Philippine flag carrier agrees to pay $117 million aviation fees

President Rodrigo Duterte had given Philippine Airlines a Friday deadline to pay arrears. (Reuters)
Updated 06 October 2017
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Philippine flag carrier agrees to pay $117 million aviation fees

MANILA: Flag carrier Philippine Airlines said Friday it will pay the government six billion pesos (SR441.6 million) after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to cut off its access to Manila airport over alleged unpaid landing and other fees.
Duterte had given the airline a Friday deadline to pay arrears.
“The (Department of Transportation) has accepted the offer of PAL to pay in full the six billion-peso claims of the (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines/Manila International Airport Authority,” a joint statement said.
“One of the overriding reasons why PAL agreed to settle is to manifest its trust and confidence in President Duterte’s administration,” the statement said.
The airline also committed to “keep all transactions updated and current” with the aviation and airport authorities, it added.
On September 26 Duterte said he had told PAL chairman and billionaire Lucio Tan: “You are using government buildings, airport, you have back debts for the use of the runway that you have not paid.
“I said, ‘You solve the problem yourself. I will give you 10 days. Pay it. If not I will close it down. No more airport’.”
Previously state-owned PAL was sold off in 1992, and the government said the fees were waived when the airline was government-owned.
Despite an increase in low-cost competitors, PAL still has the largest fleet in the Philippines and is the only local carrier to fly to North America and Europe.
In June it said it planned to increase its fleet serving smaller islands in the archipelagic nation.
PAL’s parent company, PAL Holdings, suffered a net loss of 501 million pesos for the three months to June due to higher fuel costs and aircraft lease charges.


Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

Updated 12 min 54 sec ago
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Egypt inks deal with Cyprus for power link to Europe

  • It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level
  • Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage

NICOSIA: Egypt has signed a deal with a Cypriot firm to lay a 310-kilometer (195-mile) cable under the Mediterranean to export electricity to Europe, the company said on Thursday.
Nicosia-based EuroAfrica described the deal, worth an estimated two billion euros, as a “landmark.”
“Cyprus now becomes a major hub for the transmission of electricity from Africa to Europe,” said company chairman Ioannis Kasoulides.
It is estimated the project will take 36 months to implement from the start of construction, with the lowest point 3,000 meters below sea-level.
Phase 1 will see the interconnector carry a capacity of 1,000 MW which can be upgraded to 2,000 MW at a later stage.
“The national electricity grid of Egypt will be linked to the European electricity system through Cyprus and will contribute to energy security,” Kasoulides said.
Following the crises in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, the EU has been keen to develop alternative sources of energy to reduce its dependence on imports from Russia.
In the past year, gas has started flowing from four major new fields off Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, and output is already sufficient to meet domestic needs.
The Arab world’s most populous country is now seeking to develop the infrastructure to export its newfound energy wealth, both as liquefied natural gas and as electricity.
Egypt is also seeking to import gas from fields off Cyprus and Israel to boost the profitability of the new liquefaction and export facilities it is developing on its Mediterranean coast.
In September, Egypt signed a deal with Cyprus to build an undersea pipeline to pump Cypriot offshore gas to Egypt for processing for export to Europe.
The plans have led to closer eastern Mediterranean ties, with Cyprus, Egypt, Greece and Israel holding regular high-level meetings.