Yes, The Philippines Can! Headlining in my head knowing the sheer benefits my constituents will reap out of these upgrades our aviation industry agency and airlines received over the week — and just before the Holy Week.
To know what these upgrade means, we scoured the web and found eight noteworthy facts that will paint a picture of our aviation industry and what it means for our tourism and our economy as a whole.
- Higher and much competitive salaries for immensely technical staff of PAL and CebuPac
- Philippines, as a country, is still partially black-listed in EU since we still have ZestAir and SEAir as air carriers in the country
- Cebu Pacific was taken out of the ban along with Air Astana, Swaziland’s national air carrier
- There are twenty countries banned in EU, fourteen from Africa and six in Asia – Philippines and Swaziland still included because we still have registered air carriers that were not cleared by EU
- To lift the whole nation from the ban, the European Commission will also begin the process of assessing Philippine aviation including internal aviation later this year with the prospect of lifting the ban on Philippine aviation as a whole.
- Cebu Pacific acquired Tiger Airways Philippines in February 2014 and is just awaiting Congress’ and SEC’s approval of the said deal — Cebu Pacific currently operates over 2,200 flights per week with 49 aircraft to 24 international and 33 Philippine cities; Tigerair Philippines will add 118 flights per week. Its fleet consists of five aircrafts that goes to 11 domestic and international routes coming from either Manila and Clark airports.
- The USFAA upgrade of CAAP to Category one means the country’s airlines in addition to flag carrier Philippine Airlines can now fly to the US, which includes CebuPacific, ZestAir, and SEAir.
- Cebu Pacific intends to fly to Hawaii and Guam first after the USFAA announcement
- PAL will intuitively return flights to Hawaii, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and all the way to New York — its prime destinations back in 2008 before the US agency took it away from our flag carrier
- DOTC and CAAP is reaping the accolades out of its hard work in keeping airliners accountable and at par with global standards
- International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was the lead American agency that evaluated CAAP over a course of five years and assess its standards of operations
- The EU Air Safety Committee is US’ (ICAO) counterpart that approved Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific to fly to the 28-member bloc of the European Union.
This is one painful lesson we all need to learn that if we want to be recognized as a nation of first class, we should change our ways of thinking and our actions that meet the standards — not of the world but — of honor and respect. It’s like keeping your house clean because you have guests coming over and have different and varying needs that should be met.
I could only hope other PH agencies will follow suit.
Congratulations Mr. Hotchkiss of CAAP and for Sec. Abaya for accomplishing this feat. Two thumbs up.
“When countries do what it takes to ensure the safety of their aviation industry, it is important that the EU recognises these efforts,” said the European Commission’s vice president for mobility & transport, Siim Kallas.