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Thursday, August 30, 2012

PAL unveils ambitious plan to build own airport

With new investors clearly in the picture and committed to pursuing a more profitable path in global aviation, flag carrier Philippine Airlines intends to build a new airport of its own in a 2,000-heactare property 15 minutes away from Makati City.
In a report to shareholders during a meeting Thursday in Manila’s Century Park-Sheraton Hotel, PAL chairman Lucio Tan said investments are being made to put the airline firmly on the path to future growth. 
The planned air terminal with four runways will be presented to President Benigno Aquino III for approval, PAL president Ramon S. Ang told reporters during a press conference after the stockholders’ meeting.
This is to ensure the project is aligned with the Aquino administration’s tourism master plan, according to the PAL president.
PAL would start building the new terminal in 2013, hiring Korean contractors, as soon as the President approves the project. "We can finish the terminal in three years," Ang said.
He declined to give further details of the project, other than saying it would be easy to get financing with a $500-million equity. Ang added he is now in talks with potential investors.
“Despite multiple challenges last year, PAL stayed the course and dramatically restructured its operations, enabling your airline to attract much-needed strategic investments and prime itself for sustained push in the years ahead,” said Tan.
In a separate report, the airline noted it was back in the black with $11.4 million in net profit for fiscal first quarter ending June, 2012 – from a net loss of $10.6 million a year earlier.
Now, the airline said, it has put the difficulties of the past year behind and has gained stability as well as increased its yield, load factors and cargo volumes since new investors – principally San Miguel Corp. – came in last April.
The airline noted it incurred a net loss of $99.79 million in fiscal year 2011-2012, mainly because of a debilitating labor row, the Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster with its accompanying nuclear crisis, and a regime of volatile fuel prices amid civil strife in the Middle East and North Africa.
PAL's comprehensive loss of $99.79 million in the 12 months to March 31, 2012 was a “stark reversal” from the $72.52 million income a year earlier. Tan said. — VS, GMA News

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