by Emmie V. Abadilla

Unfazed by grim prospects for the airline industry this year, Pacific Global One Aviation (PG1), the aviation arm of PLDT, Inc., undertakes a major rebrand for its chartered services to get a piece of the $7 billion market by 2024.

The company has set its sights on the medium term and expects the global air charter business to take off in three years, when the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic plateaus.

This early, “We have been getting a lot of inquiries, especially from corporations, on our air transport services,” disclosed Leo A. Gonzales, OIC-President.

“Companies are looking for a safer way to travel as the government gradually eases restrictions and opens up the economy,” he explained.

While the global health crisis crippled air travel, hitting carriers and air taxi operators worldwide in 2020, he is optimistic that the situation can normalize in the first quarter of 2022. PG1 is also expanding its menu offering.

Aside from ferrying corporate clients and individuals with ultra-high-net worth, the company can also fly cargo, perform medical evacuations, and lease out space at its hangar for clients who wish to park their own aircraft.

It is the only aircraft charter company in the Philippines using full-time two-pilot operations.

On all flights, two aviators share the workload in the cockpit. This protects them from fatigue, allowing them to focus more on the mission, ensuring passengers’ safety.

PG1 only flies twin-engine aircraft. In case of mechanical emergencies, they can fly safely with a single working engine.

The air assets routinely undergo maintenance and checks by experienced mechanics who have been certified and rated to service the fleet. This guarantees aircraft reliability, ready to be deployed once needed.

Its hangar in Pasay City houses two helicopters and one airplane.

The Bell 429 can seat five passengers and can fly from Manila to Laoag up north or Cebu down south.

The AgustaWestland AW139 is a medium-sized helicopter that can carry eight passengers.

It can reach most destinations in Luzon and the Visayas from Metro Manila.

The model is also popular among governments and private charter operators around the world.

PG1 also operates a twin-engine turboprop, the King Air 350.

The aircraft can accommodate eight passengers comfortably and can fly to all domestic points with airfields of at least a kilometer long.

The plane can also ferry passengers to nearby Asian destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

When COVID-19 hampered commercial air travel and forced carriers to scale back operations, ground entire fleets, and explore uncharted territories, PG1 used its assets to fly special missions, transporting essential personnel and cargo to critical areas.