PAL ready for takeoff to Seattle

BIZ BUZZ: PAL ready for takeoff to Seattle

/ 02:15 AM April 02, 2024

After years of wishing and hoping, it looks like flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is getting what it has long yearned for, direct access to another major city in the United States.

Where? Biz Buzz sources say it’s Seattle, the Emerald City itself and the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, home to a large and thriving Filipino community and a gateway to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

Expanding its reach is part of overall efforts of the Lucio Tan-led airline to strengthen its hold on the lucrative American market that is willing to pay top dollar for a direct link between the motherland and their adopted home.


Currently, PAL has direct links to Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York in the continental US and flies to Guam and Hawaii.


READ: PAL eyes possible expansion of new routes in US network

The high load factor of these flights contributed to the record high revenues that the flag carrier posted last year.

With an additional destination, it can be assumed that PAL should scale even greater heights in 2024. —Tina Arceo-Dumlao

An efficiency boost that’s minutes away

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will soon move some of its operating units into a building owned by Gotianun-led Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) in Makati City, just a few minutes’ walk away from the agency’s current headquarters.

FLI on Monday said it would lease its entire Filinvest Buendia building to the DTI in hopes of improving the latter’s efficiency.

The building along Gil Puyat Avenue comprises 10,668.40 square meters, and boasts of enhanced security measures and a variable refrigerant flow air conditioning system to ensure energy efficiency.


“Through this partnership, we aim to support DTI in its mission to deliver exceptional public service and to contribute to the advancement of our nation’s economic landscape,” FLI president and CEO Tristan Las Marias said in a statement.

The DTI’s “functional groups”—the Office of the Secretary, the competitiveness and innovation group, consumer protection group and the communications office—will be moved to the Filinvest building by the third quarter of the year.

These departments are currently housed in the nearby Trade and Industry Building. Let’s see if this will eventually boost the DTI’s efficiency. It’s a good thing DTI employees won’t have to drastically change their commute routine. —Meg J. Adonis

Glittering prospects

Global gold prices hitting all-time highs is naturally a big boost to local companies that are in the business of extracting yellow metal, especially now that they are spending more to expand their operations.

The Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP), the association composed of the largest mining, quarrying and mineral processing companies nationwide, said steep gold prices should raise the share prices of gold miners listed on the local bourse.

“This situation could have a positive effect on gold miners especially if the price remains high as this could help grow the share prices of those that are listed. It could also potentially provide miners funds for their expansion plans and exploration projects,” COMP chair Michael Toledo told the Inquirer in a message.

Pangilinan-led Philex Mining Corp., among the major gold producers in the country, said high gold prices would help them advance the construction of the Silangan copper-gold project in Surigao del Norte province.

READ: Gold extends rally to record as Powell hints at rate cut in 2024

Scheduled to begin commercial operations in the first quarter of 2025, the Silangan project is touted as one of the three large-scale mining projects in the Philippines.

“If gold prices will remain at these levels, our Silangan Project will undoubtedly benefit from it,” Philex Mining president and CEO Eulalio Austin Jr. told the Inquirer.

Austin also said the listed company could gain from rising prices of the safe-haven commodity amid the increase in operating costs due to various developments worldwide.

“Low grade gold deposits of current operating mines could use a shot in the arm,” he added.

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Gold prices surpassed the $2,250 per ounce level as of Monday, buoyed by the expected interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve between May and June as well as the moderate increase in the US inflation rate for February.—Jordeene B. Lagare

TAGS: Biz Buzz, DTI, gold prices, PAL

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