Republic of the Philippines - Stamps & Postal History

RP Issues of 2016











2016, October 19.  Philippine Airlines (PAL) 75th Anniversary

Litho Offset, Amstar Company, Inc.,  Perf 14

Singles,  Sheets of  40




12p  PAL "The Heart of the Filipino" - Singles  (101,000) 


Designer:  Rodine C.Teodoro

Design Coordinator:  Maria Manundo -PAL Corporate Committee Department


Design:  PAL over world map with "The Heart of the Filipino"


First Day Covers:  Manila







Philippine Airlines (PAL) Celebrates 75th Anniversary

With Goal to Achieve 5-Star Status in 5 Years

Philippine Airlines celebrated its 75th Anniversary March 15, 2016 with the launch of its inaugural direct flight from Cebu to Los Angeles. After beginning a fleet modernization plan and aggressive international route expansion, the national flag carrier is now aiming even higher with an ambitious goal to achieve the status of a five-star airline in five years.

According to Philippine Airlines President Jaime Bautista, transforming the carrier from a three to five star carrier will not be a simple task. "Getting the five-star ranking is not easy but we think we can do that in five years," said Bautista. "For us to be able to do that, we need to improve service, from passengers' booking to getting their baggage after the flight. Our objective is to give a passenger experience that will exceed their expectations."

The star ranking is currently administered by Skytrax, a UK aviation consulting agency. If Philippine Airlines is able to achieve its goal of reaching five stars, it will join the likes of Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Singapore Airlines. Bautista remains confident that recent innovations at the carrier will enable it to attain four-star status in 2017 after Skytrax completes another audit. He added that achieving four-star status would elevate PAL's global presence, making it more attractive to foreign investors.

Philippine Airlines will be investing heavily in in-flight technology and the reconfiguration of its existing fleet of aircraft as part of the strategic plan to achieve five-star status. The national carrier currently has fifteen Airbus A330 aircraft in the fleet that require reconfiguration and upgraded in-flight entertainment in order to achieve the rating. "The plan is to reconfigure them to around 311 seats to make it more comfortable for passengers and it would entail a huge amount of investment, more or less $10 million per plane to reconfigure," noted Bautista.

Philippine Airlines also has a number of other plans in the works including the possibility of developing a hub at Clark International Airport to help address congestion issues faced at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. "We are considering Clark as another hub for PAL," said Bautista. "Our corporate planning department is working on it and as soon as studies are finalized and flights are scheduled, we will announce it."

In addition, the carrier is also planning to take advantage of more fifth-freedom rights, which enables it to drop off and pick up passengers in a second country, prior to flying on to a third country. For example, it could fly to Bangkok, pick up more passengers, and continue onto New Delhi. Philippine Airlines is also planning to add a second European destination in 2018, when its new fleet of A350-900 aircraft enter service. The carrier is currently evaluating Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris, and Rome as the next possible destination. 

Meanwhile, Cebuanos celebrated the launch of the maiden Philippine Airlines flight between Cebu and Los Angeles, opening new opportunities for both the business and tourism sectors. "The direct Cebu-Los Angeles flight marks our very first connection to the United States," said Manuel Ferrer, President of GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation. "It creates greater travel and trade opportunities for both destinations."

Philippine Airlines was Asia's first airline, originally established in 1941. The first flight carried five passengers from Manila to Baguio. By 1946, it became the first Asian airline to fly across the Pacific. "People looked at PAL before as the best airline in Asia, but we were overtaken by events," added Bautista. "Now we want to bring back the glory days."





  • Transportation / Airlines



Articles by Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak

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Issues of 2016