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.


Walmart, Microsoft team up to take on Amazon

Updated 17 July 2018
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Walmart, Microsoft team up to take on Amazon

  • The move is aimed at helping Walmart compete better against Amazon
  • Walmart is already using Microsoft services for some applications

WASHINGTON: Walmart said Tuesday it was entering into a strategic partnership with Microsoft on “digital transformation” for the onetime retail industry leader.
The move is aimed at helping Walmart compete better against Amazon, which is taking a growing share of retail sales in the United States and globally.
The two firms said the partnership was focused on using artificial intelligence and other technology tools to help manage costs, expand operations and innovate faster.
“Walmart’s commitment to technology is centered around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work,” said Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO.
Microsoft’s business cloud computing platform known as Azure will help Walmart manage operations ranging from refrigeration and air conditioning to improving its supply chain and transportation.
“The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and I’m thrilled to partner with Walmart to accelerate their digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.
Walmart is already using Microsoft services for some applications and will expand that to tap into Microsoft’s machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platform, according to the statement.
Earlier this month, the research firm eMarketer said Amazon’s surging growth would enable it to capture 49.1 percent of US online retail sales this year, up from 43.5 percent.
Amazon is far ahead of online rivals like eBay, with 6.6 percent of ecommerce, and Apple, at 3.9 percent, according to eMarketer, which estimated Walmart’s share at 3.7 percent.
According to the research, Amazon now controls nearly five of the total US retail market, including online and offline.