PAL set to downgrade Davao flights
by RG Alama
Davao City (29 October) -- After the All Soul's Day peak season, the Philippine Airlines is looking to downgrade its widebodied flights to and from Davao City.
According to PAL Vice President for Mindanao Atty. Domingo Duerme, the airlines will be replacing its wide-bodied Airbus 330/340 with smaller Airbus 319/320 in its Davao flights.
An Airbus 330 aircraft has a capacity of 302 passengers while the smaller A319/320 aircraft has a capacity ranging from 134 to 156 passengers.
PAL operates 6 flights in Davao, five of these are Davao-Manila flights while one daily flight is allocated to the Davao-Cebu route.
Duerme said that they would be resuming widebodied flights by Christmas season. He said that passenger traffic is down by 4 to 5% from the previous year.
He said that widebodied aircraft cost twice as much as smaller aircraft and would not be reasonable to fly these planes if there is no sufficient passenger traffic.
Describing 2009 as a bad year, Duerme said that factors like the global economic crisis and the super typhoons that hit Luzon are the factors for the downturn. He said that even Japan Airlines (JAL) has been affected by the global financial crisis.
Meanwhile, in cargo load. Duerme said that the past few weeks PAL has been averaging more than 100 tons of cargo. Most of the cargoes are lanzones, mangoes and durian as this time of the year is considered as the fruiting season.
PAL has also been actively transporting relief cargo donated by kind-hearted Dabawenyos for the typhoon victims in Manila and Luzon. (PIA XI) [top]