By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Philippine Airlines (PAL) Board of Directors on Monday approved the request of PAL President & Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista to retire effective June 30, 2019 after over 26 years of service.
The outgoing President was at the helm of the flag carrier from 2004 – 2012 and from 2014 to 2019.
The board, in a resolution which Directors Atty. Estelito Mendoza and Former BSP Governor Amando Tetangco initiated, thanked Bautista for his “dedication and commitment” to the national flag carrier and cited his “efforts to steer PAL to greater heights through initiatives anchored on fleet modernization, flight route network expansion and service innovation”.
Incoming PAL Officer in Charge Vivienne K. Tan is working closely with the outgoing PAL President for a smooth and orderly transition.
“My family and I express our gratitude and only wish for the best for Jimmy Bautista as he gears up for the next chapter of his life,” she announced.
At the recently-concluded Paris Air Show, Bautista received the 2019 Most Improved Airline award for PAL. Since 2016, he has aimed to make PAL a five-star carrier, in the same rank as ten others, along with Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and All Nippon Airways, which is owned by PAL shareholder, ANA Holdings of Japan.
London-based airline survey firm Skytrax awarded PAL a four-star rating in 2018 and re-certified the airline as a four-star carrier this year, under Bautista’s leadership.
In his message to the PAL Management team in last week’s turnover of the leadership of the national flag carrier, Bautista paid tribute to the airlines’ employees for their efforts which led the flag carrier to receive its most recent accolade.
Newly – appointed PAL OIC and concurrent Executive Vice President / Treasurer and Chief Administrative Officer Vivienne K. Tan congratulated the PAL family and urged all to work in one direction in order to build on the gains of the nation’s carrier.
The US-educated daughter of Chairman and CEO Dr. Lucio C. Tan has worked for PAL in various capacities and also sits as board member of Tan holding firm LT Group, Inc., Philippine National Bank, Eton Properties and others.
Early this month, she signed a five-year collective bargaining agreement with the airline’s labor union, the PAL Employees Association (Palea), whose members comprise 11 percent of PAL’s 6,829 total workers.
The labor deal, which ensures industrial peace as the airline seeks to hurdle financial challenges, is vital to the expansion of PAL’s domestic and international route network.
She has more than 25 years of professional experience in technology, education, entrepreneurship and social advocacy in industries such as education, airline and property development.
She has worked for PAL since 2011. Later, she moved to other positions in the LT Group mainly in the real estate, banking and education sectors.
The incoming OIC holds a double degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of San Francisco, as well as a postgraduate Diploma in Fashion Design and Manufacturing Management from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, USA.
In 2006 she received the Ten Outstanding Young Men Award for Business Education and Entrepreneurship and was also conferred the UNESCO Excellence in Education and Entrepreneurship Award in 2007.