PAL mulls move to Clark as NAIA congestion losses rise

Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) said its losses reach around US$1,780 for every 30-minute delay in its flights due to the runway congestion at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).


Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) said its losses reach around US$1,780 for every 30-minute delay in its flights due to the runway congestion at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Jaime J. Bautista, president and chief operating officer of PAL, made the comments in New Zealand during a ceremony marking the inaugural Philippine Airlines four-times weekly flight from Manila to Auckland on 8 December.

“Many times we fly around Metro Manila for additional 20 to 30 minutes – we did an estimate of how much it costs us for a minute of delay because of congestion, it is around US$60 every minute on average,” Bautista said. Th e amount covers jet fuel, maintenance, and additional labor expenses. “Because we pay our pilots and cabin crew a basic pay and productivity pay based on fl ying hours. So that’s additional cost,” Bautista explained.

Asked if the flag carrier plans to move some flights to Clark International Airport in Pampanga as it did with select international flights out of Cebu’s Mactan International Airport, he replied: “Yes.

Most of the airlines will be forced to fl y to Clark if they would want to continue their expansion programme. We want to decongest Manila that’s why we’re operating in Cebu and soon we’ll have to operate in Clark,” he added, but did not disclose a target date. Bautista also announced PAL will be transferring its Manila-San Francisco (SFO) service from NAIA terminal 2 to terminal 1 starting from 8 December 2015 in order to “decongest terminal 2”.