The year 2018 was indeed a great year for Philippine Airlines, a year packed with major awards and recognitions. Indeed, all their hard work and we are sure, sleepless nights, are now paying off. Just this year, the airline received a total of six major awards and recognitions, a true testament that they are indeed going for a 5th star rating and to enter into the list of the world's 10 best airlines!
September 5, 1986, a Pan Am flight attendant named Neerja Bhanot was killed by hijackers after saving the lives of more than a hundred passengers. It was indeed a story of true heroism from a flight attendant who boarded her flight the same day without knowing that it would be her last. Her story is an untold one of what a flight attendant actually lives for, and that is for the lives of their passengers, until 2016.
Sexual Harassment on Flight Attendants, a Major Concern Our Airlines and Aviation Authorities Have to Address Immediately
Just lately, a CebGo flight attendant was sexually harassed by three passengers on board their flight from Legaspi City to Manila. This post became viral wherein even other flight attendants from different local airline salso shared that they have had their of sexual harassments from passengers while on duty. This act from certain passengers on board the aircraft have become rampant already that we feel it should already be a major concern for our local airlines.
A flight attendant recently fell victim to sexual harassment moves from male passengers on board a CebGo flight from Legaspi to Manila DG1694 last November 27, 2018. A fellow passenger by the name of Laissa Marquez reported the incident on her social media page stating that passengers seated on seats 6D, 6A, and 6B were trying to make a pass on the flight attendant who was simply doing her job of taking care of their needs while on board.
VietJet is a very fast growing low cost carrier based in Vietnam. With their pending order of more than a hundred aircraft, they definitely need more cabin crew. Hence for the very first time, they headed to Manila to look for Filipinos to be their new set of future cabin crew in support of the airline's expansion program. Held last November 4 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, the VietJet recruitment day drew in around 1,700 aspiring flight attendants!
Philippine Airlines just made history once again last October 30 after it flew it's very first direct Manila to New York flight. With that, PR126 is not only the longest straight flight from Manila in history, it is also the 8th longest flight in the world! Utilizing an Airbus A350-900, the flight took 14 hours and 51 seconds which took off from Manila at 2042H Manila time and landed in JFK International Airport, New York, at 2333H New York time.
A Lion Air Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed during take-off last October 29, 2018. Officials concluded that all 189 people on board which includes 181 passengers, 6 cabin crew, and 2 pilots are dead. Flight JT610 was a domesic flight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia. It went down in the Java Sea after climbing to an altitude of 5,000ft.
So what's the longest straight flight you've ever experienced? Today's aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus have greatly worked on improving their aircraft's range with better efficiency and that could carry more passengers. Today's new generation jets like the Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A350, Airbus A380, and Boeing 787 have allowed airlines to launch flights that could fly passengers more than half-way around the world non-stop. Hence, no need for stop-overs which may be too costly.
With the rise of fuel prices accompanied with high maintenance costs, Philippine Airlines flew it's last Airbus A340 flight just last September. Based on a report from Centre for Aviation (CAPA), Philippine Airlines was also the last Asian airline to retire their A340 after having them for 22 years. From 1996 to present, PAL operated a total of 14 A340s consisting of 10 A340-300 and 4 A340-200.
Cebu Pacific recently achieved a 7-star safety rating from AirlineRatings.com, the world's only airline safety and product rating agency. This is also the highest ranking for safety. The agency bases it's ratings on the IOSA, if the airline is not on the EU blacklist, if they are endorsed by the FAA, if they meet all 8 ICAO safety parameters, and if they have maintained a fatality free record for the past 10 years.
An Air Niugini Boeing 737-800 overshoots the runway in Micronesia and ends up in the ocean. Flight PX073 was coming in from Pohnpei in Micronesia and was scheduled to continue its journey through to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. All 36 passengers and crew members are safe. The aircraft sunk in the lagoon.
Another victory goes out to the Heart of the Filipino as Philippine Airlines earned another 4-star rating, this time, from the New York based Airline Passenger Experience Association in an awarding ceremony last September 24 at Boston, USA. Just last February, Philippine Airlines was also rated 4-stars by the London-based global airline rating company, Skytrax!
They lined-up under the heat of the sun last Saturday to take a shot to become an Air Asia all-star cabin crew held at the Mercure Hotel, Ortigas Center! The line went as long as about 2kms going from San Miguel Ave to Pearl Drive with about 1,300 cabin crew aspirants. After everything, only 31 made it in to undergo the next steps of the recruitment process before they go through training and finally receive their wings.
Philippines Air Asia just held another cabin crew recruitment event just today, September 22, at Mercure Hotel, Ortigas Center, Pasig. If you thought the one held last August at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel was enough, again, thousands of individuals who have dreams of becoming a flight attendant lined-up to take their chance to be the not more than 10% who will enter the training program of Air Asia to become cabin crew all-stars..
In the airline industry, safety and security has become a top priority and measure and this includes the duties of flight attendants. Just recently, a China Eastern flight attendant was fired from the job after her boyfriend suddenly proposed to her mid-flight. Though it became a joyous moment on board, the incident on the other hand did not sit well with the airline.
Despite the numerous reminder from the airline and airport officials that bomb jokes and bomb statement will be dealt with seriously, some passengers still manage to make one. Just yesterday morning August 30, a man was arrested for cracking a bomb joke while boarding a PAL Express flight from Manila bound for Cotabato. Flight PR2959 was then delayed as aviation security had to commence standard procedures to inspect all luggage brought out of the aircraft.
In the middle of all the chaos happening at our airports brought by the closure of NAIA runway 06/24 due to a Xiamen Airline Boeing 737-800 skidding off the runway, was a tear jerking scene aboard Cebu Pacific flight 5J600 flying from Davao to Cebu. It was the last flight of Cebu Pacific Capt. Rizalino Irizari before his retirement, and it did not come without a heart warming speech to his passengers and crew on board.
A Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737-800 jet skidded off the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last Thursday evening, August 16, 2018 at about 2355hrs Beijing time. All 157 passengers and 8 crew members on board flight MF8667 were evacuated safely with no injuries. According to the Chinese news agency CTGN, the aircraft skidded off the runway during landing, causing one of the aircraft's engines to detach from the wing.
Delta Air Lines in the U.S.A. said it plans to hire more than 1,000 flight attendants in 2019! This comes after they hired about 1,700 cabin crew wherein they received about 270,000 applicants! That means, only 0.6% from the total number of applicants were accepted, even lower than the percentage of applicants who get accepted at Harvard University!
Rains were strong last August 11 over Metro Manila, to the point that many places in Metro Manila were flooded. Yet, despite the inclement weather, thousands of cabin crew hopefuls trooped to the Makati Shangri-La Hotel for the Air Asia cabin crew recruitment day! Lines were so long that it reached the 6750 building in Ayala Avenue, and even all the way to the streets.
Last July 17, 2018, Philippine Airlines held an event entitled "Breakthroughs and Milestones" which served as the official roll-out of the airline's newest aircraft, the Airbus A350-941 and Airbus A321-271NEO. It also coincided with Lucio Tan's 83rd birthday! This was held at the Lufthansa Technik Philippines hangar, in an enclosed airconditioned tent, right infront where the two new jets are displayed. Indeed, the acquisition of new generation jets with an enhanced cabin became another milestone for the airline.
Just today, Philippine Airline's was declared by Skytrax as 2018's 2nd World's Most Improved Airline, just next to China Southern Airlines. This comes months after the airline received a 4-star rating by Skytrax too! It also so happened that today was the roll-out of their brand new Airbus A350-900 and Airbus A321-271NEO!
It was a day everyone waited for. Philippine Airlines finally received its first of six ultra-long haul Airbus A350-941 jets just today. RP-C3501 landed in Manila at approximately around 3pm. This aircraft has a three-class configuration, business class, premium economy, and economy class. PAL fly this aircraft to Europe and to parts in North America, particularly the East Coast.