PAL logs milestones, plans more flights in October

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines is gearing up to expand international and domestic flights in anticipation of a tourist and business travel revival as the Philippines ramps up vaccination drives and improves travel and economic conditions nationwide.

By late October 2021, PAL plans to increase flights to San Francisco, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Guam, Singapore, Dubai, Doha, Nagoya and Fukuoka while continuing special flights to Auckland, Vietnam and points in Australia. More flights to Honolulu and Taipei will come online by the last week of November 2021.

The airline’s winter season schedule also includes regular flights to New York JFK, Seoul, Saudi Arabia, Vancouver, Toronto and other Asian destinations.

On domestic routes, the flag carrier is set to add flight frequencies to Iloilo, Legazpi, Butuan, Puerto Princesa, Bacolod, Dumaguete and Roxas City. PAL’s Cebu hub will see additional frequencies between Cebu and Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Butuan and Davao.

"As travel restrictions ease, we are progressively increasing flights on high-density routes and operating special commercial and repatriation flights to build passenger traffic. While demand may not come back to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, we will implement a fleet and network plan that will maintain Philippine Airlines as a market leader in the international and domestic sectors," says PAL SVP/Chief Strategy and Planning Officer Dexter C. Lee.

PAL has steadily built up operations in recent months, now averaging 27% of the pre-pandemic flights on 70% of its route network.

PAL racked up a number of important milestones that point to progress in the recovery of the flag carrier and the aviation industry:

-- PAL has now ramped up to daily flights each to Los Angeles, Tokyo, Osaka and Singapore. Multiple weekly flights are continuing to San Francisco, Vancouver and other points in Japan and Middle East. London is served with special flights in September and October.

-- With the shift to GCQ status for the national capital region, PAL presently operates multiple daily flights between Manila and Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Boracay (Caticlan), Tacloban, Legazpi, Bohol and Cotabato.

-- PAL received U.S. court approval last September 9 for the first phase of its ongoing Chapter 11 restructuring plan, which will allow fresh capital to flow in even as the airline sustains its full range of flights and services.

-- To help jumpstart domestic tourism, PAL launched the new Hiraya Flight Pass last week, the local industry’s most flexible flight pass offering the biggest savings.

-- In August, the flag carrier launched a new Forever Flyer promotion featuring digital raffle draws every week until December 17, 2021, awarding up to 80,000 yearly miles for life to winning PAL passengers.

-- PAL introduced digital innovations such as FX Box multi-currency pricing to make online ticket purchases more convenient, and a self-service option for customers rebooking flights, in partnership with Amadeus.

-- PAL carried Filipino athletes to and from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics games, including the triumphant gold, silver and bronze medal winners led by Hidilyn Diaz.

-- PAL carried more than 21 million vaccine doses into the country and onward to various points in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as part of the ongoing vaccine airlift mission.

-- PAL continues to mount repatriation flights to bring home OFWs and other Filipinos from countries as diverse as India, Oman, Bahrain and Lebanon, as well as Bayanihan services from Bangkok, Jakarta, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. These flights use several Philippine gateways such as Davao, Subic and Cebu in addition to Manila.

-- PAL was the first Asian airline accredited by the State of Hawaii to be a Trusted Testing and Travel Partner, allowing PAL passengers to bypass mandatory quarantine stays in Hawaii if they secure negative swab test results from PAL’s accredited test centers and partner laboratories.

-- PAL and its affiliate PAL Express maintained their seven-star safety rating, the highest award bestowed by the international ratings firm

"We continue to introduce product and service innovations that give our PAL customers the best-value buys with the most flexible ticketing options, as well as the opportunity to earn miles as you purchase flights with us," adds PAL SVP for Marketing and Sales Oscar Enrico A. Reyes, Jr. “Philippine Airlines will focus keenly on our valued customers as we adapt to a challenging environment.”