First Pacific spreads its wings
SPYBITS - Babe Romualdez (The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2013 - 12:00am

With the approval of the First Pacific board of directors for the acquisition of a brand new aircraft, First Pacific CEO and MVP Group chairman Manny V. Pangilinan (shown in photo boarding his aircraft) took delivery of a Global Express business jet earlier this week, whose maiden flight will be to Vietnam. MVP has been in talks with Vietnamese officials in Ho Chi Minh to explore available business options for the First Pacific Group on various sectors that include energy and infrastructure.

Manny will also need the business jet for traveling to many parts of the country, from north to south to check on various projects and business prospects in the areas of mining, infrastructure, agriculture and healthcare considering his recent acquisition of several hospitals that include the Davao Doctors Hospital.

The business jet has become one of the most efficient tools for businessmen eyeing global expansion, and the long range, high speed Global Express manufactured by Canada’s Bombardier Aerospace would be perfect for executives like Manny Pangilinan who will be flying frequently across the Asia Pacific region where the economy has been more robust and resilient than Europe and even the United States.

More likely than not, the new aircraft – whose sophisticated features combined with wide spaced, comfortable interiors make it very ideal for busy executives – will make a 24/7 workaholic like MVP work even more efficiently to spread the business wings of First Pacific and the MVP Group across the globe.

Ricky Razon on a Stream

Another businessman who finds the business jet an important tool for business is ICTSI chairman Enrique “Ricky” Razon whose port businesses in Japan, Indonesia, India, the US, Syria, Brazil, Argentina, Poland, Croatia, Mongolia and Madagascar require him to travel extensively all over the world.

Ricky’s aircraft of choice is the US-made Gulfstream 550 – a competitor of the Global Express – whose ultra high tech avionics complement comfort-designed features with spacious living areas, temperature zones and flexible floor configurations able to accommodate up to 18 passengers. The Gulfstream is also equipped with broadband multi-link that allows for high-speed Internet connection.

Razon is also currently the chairman of Bloomberry Resorts whose $1.2 billion Solaire Resort and Casino is set to open this March. The world-class resort located at the PAGCOR Entertainment City Complex in Pasay is expected to draw in high rollers from China and other parts of Asia. There are rumors Ricky is planning to bring in Madonna to perform at the casino’s opening.

Dreamliner’s never-ending problems

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight bound for Tokyo from Haneda made an emergency landing yesterday at Takamatsu Airport in Japan after smoke started coming out from the cockpit about 15 minutes after takeoff. A few days earlier, fire also broke out from a Japan Airlines Dreamliner jet shortly after arriving at Boston’s Logan International Airport, with initial findings from the US National Transportation Safety Board indicating a burned battery as the most likely cause. Both Japan and All Nippon Airlines said they are grounding their Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet pending inspection.

Boeing’s flagship aircraft is turning more of a nightmare for the manufacturer, with the recent incidents underscoring the mounting safety and mechanical problems that have besieged the Boeing 787 aircraft (which finally entered service in 2011 after a series of delays and false starts), with fuel leaks, damaged cockpit windows and engine cracks reported in the past couple of months.

No wonder globetrotting businessmen are buying their own jets considering the safety problems (and other glitches) that go with the new commercial jets. After all, there’s nothing like traveling in style, comfort and safety that the most sophisticated business aircraft have to offer.

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