Is it Amsterdam, Rome, Paris or Hamburg? These are the destinations which Philippine Airlines (PAL) is studying as part of its expansion plans to Europe.
PAL is looking at these new destinations as it awaits the delivery of its Airbus 350 acquired earlier this year for its long-haul flights. “We will be able to fly to new destinations in Europe when we take the delivery of our Airbus 350 which will be in 2018. But as early as now, we are already conducting a study on which of the destinations in Europe we’ll fly to,” he said.
Currently, PAL is expanding its operations with a new destination, Saipan. This is the 44th international destination of PAL and will commence this June 15. This will be available twice a week using the Airbus A320.
PR 1571 will depart Manila every Wednesday and Sunday at 9:20 p.m., and arrive in Saipan at 3:35 a.m. local time. PR 1572, meanwhile, will leave Saipan every Monday and Thursday at 4:35 a.m. and arrive in Manila at 6:45 a.m.
PAL is also set to begin taking advantage of fifth freedom rights on the Manila-Taipei-Osaka route by June.
Fifth freedom is the right to pick up passengers from a foreign country after flying from country of origin, and to bring them to another country or final destination.
Bautista said the Manila-Taipei-Osaka service would be offered daily.
TROUBLE WITH KUWAIT
PAL earlier complained it could not exercise its fifth freedom to pick up passengers from Dubai enroute to Kuwait after the Arab state disallowed it.
Last Jan. 17, the flag carrier launched a four-time weekly service (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday) between Manila and Kuwait via Dubai, to serve the travel needs of Filipino workers in Kuwait using an Airbus A330.
PAL said there was more volume of Filipino passengers, especially OFWs, in Dubai rather than in Bangkok.
The Kuwaiti government prevented the flag carrier from exercising its right to avail of fifth freedom traffic rights, while Kuwait Airways had been freely availing of Fifth Freedom traffic rights between Bangkok and Manila for close to 20 years.
PAL president and COO Jaime Bautista told reporters the airline is in talks with a potential strategic partner to ensure continued growth.
Source: http://www.philstar.com, Louella Desiderio& Rudy Santos