MacroAsia takes over PAL contracts of Manny Osmeña

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - March 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Lucio Tan-owned MacroAsia Corp. expects to enjoy a banner year this 2019 after taking over Philippine Airlines’ billion peso worth of ground-handling and airline catering contracts from Cebuano tycoon Manny Osmeña’s Sky Logistics and Sky Kitchen, respectively.

In an interview with The STAR, Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr., the son and namesake of the taipan, said the transfer of the accounts to MacroAsia bodes well for the aviation-services provider and for PAL. 

“More than the revenues, there will be synergy because the two companies are both Lucio Tan companies,” said Tan, a member of the nine-member board of directors of MacroAsia and the vice chairman of PAL Holdings Inc., the parent company of flag carrier Philippine Airlines.

The exact worth of the deal is not available, but analysts said these are huge accounts and would indeed bode well for MacroAsia.

In its 2017 annual report, PAL Holdings said it incurred P1.4 billion worth of ground-handling charges. The airline’s catering expenses, meanwhile, are expected to be at “over a billion peso a year” also, industry sources said. 

Explaining the move, Tan said it was time to take over the accounts because PAL is bigger now and MacroAsia could better meet its demands. It would also be good for the passengers of the four-star carrier.

“MacroAsia is the number one airline caterer in the country. We’ve won many awards. We cater to all other international airlines,” Tan said.

The new contracts with PAL took effect last week. Thus, MacroAsia is now the ground handler for PAL and PALEx in Manila and Mactan, Cebu. Ground handling activities involve passenger services, ramp handling, cargo and others. 

MacroAsia is also now the designated inflight meals provider of PAL which requires 17,000 to 22,000 meals per day, depending on volumes.

MacroAsia will run this kitchen through a 100 percent-owned MACS subsidiary called MacroAsia SATS Inflight Services Corp. 

Tan said the increase in catering volume would translate to substantial recurring revenue growth for MacroAsia, and the opportunity to drive down material costs as purchasing volume could eventually be aggregated under a shared-services setup. 

Previously, SkyLogistics and SkyKitchen, owned by Osmeña, provided the ground handling and airline catering services to PAL. Osmeña, a well known player in the tourism industry, brought the Swiss hotel brand Movenpick to the Philippines.

Aside from bagging the accounts, MacroAsia also sees rosy prospects because of its growing client base, expanding businesses and its foray into aviation training, Tan said.

The company has inaugurated its First Aviation Academy, a joint venture between MacroAsia Corp. and PTC Holdings in Subic Bay International Airport. 

Its first training class for pilots will start in April, MacroAsia disclosed earlier.

After the start of this pilot school in Subic, FAA also plans to build two other training facilities in Visayas and Mindanao with demand for pilots in the Asia-Pacific region steadily growing.

MacroAsia is chaired by Lucio Tan with Joseph Chua as president and chief operating officer.

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