Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City
Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City. RODEL ROTONI/INQUIRER

CHICAGO – With an almost insignificant presence in Philippine skies, Chicago, Illinois-based aircraft manufacturing giant Boeing has served notice its interest to get a bigger share of Philippines’ expanding aerospace market.

“The demand for aircraft in Southeast Asia over the next 20 years will reach 3,500 units valued at $500 billion,” said John S. Schubert, managing director for Marketing for Asia Pacific and India. “However, in the Philippines, out of the 141 commercial aircraft currently being used, only six are Boeings, a dismal four percent market share.”

This was made clear by Boeing executives to Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., who visited Boeing’s Everett Factory near Seattle, Washington State. The Blagnac, France-based aerospace manufacturer, Airbus Industrie, dominates the Philippine airspace market.

Noting the 6.6 percent projected growth in airline passenger traffic for the Philippines in the next 20 years and the backlog in Airbus aircraft orders, Boeing executives told Ambassador Cuisia they are ready to make aircraft for Philippine carriers that will be available in 2016. 

The six Boeing aircraft in service in the Philippines are the 777-300ERs that Philippine Airlines currently owns and operates for its long-haul flights to North America, which is considered the flag carrier’s largest and most lucrative market with a Filipino population of more than four million.

Dave Kell, director of product marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said the 777 remains one of the most in-demand aircraft today, with 1,805 firm orders from 69 customers. He said it is likewise the most preferred, most reliable and most valued aircraft in the market.

“The 777 is the most suitable aircraft for long-range North American routes such as those of Philippine Airlines,” Kell said.

During a briefing, Boeing executives informed Ambassador Cuisia of the company’s assistance to the Philippines, including $750,000 from both the Boeing Company and Boeing Employees for relief efforts for victims of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) as well as a cooperative effort between World Vision, Philippine Airlines, and Boeing to airlift relief supplies during a 777-300ER delivery flight last year.