PLDT, Inc. said its aviation arm, Pacific Global One Aviation (PG1), is now preparing itself to take advantage of the rising demand for air charter services.
PG1 “embarks on a major rebrand as it expects the global air charter business to take off in the next three years as the impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic plateaus,” PLDT said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday.
The company redesigned its logo, which “signals a new era” in its business, PLDT said.
PG1 is also expanding its service offerings, it noted. “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.”
“We have been getting a lot of inquiries, especially from corporations, on our air transport services. Companies are looking for a safer way to travel as the government gradually eases restrictions and opens up the economy,” PG1 OIC-President Leo A. Gonzales was quoted as saying in the statement.
For his part, Arnold E. Picar, PG1 general manager, said the company is “positioning itself ahead of the competition.”
“We will be working on mutually beneficial partnerships and collaborations with companies whose target market also aligns with PG1,” he added.
Citing data from global technology and market research company Technavio, PLDT said the global air charter services market is seen to grow by over $7 billion through 2024.
“The biggest driver will be the passenger segment, but there’s a growing demand for cargo services as well,” it said.
PG1 only flies twin-engine aircraft, according to PLDT. Its hangar in Pasay City houses two helicopters and one airplane.
“The Bell 429 can seat five passengers and can fly from Manila to as far as 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,” it said.
PG1 also has King Air 350, a twin-engine turboprop that can accommodate eight passengers and fly to all domestic points with airfields of at least a kilometer long, as well as Asian destinations including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.
Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin