Philippine Airlines is giving its network across Asia a boost this spring with the launch of new routes to Hanoi, Phnom Penh and New Delhi throughout March and April this year, giving the Philippines and Cambodia’s capital their first direct air link and marking the return of its services to the Indian capital after an absence of more than five years.
The first of the three routes to launch will be Manila-Hanoi, launching on March 31 as a four-times-weekly service. Flight PR595 will depart Manila every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 2225 and arrive at Hanoi just after midnight at 0045 the following day. The return PR596 flight, meanwhile, is a red-eye flight that will depart Hanoi on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 0145 and land back at Manila at 0530.
The Hanoi route will then be followed by Philippine Airlines’ first Cambodia service between Manila and Phnom Penh, scheduled to take off the following day on April 1. This will be a five-times-weekly service, with PR521 flying out of Manila on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 2210, arriving in Phnom Penh just before midnight at 2345. Returning flight PR522, also a red-eye, will then leave Phnom Penh just after midnight on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 0045 before landing back in Manila at 0420.
The airline’s delayed return to New Delhi will be the last of the three routes to take off and is currently being targeted for an April 2019 launch date. Philippine Airlines last operated this route from 2011 until 2013.
The resurrected New Delhi service will operate four times per week and Philippine Airlines has confirmed that its new A321neo aircraft – currently flying on services to Sydney, Brisbane, Port Moresby and Sapporo – will operate flights on the New Delhi route as well.
This means business class passengers travelling on the revived New Delhi service will be seated in the airline’s new fully flat regional business class seat products. These seats are laid out in a 2-2 configuration and are angled slightly towards the windows.
The A321neo also features new seat products in its 3-3 configuration economy class cabin.
The Philippine carrier’s A320 aircraft, meanwhile, will operate the Hanoi and Phnom Penh services, according to Philippine Airlines’ current online schedule. The A320 also offers 12 seats in the business class cabin laid out in a 2-2 configuration, though with an older seat product than the A321neo.
These three new routes form part of Philippine Airlines’ plan to position its Manila hub as a key bridge between Asia and North America in particular. “Philippine Airlines’ strategic vision is to make the Philippines a true gateway to Asia,” said the carrier’s president and COO, Jaime J Bautista.
“We are the Southeast Asian airline with the biggest and most extensive network of direct flights to the US and Canada, and thus we can be the leader in carrying North American travellers to India, Cambodia and Vietnam via our Manila hub.”
Philippine Airlines notably cut out the Vancouver stopover on its Manila-New York service last year, and as of November last year also flies its newest aircraft, the Airbus A350-900, on the now non-stop route.
Philippine Airlines currently flies eight times per week between Manila and Ho Chi Minh City, a service it has operated since the mid-1980s. It has also expressed its intention to launch non-stop flights to Mumbai.
Along with these three route launches, Philippine Airlines has also announced it will be boosting 13 of its routes in Asia-Pacific and North America this summer, including its New York service.
Though it has yet to formally announce when each of the routes will be getting boosts to their frequency, it has specified which services will be getting more flights this summer.
From Manila to:
- Osaka – from four weekly to daily
- Bangkok – from 21 weekly to 25 weekly
- Kuala Lumpur – from daily to 11 weekly
- Jakarta – from daily to 11 weekly
- Los Angeles – from double daily to 17 weekly
- San Francisco – from 10 weekly to double daily
- New York – from five weekly to daily
- Toronto – from five weekly to daily
- Sydney – from daily to nine weekly
- Brisbane – from four weekly to five weekly
- Taipei – from 10 weekly to double daily
- Doha – from four weekly to five weekly
From Cebu to:
- Nagoya – from four weekly to daily
As previously reported by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, Philippine Airlines’ expected frequency boost between Manila and Jakarta comes as it shifts its operations to Jakarta Soekharno Hatta International Airport’s new Terminal 3 building on March 5.