Philippine Airlines Sets Sights On New Zealand Route

MANILA, Philippines – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) is looking at flying to New Zealand as part of efforts to further expand its international presence.

PAL president Jaime Bautista said the airline is studying the viability of flying to Auckland in New Zealand as it is set to launch flights to Jinjiang, China and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea in the next few months.

“Maybe this year. We are still studying it. It will actually depend on the numbers,” Bautista said.

Auckland is the largest and most populous urban area in New Zealand.

Rival airline Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) had also earlier signified its intention to fly to New Zealand. The budget carrier has been given the green light by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to fly to New Zealand seven times a week.

PAL has a total of 67 routes comprised of 37 international routes including Jinjiang and Port Moresby as well as 30 domestic routes including Tablas in Romblon launched yesterday.

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PAL is also scheduled to fly to Jinjiang in China soon, bringing the number of destinations in China to seven. It currently flies to Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, and Xiamen.

It is also awaiting the green light from CAB to fly to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

To mark its 74th founding anniversary, PAL started flying to New York four times a week via Vancouver last March 15. New York marks the fifth US city in PAL’s network, following Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Guam.

The Tan Group has decided to defer the complete delivery of close to 40 brand new aircraft from Airbus after successfully taking back full ownership of the airline from San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

The orders, Bautista explained, has deferred the delivery of 38 Airbus A321 aircraft to 2024 instead of 2020 without any additional cost from the national flag carrier. It also ordered two additional A321 neo aircraft.

Source:  (The Philippine Star)

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