By EMMIE V. ABADILLA
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and PAL Express have complied with the highest international aviation safety standards and completed their 2019 IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA).
The IOSA is the safety evaluation system of the International Air Transport As¬sociation (IATA) that assesses the operational management and control systems of an airline.
The audit is conducted every two years and is accepted by top government aviation authorities as the gold standard in airline safety assessments.
The IOSA audits for PAL and PAL express started in November, 2019 and ended in the first quarter of 2020.
PAL has completed its seventh consecutive IOSA renewal, marking 14 years of full international safety compliance.
PAL was the first Filipino airline to be IOSA-registered for safety, and for eight years was the sole airline in the country to earn and sustain the distinction.
PAL Express was the second Filipino airline to be included in the IOSA Registry in March 2014, and earned its first renewal in March 2016.
It has now completed its fourth consecutive certification with the recent successful Audit.
“The IOSA registration affirms that safety is Philippine Airlines’ topmost priority and at the heart of our operational culture, “remarked PAL President Gilbert F. Santa Maria.
“In the face of the COVID- 19 pandemic, that culture ensures the safety of all the travelers who put their trust in our airplanes and our people. We look forward to the opportunity to resume flying to serve the Filipino people and help in the recovery of the economy.”
The consistent IOSA renewals of PAL and PAL ex¬press were among the key factors that earned them the maximum rating of “seven stars” rating for safety, as announced last year by the international rating organization AirlineRatings.com.
PAL is a certified 4-Star Global Airline and was ranked 30th best airline in the world by Skytrax in 2019, along with the World’s Most Improved Airline honors.
Passing the audit and the resulting inclusion in the IOSA Registry confirms that the PAL Group airlines conform with industry safety standards on Flight Operations; Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance; Organization and Management (including the airlines’ Safety Management System and Quality Management System); Operational Control and Flight Dispatch; Cabin Opera¬tions; Ground Handling Operations; Cargo Operations; and Security Management.
Both airlines operate under the common brand name “Philippine Airlines” and serve 76 destinations in the Philippines and abroad, although regular flights had been temporarily suspended since March 2020 due to the lockdowns and travel restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.