by Chrisee Dela Paz (Rappler.com)
MANILA, Philippines – The aviation arm of telecommunications giant PLDT Incorporated launched its chartered flights service, cashing in on the rising demand for travel on private aircraft for leisure and business.
PLDT unit Pacific Global One received its license from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) to offer its private jets for public use.
“With the rise in demand for tourism and business travel, Pacific Global One is positioned to capture this niche for chartered flights,” Pacific Global One president and chief operating officer Butch Meily said in a statement.
This comes at a time when ride-hailing services like Grab have offered private chopper services.
“With our new service, Pacific Global One can now provide private flights to Balesin in Quezon, Amanpulo in Pamalican Island, Baguio in the north, and Boracay in Panay, among other routes,” Meily said.
Pacific Global One announced it will initially offer two aircraft, including the Beechcraft Super King Air 350 – a turboprop twin which can accommodate 8 passengers with two pilots.
Running at a flight speed of 250 knots, the King Air 350 can fly for 5 hours.
Pacific Global One’s other aircraft is a Bell 429 helicopter which has a 5-seat capacity. With a full tank, the helicopter can fly for 3 hours.
PLDT said its aircraft are capable of flights in all weather conditions and are air-conditioned.
Manned by seasoned pilots who are former Philippine Air Force and Navy veterans as well as a Canadian flyer, Pacific Global One said it flies all over the Philippines.
“The rates we offer for our chartered flights are very competitive. We also open our doors to small groups who need affordable, reliable, and accessible transportation to go to various destinations nationwide – whether for work or leisure,” Meily said.
“By giving the public the chance to fly corporate aircraft, Pacific Global One hopes to contribute to the growth of the travel industry in the Philippines,” he added.
Pacific Global One said it also has a VIP-configured chopper – a high-end AW139 helicopter – and a Global XRS. These are long-range business jets that are for the private use of the companies led by tycoon Manuel Pangilinan.
Aside from PLDT, Pangilinan-led companies Meralco and Philex Mining also have a stake in the aviation firm. – Rappler.com