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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    30 August  2012

Philippine Airlines poised to soar to profitability


Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is poised to soar to greater heights starting next year as it takes delivery of new planes—more than doubling the size of its current fleet.
Even without the new planes, PAL president Ramon S. Ang said the company might post a modest profit for its current fiscal year that ends next March.

“The company is already registering a profit,” Ang said at a press conference on Tuesday. He said the airline’s better performance was a result of “discipline,” leading to lower maintenance costs.

PAL’s parent firm PAL Holdings posted a 489.2-million peso US$11.5 million) profit in the April to June period of 2012, the first quarter of the company’s fiscal year. This was an improvement from the 475.1-million peso loss posted the year before.

PAL also implemented a cost-cutting programme last October that involved the outsourcing of 2,600 jobs to third-party providers. Ang declined to comment on whether the outsourcing programme, which is still being questioned in court, contributed to the company’s return to profitability.

At the press conference, the airline disclosed details for its expansion programme. The company signed a deal with European plane manufacturer Airbus for as many as 54 new planes in the first phase of a mul¬ti¬year ac¬qui¬si¬tion spree. The deal is worth $7 billion, based on published list prices for the planes.

Ang, who is also president of San Miguel Corp., said the company was still in negotiations to buy 46 more aircraft to bring its total plane purchases to 100.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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