PAL gets fifth Airbus A350-900, adds new routes
Philippine Airlines is set to receive its fifth Airbus A350-900 and is expanding its Asian network by launching new routes to Hanoi, Phnom Penh and New Delhi from its Manila hub.
Philippine Airlines is expanding its Asian network by launching new routes to Hanoi (Vietnam), Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and New Delhi (India) from its Manila hub, starting this summer season.
The new routes include the first direct air link between the Philippines and the capital of Cambodia, while expanding PAL’s existing Vietnam network and reestablishing a historic link to India seen as having huge potential for tourism development.
PAL President and COO Jaime J. Bautista says the moves aim to “leverage Manila’s excellent geographical location as an ideal stopover point for people flying to Southeast and South Asia from the East and West Coasts of North America.”
Flights between Manila and Hanoi will operate four times weekly using an A320ceo in 156-seat configuration, while flights between Manila and Phnom Penh will operate five times weekly using an A321ceo with 199 seats. PAL will maintain its current 8 weekly flights between Manila and Vietnam’s commercial hub, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), a city served by the flag carrier since the mid-1980s.
The long-heralded return of PAL to the Indian market is made possible by the arrival of the A321neo. The airline previously flew the Manila – Delhi route from 2011 to 2013, with most flights making stopovers in Bangkok due to the limited range of the A320 aircraft then in use.
PAL is targeting April 2019 as the start of the New Delhi service subject to final slot and operational clearances with the Indian authorities. The new route is slated to run four times weekly nonstop between Manila and New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. The A321neo features 168 seats, including full-flat business class seats.
PAL is scheduled to receive its fifth A350-900 in February. The aircraft is currently deployed on the carrier's nonstop 16-hour Manila-New York service, launched at the end of October and claimed to be the eighth longest commercial airline route in the world. The carrier's A350s are also operated on services to London, with Toronto coming soon.