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Senate approves Air Philippines franchise renewal for 25 years

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Senate approves Air Philippines franchise renewal for 25 years
Last Thursday, the Senate approved on third and final reading House Bill 10442 that gives Air Philippines the franchise to fly for another 25 years.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Air Philippines Corp. has secured a new 25-year franchise courtesy of the Senate, which believes the airline will support growth in the transport and tourism sectors of the country.

Last Thursday, the Senate approved on third and final reading House Bill 10442 that gives Air Philippines the franchise to fly for another 25 years.

This development is also expected to help buffer the negative impact of the corporate rehabilitation proceedings in the United States involving its sister company, Philippine Airlines (PAL).

“The past two years had been extremely difficult for our airlines as they were grounded for a long period without income,” said Sen. Grace Poe in sponsoring the measure.

“Globally, the aviation sector is one of the hardest hit by the ongoing pandemic. We must do our part to help an industry that employs thousands of Filipinos,” added Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public services.

Under PAL Holdings Inc., Air Philippines Corp. operates as PAL Express and is the third largest airline in the country.

It has 770 employees and supports another 1,600 jobs in related industries. It mainly services secondary gateways and has been supportive of government efforts in promoting such gateways as Clark and Kalibo.

While Air Philippines saw its passenger load factor decrease by 70 percent in 2020, it managed to stay in the black at the cost of laying off 32 percent of its workforce.

Still, it has helped bring home thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and locally stranded individuals.

The airline also delivered personal protective equipment and vaccines to the provinces amid the pandemic, Poe said.

“With the renewal of Air Philippines’ franchise, the legislative had done what it needed to do so it can fly high and rehire the people it lost and create more jobs,” Poe said.

AIR PHILIPPINES

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