Thursday, June 17, 2010

China Airlines starts first direct service to Shanghai

China Airlines has started a new direct cross-strait scheduled service from Taipei Songshan Airport to Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, marking a historic milestone in the opening of direct transportation links across the Taiwan Strait.

The maiden flight carried several dignitaries from Taiwan including Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-Bin and his team members, legislators, Administrative Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Chang Chiou-Chien as well as CAL's Chairman Philip Wei and President Huang-Hsiang Sun.

CAL will operate six round-trip flights each week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

In the initial stage, CAL will operate the service with Boeing 737-800 aircraft providing 158 seats in economy and business classes.

An Airbus A330-300 plane will be used when Songshan airport completed its reconstruction. To celebrate the new service and express its gratitude to passengers who have given CAL long-term support, all economy class passengers departing from Songshan will receive a 10% discount from Friday (June 18) through June 30.

In addition, as long as tickets do not bear any special restrictions, CAL passengers holding return-trip tickets between Taipei and Shanghai may freely choose to book their seats either to or from Taipei's Songshan or Taoyuan airports, as well as to or from Shanghai's Hongqiao or Pudong airports.

The China Airlines Group, including China Airlines and Mandarin Airlines, flies to 13 destinations in mainland China including Shenyang, Beijing, Zhengzhou, Changsha, Nanjing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xian and Chengdu.

CAL increases the number of outbound cross-strait flights departing from Songshan, Taoyuan, Taichung and Kaohsiung airports from 55 to 76 each week, providing even more convenient and comfortable services for passengers traveling between both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Philippine Military grounds MG-520s after near crash in Zamboanga

The Philippine Air Forces (PAF) on Thursday grounded all its M5-520 attack helicopters following an incident in Zamboanga City on Wednesday.

"MG-520s are currently grounded as per procedure until investigation is over and the cause is determined," Lt. Col. Miguel Okol, PAF spokesman, told ABS-CBN Zamboanga.

An MG-520 helicopter piloted by Maj. Rover Sobrino together with his student pilot Capt. Edwinparcia encountered an engine trouble during a training flight around 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Sobrino said that after they detected that the chopper was having an engine trouble, he and his student decided to land it to a vegetated area in Barangay Talisayan, Zamboanga City.

The 2 pilots survived the emergency landing.

Okol said the PAF has a total of 30 MG-520 attack helicopters. He said 11 of the choppers have been involved in "incidents," 7 of which are being recovered, repaired or programmed to be repaired.

He added that 3 of the attack helicopters have been "written off entirely."

Maj. Gen. Horacio Lino, 3rd Air Division commander, meanwhile, said the grounding of the attack helicopters might affect ongoing military operations in Mindanao.

Lino said the MG-520s are usually dispatched to reinforce troops engaged in clashes with armed groups in the south.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Palau starts tuna export shipments via DMIA for Metro Manila market

The Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) has the capability of handling world-class frozen cargo operations when the Pacific Flier started last May 27 its regular flights via Clark carrying 15 tons of tuna fish for distribution in Metro Manila.

Asia Foundation director Capt. Ben Solis said Pacific Flier will have regular flights to DMIA every Thursday and Sunday carrying 15 tons to 20 tons of tuna fish from Palau earmarked for Metro Manila market.

“This is an important element that DMIA can handle this kind of operations which makes it very accessible to Metro Manila because of the modern expressways that makes travel faster and convenient,” Solis added.

“The cargo world will recognize DMIA as an important part of their cargo operations in the Asia Pacific Region,” he said.

Solis said DMIA is not only for commercial international and local flights, but also for the shipping world to use the airport as their center for cargo operations.

“Clark is fully equipped to take this perishable items even transit them to Metro Manila and we have ground handlers to do this,” he said.

There are 50 to 60 tons of tuna fish available for shipment for Japan daily and transit them to other countries, Solis said.

DMIA is also host of international and local flights to destinations in the South East Asian Region being serviced by budget carriers operating out of Clark.

Solis express confidence that DMIA will continue to attract more international and local flights as well as cargo operations in the coming future, adding that the airport would be the next Premier International Gateway of the country.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Serious delays in Philippine CAAP signatures on aviation documentation

Word is that there are some serious issues at CAAP with nothing getting signed for weeks at a time.

Seems like the Director General is the only one who is authorized to sign anything, and no one is delegated in his absence should he decide to go overseas or become unavailable for any reason.

Lots of people and companies getting hurt by this lack of action.

Additionally, there are apparently consultants who have been hired to vet all documentation just prior to it hitting the Director General's Desk for signature and if any issues are found, the whole process stops.

One would reasonable expect that it would be a lot more sensible to do this as part of the normal business process to maximize service and efficiency.

Well, what next in Philippine Aviation?? Rest of the world is trying to cut regulatory costs and make it easier, whereas the Philippines appears to be going in the totally opposite direction.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

CAAP updates downloads section of web site

There are a whole bunch of new downloads on the CAAP Web Site, including the Licensing Handbook

Click here for the download page ..

Omni Aviation latest Rate Sheets