PAL Express to take over Air Philippines Flight to Surigao starting Sep. 1

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is beefing up its domestic services with new routes and destinations in response to the local market's gradual rebound.

Starting September 1, 2009, PAL Express will takeover the flight from Air Phils. What this means is that Surigao airport may not see jetplanes anymore. Sad but true. The good news is, PAL express now accumulates Mabuhay Miles.

PAL Express will utilize its 76-seater Bombardier Q400 from Manila to Surigao and vice versa daily. Leaving Manila at 8:45 am (PR065) and leaves from Surigao at 10:50 am (PR066).

This new development happened after PAL, the mother company of Air Philippines, reported a $301.4-million loss at end-March, flag carrier PAL made drastic measures of right-sizing its workforce and reducing flight capacity to match demand in order to survive the crisis plaguing the global aviation industry.

Earlier, Jaime Bautista, PAL president and chief operating officer, said it would cut its workforce and flight capacity abroad to cope with the global economic slowdown.

“We are currently reviewing our entire organizational set-up,” Bautista said, adding that the crisis has changed the face of the industry which is among the sectors hardest hit by the global crisis.

“We don’t know yet how many will be affected. For now, we don’t have a target. I talked to the union about the plan yesterday. In a few weeks, we will know how many will be affected,” he added.

At end-March, PAL had a workforce of 8,052. Of the total, 472 are pilots and 1,593 are cabin crew.

Bautista said the airline’s cost-cutting measures will not infringe on its safety compliance and standards.

PAL will reduce flight capacity to the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, he said. About 7 percent of the airline’s total capacity would be reduced effective this month until March 2010.

At end-March, PAL’s route network covered 29 points in the Philippines and 31 international destinations.

For flight schedule details of the new routes, passengers may log on to philippineairlines.com or palexpressair.com or contact the PAL Reservations, (086) 826-8218, 826-8589, 231-6768. (photo from islaman.blogspot.com)

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