Philippine Airlines returns to the Middle East

18 Jan 2010

Heeding the clamour of the large Filipino community in the Middle East and marking a return to the region after an absence of four years, Philippine Airlines (PAL) resumes a long-awaited service to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on March 28, 2010.

The non-stop service will operate four times weekly using Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which seats 50 passengers in Mabuhay Class (Business) and 383 in Fiesta Class (Economy).

Flight PR 658 will depart Manila on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 1820 with arrival in the Saudi capital at 1100. The return flight PR 659 will take off from Riyadh on Wednesday, Friday, Sunday and Monday at 0030, landing in Manila at 1500.

PAL last served Riyadh on March 2, 2006. The service was suspended for commercial reasons.

The flag carrier’s return to the region has been welcomed by Filipino expatriates, who number about 2 million – one of the largest foreign communities working there.

PAL has been traditionally favoured by Filipinos in the Middle East because its direct service to Manila means that they get home faster compared to other carriers, whose flights can involve up to two stops in intermediate cities before proceeding to Manila.

PAL first flew to Riyadh on March 1, 1987 and over the decades the Saudi capital became one of its most important points.

With the addition of Riyadh, the PAL network will count 25 international destinations as well as 29 points in the Philippines.

For more details about the airline, visit

Gigi Onag

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