PAL bullish on air travel sector this 2007
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (28 November) -- The Philippine Airlines (PAL) sees 2007 as a good year and expects an increase in travel activities to happen next year.
PAL executive vice president lawyer Dominador Duerme in an interview after Kapehan sa Dabaw yesterday at SM's Krua Thai said there will be more activities next year firstly because it is an election year.
"There will be more people traveling in the domestic market especially when it is election year," he said.
Duerme said the industry in Mindanao made positive showing with PAL in the island maintaining an over 80 percent load factor.
However he said based on experience they are hitting the 95 percent mark for their load factor and that is an indication that more people are coming to Davao during the holiday season.
In preparation for this PAL will operate four flights of PR 815 (Manila-Davao-Manila) with Airbus 320 on a daily frequency, he said.
"We want to better address the need during December where people come for vacation both the balikbayans and the domestic travelers," he said.
He said they wanted to maintain the capacity and if the load factor warrants they could go up to five flights provided also that the aircraft is available.
Duerme also said that with PAL's current re-fleeting they assured passengers to be serviced by state-of-the-art aircraft.
He said starting December 2, three new Airbus 319 will be added. The aircraft has 127 seats for the economy and eight for business class or a total of 134 seats combined.
He said once the new carriers will come in all routes in Mindanao will also have business class seats.
"Airbus 319 has better leg room and passengers can access individual movies and can also operate lap tops in flight," he said.
The re-fleeting is part of the $810 million program of PAL where in 2007 seven more aircraft will be added, five more in 2008 and towards 2012 another five.
In the island of Mindanao PAL still maintain a load capacity of 54 percent while it enjoy a market share of 55 percent.
He said that with the percentage share that they capture in the market PAL gets as well the share of the other airlines.
Duerme meanwhile said that they still maintain their promo rate of P998 for their Davao Manila but up to December 15 only because after the 15th will come in the influx of travelers and they are already into the peak period. (PIA XI) [top]