Fil-Asian Airways brings the YS-11 back to life

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Philippines | Posted on 26-06-2013


Fil-Asian YS11New Philippine airline Fil-Asian Airways has brought the NAMC YS-11 aircraft back into passenger service after the type had been retired by all other airlines.

The YS-11 was quite popular in recent years with Philippine carriers, however when it originally launched commercial flying in 1965, the Japanese airliner could be found all over the world – particularly in America and other Far East countries.

Fil-Asian Airways has begun operations with one example of the type. It flies from Manila and Cebu to a number of domestic destinations, including Cotabato, Davao, Marinduque, Masbate, Tablas, Tagbilaran, Tandag, and Zamboanga. It will also operate internationally from Davao to Manado in Indonesia.

Fil-Asian Airways is the successor of Mid-Sea Express which operated from Cebu Airport utilizing a Jetstream 32 aircraft until 2012.

The NAMC YS-11 is just one of the aircraft featured in Last Chance to Fly – our ebook which lists the rare and historic airliners that you can still fly, and which airlines operate them. Download your copy here:

Three new Qatar Airways destinations

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Asia, Ethiopia, Middle East, North America, Philippines, Qatar, USA | Posted on 06-05-2013


Qatar 777 (c) Qatar AirwaysQatar Airways has announced it will commence flights from its Doha base to Philadelphia, Addis Ababa, and Clark in the Philippines.

The link to Philadelphia will be flown by a Boeing 777-300 aircraft, and comes after previous rumours suggested Atlanta, Boston or Detroit would be the next US destination. The route is expected to start in summer 2014.

The route to Clark – an alternative to Manila Airport in the Philippines – is in competition with Emirates who operate a daily service from Dubai.

Cebu Pacific coming to Dubai

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Dubai, Middle East, Philippines | Posted on 18-01-2013


Cebu Pacific has announced that its first long haul destination will be Dubai.

The Philippines-based carrier has agreed leases on two Airbus A330-300 aircraft this year, with a further two due in 2014. These will allow its planned long haul expansion into markets such as the Middle East, Europe and the USA.

In addition to the Manila to Dubai route, additional long haul destinations are expected to be announced soon. It will operate daily from 7th October.

Spotting Trip Report: Manila, Philippines

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport Spotting Guide, Asia, Philippines | Posted on 06-01-2013


View from the Remington Hotel in ManilaHere’s a guest post from a recent trip to Manila in the Philippines, during which an opportunity was taken to enjoy some time spotting.

A business trip to Manila at the end of November provided some opportunities for spotting. I pre-booked the Marriott hotel near Terminal 3 (domestic terminal) but this hotel is quite expensive (near 200 Euro a night).

Just before I left for Manila I received some good information about the Remington Hotel. The views from here would be much better. Also important was that the hotel is much cheaper! I paid 63 Euro for a room. So, I cancelled the Marriott and booked the Remington.
The hotel opened last year on 11-11-2011 at 11:00 hrs and is much closer to the action, next to the Philippine Air Force Museum and has a free shuttle to the terminals that runs regularly.

The info I had was to get a room on the 5th floor or higher with an airport view. Well, upon arrival they gave me the 10th floor with room number 10009. This room is the middle and any room number between 10073-10068, or 10009-10017, face the airport and have good views. This goes for any floors from 5 up with same numbers. Beware, the room numbers are not logically numbered. From the hall near room 10073 you can have a good look at the PhilAF-museum (facing east).

Room 10009 had two 140cm beds, was very clean, and on all levels vending machines have snacks, cold drinks (25php) and cold water bottles (20php). Downstairs opposite the reception is a buffet breakfast at 420php, and for more eating a McDonalds restaurant is located in the same block, or at the other side of the road there is the Resort World Mall (shops, foodcourt, casino). Life is very cheap for us Europeans as 10 Pesos is 18 eurocents.

Manila is not so busy like Hong Kong or Tokyo Narita, but a steady flow of aircraft are present in the morning and evening. Afternoons have some quiet moments.

Philippine Airlines (777-300ER, 747-400, A330, A340, A319, A320), Airphilexpress (A320, DHC8), Cebu Pacific (A319,A320,ATR72), Zest Airways (A319,A320,MA60), SEAir (A319/A320 and their sole 737-200) can be seen plus the local smaller companies flying tourists to the small isles in their Ce208’s, Do228’s, Sh330’s, Be18’s. Unfortunately I did not see the two Air Asia Philippines A320’s as they fly from Clark AFB (Manila’s low cost airport).

Philippine Airlines A320There are two runways, 06-24 and 13-31. During the five days I was here all landings and takeoffs were done on runway 06. Runway 31 is sometimes used for a DHC8/ATR72 takeoff but a minute later they use runway 13 for a bizjet takeoff.

There are three terminals at the airport. T1 is the international terminal and close to the holding point for runway 06 and the cargo area. T2 is the Philippine Airlines terminal (near the crossing of both runways), and T3 is the domestic terminal for Cebu, Zest, Airphilexpress.

From the hotel, facing west (only on the highest floors) you can see some stored aircraft (3x YS11, 1x An24, 1x Yak40, 1x Connie). Not all of the stored aircraft can be seen as there should be some DC-3’s and DHC-7’s stored here as well. From the roundabout near T3 partially blocked views can be had of some 737-200’s and DC-9’s that are stored. A ramp tour would be very nice but they (airport police) never replied on my requests for this.

When you take a taxi or shuttlebus to/from T1/T2 you might see some aircraft parked between the various buildings but it is not possible to see all from outside. Very frustrating.

I hope this info is of use for someone going here soon.


Airport Spotting Guides Far East and AustralasiaYou can find guides to spotting at Manila Airport and many others in Asia, Australasia and the Far East in my book, Airport Spotting Guides Far East and Australasia. Order your copy now at this link.

Philippine Airlines wants to build its own Manila Airport

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Airport News, Asia, Philippines | Posted on 06-09-2012


Manila Ninoy Aquino AirportRecent news from the Philippines suggests that national carrier Philippine Airlines, which recently announced a mega order for 54 Airbus aircraft, wants to build its own airport.

Given the recent news from Ryanair, who want to buy London Stansted Airport, this seems to be a growing trend.

Philippine Airlines would construct a new airport with parallel runways and a terminal dedicated to the airline, and its PAL Express subsidiary. Presumably this would serve Manila, as the airline has already decided against a hub at Clark Airport due to its distance from the city.

The airline would then move operations out of the crowded Ninoy Aquino International Airport which currently serves Manila.

Whether they’d allow other airlines to operate into their airport has not been announced, but airline president Ramon Ang said they intend to seek government approval for the airport soon.

Philippine Airlines’ 54 Airbus order

Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Miscellaneous Spotting, Philippines | Posted on 28-08-2012


Philippine Airlines AirbusPhilippine Airlines has announced a huge order with Airbus for 54 aircraft as part of a major fleet modernization and renewal programme at the airline.

The order breaks down into:

34x A321
10x A321neo
10x A330-300

Deliveries will start in 2013, with older types being replaced, and the airline’s domestic and regional network being developed further.

The Airbus A330s will allow further long haul expansion, with Australia and the Middle East a particular focus. PAL chairman Lucio Tan said in a statement: “The orders we are placing with Airbus will play a key role in revitalising PAL, while growing trade and tourism in the country,”

“With these aircraft, we will be able to offer more passengers the industry has to offer across out Asia-Pacific network. At the same time, we will benefit from the low operating costs associated with new generation aircraft and the reduced impact on the environment.”