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Zest Airways Inc. plans to launch more regional flights this year as it expands its fleet with the addition of two Airbus A320 planes to meet growing passenger traffic. Company president and CEO Alfredo Yao said the carrier would introduce scheduled flights to Incheon, Korea and Shanghai, China from Manila in June and direct flights from Manila to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October.
Zest Air is also launching Clark-Hong Kong, Clark-Bangkok and Clark-Singapore flights in the last quarter of 2012.
“Our total passengers for our domestic flights this January is 224,723 compared to 150,091 in January last year, while for our international flights we had 35,638 passengers versus 15,990,” said Mr. Yao.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) expects its passenger volume to grow by more than a tenth this year as it aims for uninterrupted operations. “We are looking at 10 to 12 percent growth. The load factor of the flights is expected to improve," said PAL president Jaime B. Bautista.
Mr. Bautista refused to comment on ongoing talks between San Miguel Corp. and PAL majority shareholder Lucio Tan for a takeover deal.
PAL Holdings Inc., operator of PAL, posted PhP3.628 billion in nine-month losses, a reversal from PhP3.236 billion total comprehensive income recorded a year ago.
Cebu Air Inc. posted a 47.6-percent decline in profit to PhP3.62 billion in 2011 amid higher fuel costs. The budget airline’s operating expenses in 2011 climbed 34 percent to PhP30.4 billion as fuel costs rose 55 percent to PhP15.22 billion. Fuel costs make up 50 percent of its expenses.
Revenues were up by 16.7 percent to PhP33.93 billion brought about by improving growth in passenger traffic and ancilliary products.
“Amid this challenging cost environment, the company was able to sustain robust Ebitda [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation] and pre-tax core income margins of 23.3 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively,” the company said.
Cebu Pacific is expanding its fleet to 53 aircraft by end-2014 from 37 to increase flight frequency and add new routes. The airline has entered into operating leases for four brand-new Airbus A330 aircraft. These A330s, which are part of the fleet expansion, will be delivered between 2013 and 2014.
The A330 can carry as many as 400 passengers and will allow the company to embark on flights that are within 11 hours from the Philippines.
Marriott Manila has appointed a seasoned general manager in the person of Mr. Scott Sibley. With his almost six years of stay at Marriott Guam Resort and Spa, American native Scott is now ready to assume leadership to one of the most progressive Marriott properties in the world.
“I am deeply honored and excited to be working with Filipinos where the best of the industry can be found. Marriott Manila has taken leadership in the market by storm and we aim to be at the same spot for the many years to come,” said Mr. Scott.
Shangri-La's Mactan Island Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City is undergoing a major improvement programme. The hotel has embarked on a three-phase renovation programme that will cost PhP718 million. The hotel has a total of 530 rooms.
Roxaco Land Corp. has acquired a majority stake in Fuego Hotels Property & Management Corp. (FHPMC), the developer of Club Punta Fuego, an 88-hectare premiere luxury seaside resort community in Batangas.
The company aims to become a major player in the tourism industry. Aside from Punta Fuego, FHPMC also manages Terazzas de Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, Batangas, 7 Stones Boracay Suites and Boracay Gems in Boracay, Aklan and recently, Camaya Coast in Bataan. Roxaco is currently developing Anya Resort and Residences in Tagaytay, a six-hectare boutique community that integrates a luxury resort facility and an exclusive residential estate.
Century Properties plans to venture into hotel development as it seeks to further expand its revenue stream.
CPG is positioning itself in the tourism business, which is seen to be the next sunshine industry as the government steps up efforts to promote the country. CPG has teamed up with Group Developers Inc., Caylaway Development Corp. and Batulao Bio-loop Farms Inc. to transform a 142-hectare property in Batulao, Batangas into a major leisure and resort community.
Federal Land and Japanese firm Orix Corp. have formed a joint venture called Bonifacio Landmark Corp. that will build a US$300-million project in Bonifacio Global City to be managed by Grand Hyatt Hotels Worldwide, according to a report by Philippine Daily Inquirer. The construction of the hotel, Grand Hyatt, is now in full swing and is slated for completion in 2015.
Azalea Residences, a 99-suite-suite vacation residence, has recently opened in Baguio city. “It is the hotel that offers the brand of convenience and amenities of top international hotels, yet maintaining the natural texture and traditional character of the Philippines at a very affordable price,” said Azalea Resorts and Residences COO Dulah Lipardo.