PAL’s prexy was pilot-in-command of presidential flight

It was one of those special moments in history: A President-Pilot flying the President of the Republic on a mission for the nation. 

Last week, our very own Philippine Airlines President and COO Capt. Stanley K. Ng was the Pilot-in-Command of the PAL flight that carried Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and the official Philippine Delegation to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the ASEAN 2022 Summit. 

Capt. Ng is the first active pilot to serve as the top executive of the flag carrier since the 1960s, having ascended to the PAL presidency after an 18-year career in the airline. 

Assisting Capt. Ng in the flight deck were Capt. Antonio Salgado Jr. and Capt. Gallardo Ibarra Jr.

But last November 9, he took on the unique responsibility of flying the country’s Commander-in-Chief for the two-and-a-half hour journey from Manila to Cambodia’s capital city. 

“It is an honor and a privilege for me and my crew to serve as the pilots of this Presidential flight, and I am truly grateful for the trust and confidence,” said Capt. Ng. “We were 100% dedicated to making sure the President and his team had a safe and pleasant journey. This was another opportunity to be of service to the nation by flying the flag on an important mission.” 

Assisting Capt. Ng in the flight deck of Flight PR 001were Capt. Antonio Salgado Jr. and Capt. Gallardo Ibarra Jr., while Pursers Monique Francois Gloria and Aimee Vijandre headed the crew of seven flight attendants. 

The presidential flight departed at 5:15 PM on November 9 from NAIA Terminal 2. While in the air en route to Cambodia, the Philippine President conducted interviews with the media traveling onboard. 

PR001 touched down at the Phnom Penh International Airport at 6:47 PM Cambodian local time. 

The President attended his first ASEAN leaders summit and met with heads of the ASEAN member states and other partner countries while in Phnom Penh. 

Flying home on November 13, the presidential delegation departed from Phnom Penh at 08:46 PM local time, once again with Capt. Ng and his crew in command, and arrived in Manila at 12:14 AM. 

Captain Ng joined the airline in 2003 as an airport customer relations staffer. He then took his Ab Initio Cadet Pilot training at the PAL aviation school and joined the pilot roster as a Second Officer in 2006. He rose through the ranks, eventually serving as Chief Pilot of the PAL Airbus A320/A321 fleet. 

Capt. Ng joined the flag carrier’s top management team as Senior Vice President of the Operations Group before his appointment to the position of President & COO in January 2022. 

Philippine Airlines has been flying Philippine Presidents on overseas journeys since the first state mission carrying President Elpidio Quirino in August 1949.

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