MANILA, Philippines – While the Philippine government spent billions of pesos to host the year-long Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, local airlines suffered foregone revenues from cancelling flights from November 16 to 19 this year.
Select hotels in Metro Manila, meanwhile, were on lockdown while they served as temporary residences of the APEC economic leaders and delegates.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said last week in a radio interview that the government spent around P10 billion ($212 million) for facilities, preparatory events, and APEC meetings that started in January.
PAL, Cebu Pacific report losses
With the cancellation of over 1,000 flights because of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 18 to 19, Philippine Airlines, Incorporated and Cebu Pacific, Incorporated, lost around $27.22 million in revenues.
“Cebu Pacific estimates a revenue loss of P400 million ($8.47 million) from flight cancellations due to the APEC meeting,” Paterno Mantaring Jr, officer-in-charge of Cebu Pacific’s corporate affairs said in a text message.
Cebu Pacific cancelled a total of 847 flights last week to accommodate the APEC summit.
Meanwhile, PAL estimated its revenue losses to hit $18.75 million from the cancellation of 699 flights from November 15 to November 19.
“PAL cancelled 699 flights covering the 5-day period. The 699 flights represent close to 50% of the total number of flights within the 5-day period. Lost revenue would be an estimated $18.75 million,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna replied via a text message.
“Within the same period, there were flights that were operational during the ‘open window’ segments, during which take-offs and landings were allowed,” Villaluna added.
The PAL spokesperson, however, said the “long-term benefits of APEC outweigh these aforementioned losses.”
Philippines’ AirAsia also cancelled 186 flights due to the APEC meet, but its officials could not be reached for comment on the losses incurred.
Both international and domestic passengers were affected last week by delayed and cancelled flights due to the lockdown of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Now, flight operations at NAIA have already returned to normal.
Hotels on lockdown
Like NAIA, some hotels in Metro Manila were also on lockdown during the APEC summit.
Sofitel Philippine Plaza once again hosted US President Barack Obama, mainly because of the hotel’s proximity to the US Embassy and Manila Bay.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping stayed at tycoon Lucio Tan’s Century Park Hotel.
A report by South China Morning Post said the whole hotel had been on complete lockdown since the night before Xi’s arrival in Manila.
Xi’s delegation solely occupied the 19-storey, 478-room hotel from November 15 to November 19. Hotel executives, however, could not be reached as of Monday, November 23 to say how much foregone revenues Century Park incurred due to the hosting.
The Crown Towers Manila in the City of Dreams, meanwhile, was reportedly the hotel of choice of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tapped The Peninsula Manila as their temporary residence here for the APEC meet.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s delegation reportedly chose Solaire Resort & Casino as their home while in the country for APEC, as well as a state visit.
Raffles in Makati City, according to an associate of the APEC CEO Summit, served as host to Taiwan’s former Vice President Vincent Siew and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’ Neill and his delegation, meanwhile, stayed at the Intercontinental Manila in Makati City.
The New World Hotel and Resorts in Manila Bay hosted Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang.
Host to most economic leaders was the Diamond Hotel. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Peru President Ollanta Humala, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, along with their delegations, stayed at the hotel owned by business mogul Ramon Ang.
An executive of the hotel was sought for comment on its foregone revenue, but instead replied: “I’m not sure Diamond will want to provide that information.”
Makati Shangri-La, Manila served as venue for the 3-day APEC CEO Summit. – Rappler.com
$1 = P47.18
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