take advantage of more fifth-freedom rights, which enables it to drop off and pick up passengers in a second country, prior to flying on to a third country. For example, it could fly to Bangkok, pick up more passengers, and continue onto New Delhi. Philippine Airlines is also planning to add a second European destination in 2018, when its new fleet of A350-900 aircraft enter service. The carrier is currently evaluating Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris, and Rome as the next possible destination. 

philippine airlines cebu to los angeles
Copyright Photo: Joshua Dela Cruz/PPSG
Meanwhile, Cebuanos celebrated the launch of the maiden Philippine Airlines flight between Cebu and Los Angeles, opening new opportunities for both the business and tourism sectors. "The direct Cebu-Los Angeles flight marks our very first connection to the United States," said Manuel Ferrer, President of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation. "It creates greater travel and trade opportunities for both destinations."

Philippine Airlines was Asia's first airline, originally established in 1941. The first flight carried five passengers from Manila to Baguio. By 1946, it became the first Asian airline to fly across the Pacific. "People looked at PAL before as the best airline in Asia, but we were overtaken by events," added Bautista. "Now we want to bring back the glory days."

50 comments:

  1. Yes, reconfigure your B777s to 3-3-3 abreast like SQ, CX OZ and KE.
    Have ample food and drinks like the above airlines.
    Employ young crews - 18 to 25 only (no offense/discrimination)
    Baggage handling - secondary to me
    Good luck, Garuda is able to do it, so do you Mr. Bautista!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. PAL should keep the B777 economy seating at 3-4-3, but create a true premium economy 3-3-3 seating section within the B777 forward economy section (rows 31-39). I think many passengers would be willing to pay slightly higher fares for the extra legroom, so long as PAL includes additional Mabuhay Miles in premium economy as an incentive. I would suggest 120% of the base miles along with priority boarding, lounge access and priority baggage handling.

      I know if PAL offered me this option I would choose it every time I fly YYZ-MNL which is usually twice a year, so long as the fare was a couple of hundred dollars higher round trip vs. economy.

      JJB are you listening?

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    2. Whats wrong with a matured Cabin Crew? They are the ones who are the most well experienced. I will never trust my safety on a young flight attendant.as what happened to cebu pacific crashed landing in davao city last that overshoot the runway due to heavy rain. A young female f'a was seen crying and nervous...

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    3. I agree more experienced cabin crew always give the best in-flight service.

      Younger cabin crew only flash nice smiles.

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    4. Hahaha yong nanyari sa davao runway skid off puro young ang mga FA nagpanic sila at pinakalma ng mga pasahero hahahaha...i remember united airline water landing in hudson river in new york and british airway mid air explosive decompression ,all their FA are matures and all passengers are alive.

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    5. PAL long-haul older cabin crew 35plus are maldita! PAL will never get to 5star rating with the attitude of these stews looking down on paying passengers as if they are bothering them for water mid-flight.

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    6. Bolax2 sa old flight crew. I remember one tym on MNL-YVR the flight experienced turbulence 2hr from YVR. The older cabin crew sat down next to me in an available seat na cuz of the turbulence and she was very scared. She looked around and tightened her seat belt, I'm sure she was praying. After 20min the turbulence ended and she got up and continued her duties na, so olders not safer dats bola.

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    7. Not all young crew are provide excellent and not old crew are grumpy. PAL i think is starting to have a good mis. The older crews are promoted to being cabin supervisor while younger crews follow the instructions of their seniors. Young crews work faster than old crews While experience of old crews are useful in times of decision making.

      PAL's 777 seats have exactly the same size as SQ and CX. The airline sacrificed their aisle space for an additional seat just like Emirates, Air France, and American Airlines. This makes it impossible for passengers to pass while the cabin is having meal service.

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  2. Hope you make your business class like Singapore airlines and Cathay pacific etc!! :)

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    1. I am happy and contented with what they offer in J class right now as it is very affordable as compared to CX and SG. besides, direct flights on long-haul are always best taken thru PR

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    2. Agree...i always fly with pal. direct flight is very important to me because i want to arrive quick as possible.thumbs up pal for high score on safety rating at nilampaso mo ang 5 star garuda indonesia at malaysia airlines.

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  3. wishing them all the best with nothing but possitivity!

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  4. I flew PAL JFK-MNL last month (early Feb) and found their in-flight service VERY impressive. Reminds me of BA when I fly them JFK-LHR. Professional flight attendants and has ample food even in economy.

    With a commitment to fully upgrade their NAIA 2 facility to include improved efficiency, updated interiors and clean bathroom facility (not to mention, upgraded food selections/restaurants and duty-free section), I believe PAL will be on their way to obtain the coveted Skytrax 5-star rating. We can't wait to fly in their gleaming A350's nonstop from JFK to Manila!

    Good luck and happy trails, PAL.

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    Replies
    1. Have you seen pal"s improved rating at www.airlineratings.com lately? Its very surprising but am happy for them..

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    2. I know....safety before comfort.5 star garuda indonesia and malaysia airlines near bottom list....pal is next on singapore airlines in terms of safety.proud pal frequent flyer me.

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    3. The only REAL rating is the SKYTRAX one! All the other online rating websites are full of fake glowing reviews posted by airline staff.

      SKYTRAX posts your name so the airlines can check their flight manifests and flag any fake reviews.

      PAL is a 2.5 star airline on it's best day, and always will be because they take off late, arrive late, rude cabin crew that always run and sleep after first meal service on long-haul, check in staff that can't be bothered to smile or choose to upgrade family and friends ahead of elite & premier elite.

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    4. "always will be"? Pessimistic much, aren't you?

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    5. And you dont know whats the difference about skytrax and airline rating., arent you?!

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    6. The guy above is abosoulety a big hater of Pal..No matter what good ratings/comments/reviews baswd in passengers experienced on actual flying with pal.the above person will still pull pal down..what a poor soul..:-)

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    7. Fake glowing reviews posted by employees does not mean PAL has attained 5 star status

      BTW to obtain a 5star rating from SKYTRAX PAL must offer a first class cabin option. No first class section no 5 star rating.

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    8. Eva Air has no First Class but it has a 5 Star Skytrax Rating!

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    9. I am sorry, but you are wrong! Eva Air is a 4 star airlines at Skytrax!

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  5. im glad he confirmed the reconfiguration on the a330s , probably the biggest complaint on their medium and long haul fleet is the lack of in flight entertainment. But they also said they may have to delay retiring their a340's amid the low price of oil? I dont think they can easily achieve 5 star status without reconfiguring them too, but it doesn't make sense to invest at least $10 million on a plane that is about to be retired very soon. Anyway, I would say PAL is on the right track. I used to lament Lucio Tan regaining operating control of PAL from SMC, but it turned out to be actually good. Happy 75th anniversary!

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    1. I had the misfortune of flying on one of PAL's mono class A330 MNL-CEB and I was never so happy to get off a plane in my life. OMG what a tin can, and it was only a 1hr flight!

      No IVOD, and zero legroom with over 400 passengers crammed into an A330.

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    2. You mean AVOD? I hope so.

      Zero legroom? Come on. Don't be too sarcastic here.

      Nobody is forcing you to fly PR. transfer to 5J then on your domestic flights.

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    3. I do not fly 5J, I fly PAL! Although I heard 5J is looking into leasing some long-haul equipment and the first place they will expand is North America. The day that 5J expands is the day I switch to 5J! I prefer to fly with the same airline domestic and International so I can check my bags all the way through and I can get my mileage accrual all on one airline.

      That day is coming sooner than most people think. When it does 5J will offer lower fares and they will eat into PR's market share. Couple that with a rising oil price and PR will fall back into unprofitable territory.

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    4. And people will still be flying PAL and you flying 5J hahaha goodluck!!

      Instead of torturing yourself with flying PAL there are other airlines that even with a stop-over (ie. Cathay) and PAL has some mileage partners with other airlines as both international and domestic routes as well (ANA and Etihad), so it wont be a "burden" for you to keep on flying PAL.

      just fly and switch to 5J's short haul flights nobody is stopping you.

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    5. I think there's a lot of glowing praise on here from people who don't actually fly. PAL can never improve the customer experience if they are unable or unwilling to realize where the problems are.

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    6. The same can be said with those who bash PAL but dont exactly fly it. I always fly PAL, domestic or international and so far i dont have any big complaints about them apart from maybe the seats, but services and other things its all good for me. But unlike the others here who fly PAL, had 1 or 2 bad experience and they poo-poo on PAL like it owes there is no tomorrow with a huge megaphone but STILL end up choosing and flying with PAL the same can also be said with those who fly 5J - megaphone complain - still use 5J

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  6. JJB should put the A359 to work on the YYZ-MNL and JFK-MNL routes and convert them to non-stop.

    JJB needs to take care of the loyal passengers first who have helped to stabilize and bring PAL into profitability instead of employing the A359 on new unproven routes.

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    1. According to Mr.JBautista Non stop Service to Toronto and New York using A350-900WG will fly over the Polar route Region..expecting to get claerance from Russia,Canada and USA by October 2016.

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  7. Becoming a 5star Airline is easy to said than done. But when i got the chance to view Pal's rating at www.airlineratings.com i was surprised how they got high score and positive coments based on experiences from a passenger.mostly for Flight Attendants and from the Flight Deck"s Crew.it seems that JJB is indeed serious about making Pal a 5star Airline.

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    1. PAL will never attain true 5star status with fake reviews, while the real reviews from passengers are 2-3star service.

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    2. You are reffering skytrax reviews.the one he mention(above) is about airline rating(www.airlinerating.com) it is a benchmark about safety standard of an airlines.

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  8. If only PAL would go to the trouble of upgrading and improving the seating on its A340's. I know they're going to be phased out in due course, but for the time being, an upgrading would make them much more appealing than they are - especially since they're being used on such long haul flights!

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  9. Five star also means clean restroom. PAL can hire janitors for each plane to ensure that the CR are clean at all times.

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    Replies
    1. To the anonymous guy suggesting that pal should hire janitors to clean the CR..eventhough how much effort an airlplane cleaner can do to clean the CR if some passengers dont have the right manners using it..it will remain a dirty CR..even Singapore and Asiana Airlines which are Sytax 5star airlines have dirty CR also after a longhaul flight.

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    2. I agree. I have been on countless long haul flights and after 12+ hours every Y class CR was dirty.

      The only real difference is on airlines like BA AF EK the flight attendants actually put on gloves mid-flight and clean all the CR's.

      On PAL I have only seen one flight attendant put on gloves and clean a CR. Well she tried, and in the end actually closed and locked the door so that CR was unavailable for the rest of the flight. Most PAL flight crew go into the Y class CR and tidy it up some and replace the toilet paper, but they never put on gloves and clean the toilet or the liquid on the floor.

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  10. Would Jaime Bautista transform PAL's Airbus A330-300 into 8-abreast seating for economy class and 7-abreast for premium economy class?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PAL is operating with a slight profit 2015-2016. The previous years were losing money. The reason for the sudden profit is the drop in the oil price, once it goes back up the profit will also go.

      PAL operates on (777)3-4-3 (343)2-4-2 and (330)3-3-3 Y class, so removing any of those seats will impact the razor thin profitability in the long run.

      I would love it if PAL would move away from the higher density layouts, but I wouldn't get your hopes up. Although your idea for 7 abreast premium economy sounds perfect.

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  11. Does anyone else have a problem getting the pal.com website to accept their Mabuhay Miles number when making a booking? I entered my MM number correctly and the website says its not valid. This happens when I book for either myself or my wife, both domestic and international so I know it's not just my number.

    anyone else have the same problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. Only you sir

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    2. Yes, this happens (only) with Philippine Airlines. If you are a new member (new means.... less than about 2 months), then your account will tell you: MM number not correct. This happened to my friend for whom I made an account just 2 weeks before we flew. Still at the check-in counter it was not available yet. BUT good news: my friend got her miles after about 1 month.

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  12. If Philippine Airlines like, they should have stop-overs at India for Europe flights since there is fifth-freedom agreement between Philippines and India. Philippine Airlines can drop passengers and pick-up more passengers to India before heading to Europe.

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  13. In as much as i would like to patronize our own flag carrier, but some of their sysmtems in booking and rebooking has seevices needs to be addressed especially if you do it by phone. Another thing, i cant understand why the brand of service in western and Japanese routes are totally different from the middle eastern routes. My friends travelling via PAl from US/UK or Japan always says that they were impressed by the PAL service as it is true to their slogan "your home in the sky" meanwhile for us here in the middle east are always having "A bus ride" experience with less minimal services that even asking for a glass of water seems to be a burden to the FA's. Weve felt like theres a kind of discrimination over the type of guest PAL is serving. Hope this issue will be taken into consideration by PAL's management. Thank you.

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  14. Why PR for me is a real 2,5 Star Airline and far away from a 5 star:
    1.) If you call them for reservating special meal or seat (because it is not possible to do that online) you need to call the US number (cheap with online calls) or the very expenisive number in Manila! They don't have a free number!!! And then they need very long (min 5min for seat/meal reservation, about 30min for Award purchase). Other airlines: seat/meal: 1-2min, award: 3min.

    2.) Check-In: Even if I am Elite member, I need minimum 5min (nobody in front of me). Last time in LAX for Asiana Airline: 1min exactly!!!! ! had 1 checked in luggage!

    3.) Check-through: if the layover in MNL is longer than 12hours, then they will not check-through your luggage! What??? All other airlines do this if layover is shorter than 24hours.

    4.) Airport in Manila! From getting there until the gates: Oh my God!

    5.) Flight attendants at PR are very very kind! And I think only young FA would make problems (as it happened with Air Asia before in Thailand). I want FA who know how to handle in emergency - and this can only be done if they are a little bit older. BUT the flightattendants don't great Elite passengers personally - as in the 5 Star Airlines. PS: this wouldn't cost any Peso.

    6.) The seats in PR are very very small, and most without TV. Also the luggage stores are very small unlike in other airplanes. Toilets are small. And about the dirty toilets: Normal passengers shouldn't make the toilet dirty, or if they do, the passenger should clean it - but Filippinos are famous for that - unfortunately. And they are too proud of themselves to clean it! If I make dirt, then I should clean it by myself! (if I am not a rude person).

    7.) late departures and arrivals: it happens often with PAL.

    8.) Pilots are very good - perfect landings and starts (my experiences) as long as there are no problems - as in BKK few weeks ago.

    I hope I mentioned all important things! I like to fly PR, as long as the price is ok (and not more than for a 5 Star airline). But it's truely a 3 star airlines, nothing more.

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  15. I'm sure just a marketing strategy, which I wouldn't ever fly PAL anyway. Garuda made it looks so easy, they worked hard! I doubt that in 5 year PAL can even achieve 4 stars.

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  16. I'm sure just a marketing strategy, which I wouldn't ever fly PAL anyway. Garuda made it looks so easy, they worked hard! I doubt that in 5 year PAL can even achieve 4 stars.

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  17. Askum Terima Kasih am Indonesian /Filipino from yogyakarta city Indonesia its true that Garuda have improved a lot and was been selected as the best in cabin crew service by skytax but its still way behind when it comes to saftey..FYI our National Flag Carrier have the lowest in safety ratings among its Asean neighbors. Garuda is still in Category 2 by the FAA and was given 3star out of 7 by ICAO Philippine Airlines got 6/7 from ICAO and is in Category 1 by FAA .and the truth is we envy Philippine Airlines very good safety records from.FAA and ICAO

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  18. PAL can never be a 5 star airline, bad service old aircraft with no AVOD, bad food, cramped seats, no customer service.Even if I was offered a free ticket I would never fly PAL. Bad schedule, always late. Good look if you are planning to be like emirates, singapore airlies. Dream on PAL

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