Passengers often direct their frustration towards airlines when their travel plans are disrupted by flight cancellations. However, there are instances when the root cause of these disruptions is beyond the control of the carrier, airport operator, or regulators. This is the current challenge faced by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines, along with many other airlines worldwide. It has been revealed that Pratt & Whitney, a US-based engine manufacturer, is facing logistics problems that hinder their ability to provide timely maintenance services to their clients.
Pratt & Whitney is responsible for producing the advanced “geared turbofan” (GTF) engines that power the new Airbus A320neo aircraft used by Cebu Pacific and, to a lesser extent, Philippine Airlines. These engines, while more fuel-efficient, require maintenance after only 6,000 takeoff and landing cycles, compared to 20,000 cycles for older models. The increased frequency of preventive maintenance required for these engines has overwhelmed Pratt & Whitney, causing a shortage of repair and overhaul services as well as replacement parts. As a result, over 160 Airbus planes worldwide have been grounded due to unserviced engines.
In the Philippines, both Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have been affected by this maintenance scheduling challenge. Cebu Pacific has had to ground three of its 24 Airbus NEO planes, while Philippine Airlines has taken four of its eight NEO aircraft offline. This means that nearly a quarter of both carriers’ planes are vulnerable to these maintenance issues, leading to an increase in flight cancellations. To cope with these problems, both airlines have reduced their flight frequencies and limited booking slots until Pratt & Whitney can resolve the situation.
Unfortunately, the consequence of these disruptions is frustrated and inconvenienced passengers, as well as the predictable response from politicians making consumer advocacy statements. However, it is unlikely that anyone would prefer to compromise their safety by flying on planes with engines that have exceeded their recommended service life.
-Daxim L. Lucas
Big Boss Makes a Comeback
After a two-year period of inactivity due to the downturn in business caused by the prolonged pandemic, tycoon Henry Sy Jr., also known as “Big Boy,” has revived his cement venture, Big Boss Cement. Sy recently confirmed that his cement plant in Pampanga is once again operational, producing approximately 100,000 cement bags per day. Although Big Boss is not yet operating at full capacity since reopening two months ago, Sy is optimistic about the country’s economic recovery. Currently, the company sells its products through dealers while working to establish its brand presence. During the pandemic-induced hiatus, Sy and his team took the opportunity to improve their manufacturing plant in Pampanga, bringing it up to first-world factory standards. Additionally, they have developed a proprietary cement formulation that is environmentally friendly. Instead of relying on quarried limestone, their earlier formulation used pozzolanic sand to reduce the need for limestone extraction. However, Sy has not provided further details on the new formulation, as it is still being patented. He did assure that it is the most eco-friendly and superior product in the market today.
TikTok CEO and His Dad Jokes
Shou Chew, the CEO of TikTok, undoubtedly has a jam-packed schedule as he leads a massive social media platform with a global reach. Furthermore, with the integration of e-commerce, which has seen significant growth during the pandemic, TikTok’s popularity continues to soar. However, amidst his busy life, the Singaporean businessman manages to find time to browse through countless TikTok videos, just like the platform’s 325 million monthly active users. During a press briefing in Jakarta, Chew revealed that he enjoys watching funny videos. These short clips flood his “For You” page, which suggests content based on users’ interests. Chew stated, “I do spend a lot of time going through the content. My feed is filled with humorous content. I guess that’s what I like. A lot of jokes… a lot of dad jokes.” Apart from entertainment value, Chew explained that he also uses his time on TikTok to educate himself about the types of content that thrive in specific countries. He believes that meeting with local creators provides valuable insights into the content ecosystem of each country he visits. So, what kind of content fills your “For You” page? Let us know!
-Tyrone Jasper C. Piad
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Omprakash Tiwary is a business writer who delves into the intricacies of the corporate world. With a focus on finance and economic landscape. He offers readers valuable insights into market trends, entrepreneurship, and economic developments.