T2 opening prompts PAL to boost Cebu hub ops

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita June 28,2018 - 09:49 PM

Jaime Bautista Jr., PAL president and chief operating officer, leads the ribbon cutting ceremony (above) during Thursday’s launching of PAL Mabuhay Lounge of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2. At right, Carlo Cordaro, Cebu Fil Veneer president and the designer of the PAL Mabuhay Lounge, also attended the event.

With the opening of Mactan Cebu International Airport’s (MCIA) new terminal and acquisition of new aircraft, Philippine Airlines (PAL) looks at strengthening its hub of operations in Cebu.

Jaime Bautista, PAL president and chief operating officer, said they are expecting at least five new aircraft to be delivered within the year.

“As we take delivery of our (Bombardier) Q400, we will consider flying this airplane from Cebu to some other Visayan and Mindanao cities. We’re taking delivery of five aircraft, five Q400. We have to fly these airplanes. So we have to look for cities from Cebu,” he told reporters yesterday.

With the arrival of the five aircraft, PAL will increase its fleet to a total of more than 90.

Bautista was in Cebu on Thursday (June 28) for the blessing of PAL’s new Mabuhay Lounge in the Terminal 2 of MCIA which will be open together with the start of commercial operations of the new terminal on July 1.

The flag carrier also reminded their passengers that all international flights to and from Cebu, starting July 1, will already be at the Terminal 2.

At the same time, he said they are also looking into flying directly again from Cebu to the United States.

“When we take delivery of the right aircraft, we will again consider flying Cebu to the US. That’s depending on the delivery of the airplanes,” he said.

In May 2017, PAL decided to temporarily suspend its Cebu to Los Angeles route citing operational adjustments. The route was only launched five months earlier in December 2016.

At the same time, Bautista said they will continue to strengthen their other international destinations from Cebu including flights to different cities in Japan and China, Incheon in South Korea, Bangkok in Thailand, and Singapore.

PAL’s hub in Cebu includes flights to 16 domestic and seven international destinations.

‘Resort feel’

PAL’s Mabuhay Lounge at the Terminal 2 has an area of 190 square meters.

“This is one of our most beautiful lounges in the country and maybe one of the most beautiful lounges in the whole PAL network not only in the Philippines but also in other countries,” Bautista said.

According to its designers, the lounge was also made to convey a “resort feel.”

At least three different sets of tables and chairs can be found inside the lounge — dining sets, lounge sets, and high-table sets.
“Majority of the design is inspired by a tropical and resort feel while at the same time still giving off a five-star lounge feel. This is since the MCIA Terminal 2 is a resort airport,” said Bea Cabagay, one of the designers.

The furniture are provided by Cebu Fil Veneer Corp., an Italian-owned manufacturing company based in Mactan Island.

Carlo Cordaro, president and CEO of Cebu Fil Veneer, said it was their first time to provide materials for an airport lounge.

“For this project, we had to use everyone in the company. We have 90 to 100 workers. The Cebuano skill is unparalleled, great craftsmanship, design, and great hands. It was complicated and we wanted to benchmark. This is our first time working with PAL,” he said.

Their materials are also locally sourced except for some of the tabletops that were imported from Italy.

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TAGS: boost, Cebu‬, hub, opening, ops, PAL, prompts, T2

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