BIZ BUZZ: Philippine Airlines’ aircraft woes
Lucio Tan-owned flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is having its own peculiar set of challenges, despite having dodged being castigated by senators in last Wednesday’s public hearing on the mounting customer complaints of late.
Yesterday, social media was abuzz with pictures showing a slew of flight cancellations which the company’s spokesperson said was due to the same problem plaguing rival Cebu Pacific: Several aircraft were taken offline for maintenance.
“These flight cancellations are consequential to the grounding of several aircraft,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said. “Passengers of these flights are re-accommodated on the next available flights, rerouted, or refunded. Or tickets are converted to travel vouchers.”
Passengers with contact details were provided email notifications. The posting of the said flights at the Terminal 1 entrance serves to inform passengers who may not be aware of these cancellations.”
According to the PAL official, the company had adopted several measures to minimize disruptions and restore normalcy in its flight schedules, including several adjustments to its flight schedules.
Specific measures that PAL is undertaking include: Actively seeking for more sources of critical parts suppliers in the market; looking at the acquisition of an additional A321ceo (the older version) to join its fleet next month; the leasing of an additional Q400 turboprop and one A330 jet; the return of one A320 from storage by August, and the purchase of nine new A350 long-haul aircraft from Airbus.
This will, hopefully, solve recurring complaints by flyers on PAL, especially on long-haul flights, who found themselves suffering from business class seats that don’t recline, inflight entertainment systems that don’t work, torn and frayed upholstery and—possibly the worst challenge of all—bathrooms that are locked because they are out of service (on 13-hour flights!).
Luckily for PAL, it has not been subjected to the same barrage of hectoring from lawmakers. So lucky. —Daxim L. Lucas
No IPO, no problem
Entrepreneur and meat connoisseur Anthony Ng dodged a bullet by postponing the P4.5-billion listing of his North Star Meat Merchants last year, luckily avoiding the stock market slump that extended well into 2023.
Things have since worked out well for Ng. In a recent chat, he said he was able to use the time to grow North Star and indulge in another one of his passions: Fine cuisine.
Within a compact modern glass and cement building along Katipunan Avenue, Ng recently opened two new dining establishments: William Watson “Steak Room” and Fukui Omakase Restaurant, which serves Japanese food.
With chefs trained overseas, Ng hopes to deliver an elevated and sophisticated dining experience without breaking the bank. That’s to say the food promises the same quality but is generally priced less than what you might find in similarly themed restaurants in Bonifacio Global City or Makati City.
Ng has another motive for opening William Watson and Fukui. “Many of my executives live around the area so this is where we can meet,” he quips.
The restaurants are currently in their “soft open” phase but Ng hopes business will soon ramp up with the current resurgence in the sector. —Miguel R. Camus
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