Philippine Airlines said the Department of Transportation accepted its offer to pay in full P6 billion in unpaid navigation fees to the government.
“After several months of validation and reconciliation of accounts, the DOTr and PAL are pleased to announce that they have reached a resolution on the CAAP [Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines] and MIAA [Manila International Airport Authority] fees issue,” the airline said.
“One of the overriding reasons why PAL agreed to settle is to manifest its trust and confidence in President Duterte’s administration,” PAL, owned by tycoon Lucio Tan, said.
PAL also assured the government and the traveling public that it would always provide vital airline operations in the service of the Filipino people.
President Durterte earlier threatened to close the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 if PAL would not settle its unpaid navigational fees to the government.
PAL operates domestic and international flights at NAIA Terminal 2.
PAL earlier said it submitted an unsolicited proposal to the government to build a P20-billon passenger terminal beside its current hub at the NAIA Centennial Terminal 2 to expand capacity.
The proposed terminal would be designed to handle 12 to 15 million passenger per year and would have aerobridges capable of serving 12 to 17 wide-bodied and single aisle jets.
PAL expects to start construction of the new terminal by December 2020 and operate it by July 2021.
NAIA’s four terminals are currently serving hosting 42 million passengers a year, 12 million or 40 percent more than their design capacity of 30 million.
Constructing a new, 89,000 square-meter air terminal north of NAIA 2 would help decongest the airport and provide PAL passengers much-deserved space, amenities and modern conveniences.
The proposed annex building will rise on a 16-hectare area adjacent to NAIA 2, comprising of the now-defunct Philippine Village Hotel, the former Nayong Pilipino complex and a property owned by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Aside from the passenger terminal, the complex will include multi-level parking for 1,000 vehicles, a new cargo terminal and ground service facilities.
PAL, meanwhile, plans more international flights next year in time for the delivery of new aircraft.
PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said the flag carrier would be flying the Airbus A321 NEO, including a special longer-range version, to enable the airline to launch nonstop services to Brisbane, Delhi, Perth, Mumbai and Sapporo, as well as increase flights to Melbourne and other Asia/Pacific destinations.
“Also in 2018, we are excited to introduce the Airbus A350 as our new ultra-long-range flagship, a 295-seater wide-body airplane that will help us link the Philippines nonstop to New York, Chicago, Seattle and far-flung points in Europe and North America,” he added.
Bautista said PAL would take delivery of two brand new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft later this year to complete its fleet of 10 B777s for deployment to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and now also to London Heathrow.