PAL Leaves Mediation Offer In Labor Row To New Management

The flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL) refused to comment whether they will accept the offer that the Court of Appeals (CA) offered, to mediate in the labor argument caused by the early retirement of some 2, 300 workers last year.

In its place, the decision will be left to the new management led by San Miguel Corporation, President Ramon Ant, whose group will reportedly fill some $500 million to fund the struggling airline’s re-fleeting and modernization program.

“We are in the transition phase, so it’s best for the new leaders to decide regarding legal issues,” Vice president for corporate communications of PAL, Joey de Guzman said.

The Court of Appeals (CA) tenth division asked PAL and the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) in a resolution dated March 27, if they are prepare to bring the issue before the Philippine Mediation Center-Court of Appeals for “a final opportunity to explore the possibility of coming up with an amicable settlement of their dispute.”

It almost took 8 months for the appellate court to came up with the suggestion to end the labor row after Malacañang found it admissible for PAL to outsource its catering, ground handling and call center reservation units among losses in the past years.

Compensation packages, which floated between P120, 000 and P2.4 million, were dispersed weeks following the takeover of new service providers in October 1 last year.

But the union endured the firm in its bid to fight the spinoff program as it considered the Court of Appeals’ mediation offer as an opening to end the dispute despite attacks on its campout and spending the Christmas holidays at the picket lines.

Last Friday, PALEA submitted its reply of affirmation to the Court of Appeals.

PAL Adds, Cancels Flights For Holy Week

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is regulating its operations on Holy Week by adding 6 extra flights to 3 destinations and developing 20 international and 2 domestic flights by using larger aircraft.

An additional flight will be attached to and from the following destinations: Taipei and Puerto Princesa City on the 8th of April while on the 9th will be at Hong Kong.

The flights that will use larger aircraft to lodge more passengers are those to and from Shanghai (Pudong airport) on April 4; Xiamen, Taipei, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing on April 5; Puerto Princesa City on April 7; Hong Kong, Xiamen and Beijing on April 8; and Xiamen on April 9.

PAL domestic operations will be scaled down with the cancellation of 38 flights to 7 destinations on Good Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Sunday to permit PAL employees to at least witness Holy Week practices.

On Good Friday, particular flights to and from will be cancelled such as cities of Cotabato, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Zamboanga and Tacloban. While on Black Saturday, certain flights to and from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao will be also withdrawn.

On Easter Sunday, one flight each to Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga will similarly be canceled.

Visit the PAL website for a complete list of canceled, upgraded and additional flights ( or call PAL Reservations at 8558888.

Passengers are recommended to arrive earlier than usual at the airport, also that they double check travel documents (passport, tickets, etc.) and minimize bringing bulky carry-on baggage to avoid aggravations.

DOT pushes for more RP-China flights to boost tourism

CEBU CITY Aug. 10 — The Department of Tourism (DOT) is pushing for more flights between China and the Philippines, underscoring China as an important source of tourists for the Philippines amid the global financial crisis.

The DOT is also embarking on multiple promotional approaches to lure more Chinese visitors to the country.

The DOT expects more Chinese visitors to the Philippines in the coming months with the recent addition of flights between mainland China and Taiwan and Cebu and Kalibo, Aklan.

These flights include the five-weekly Kaohsiung-Cebu chartered flights of China Airlines, the twice-weekly Gungzhou-Cebu chartered flights of China Southern Airlines, the twice-weekly Shanghai-Kalibo chartered flights of Shanghai Airlines and the thrice-weekly Hangzhou-Kalibo flight of Philippine Airlines.

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PAL wins best Asean tourism photo award

An award-winning image of a flock of migratory birds crammed on an islet at the Tubbataha Reef was recently judged Best ASEAN Tourism Photo by the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) during the 23rd ASEANTA Awards for Excellence in Tourism 2009 held recently in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) submitted the photo as an entry to the ASEANTA Excellence Awards after it appeared in PAL’s inflight magazine, Mabuhay.

Erwin T. Lim, a 38-year-old dentist-photographer from Cebu City, captured the image while on a four-day live-aboard dive safari to the Tubbataha Reef. Erwin recounts, “The scene was so picturesque that I almost didn’t feel my skin burning under the heat of the sun. Lying flat on the sand, I slowly crawled my way toward the birds.”[Read full article...]