Philippine flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has announced its return to New York’s JFK with four-weekly services connecting it with Manila’s Ninoy Aquino from March 15, 2015.
Both the outbound and inbound leg are routed via Vancouver with PAL having fifth freedom rights between the city pair, just like Cathay Pacific Airways, meaning passengers may purchase tickets between Vancouver and New York without having to continue on to the Philippines.
The airline last served New York 17 years ago but suspended flights as the island nation’s economy slumped in the 90’s in the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis.
Flights will originally be operated by the carrier’s two-class A340-300 aircraft. Click here to view a seat plan. Note that these aircraft do not feature personal TV screens at every seat.
Flight PR126 will depart Manila at 2350 and arrive in Vancouver at 2050. The flight will then continue on to New York, departing Vancouver at 2250 and landing at New York's JFK at 0700 the following day. Philippine Airlines' flights to New York via Vancouver will depart every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The return flight, PR127, will depart New York at 1100 and arrive back in Vancouver at 1350. The flight continues on to the Philippines, departing Vancouver at 1520 and arriving back in Manila at 2030 the following day.
Delta Airlines is currently operating the Manila – New York route (via Narita).
The move to expand flights in the United States and Canada comes after the Philippines was restored to Category 1 status by the United States Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year.
PAL’s president Ramon Ang has since stepped forward and revealed that his carrier is eyeing Miami, San Diego and Chicago as possible new destinations in the US. He also said PAL is planning to increase frequencies to its current US ports of Honolulu, Guam, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Honolulu, for instance, will be upgraded to once daily from December 10, using two-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Since 2012, Philippine Airlines is 49%-owned by the San Miguel Corporation, the Philippines’ best-known food and beer conglomerate. PAL's first major initiative under San Miguel ownership was a US$7 billion order for 54 Airbus aircraft, comprising 44 Airbus A321 (34 with sharklets and 10 A321neo) and 10 Airbus A330-300, with options for 10 more.
On another note, PAL has just yesterday retired its last B747-400 ‘jumbo jet’ aircraft after over 35 years of B747 operations. PAL’s B747-400 have been replaced by more fuel-efficient B777-300ER aircraft.
For more information, visit philippineairlines.com
Dominic Sebastian Lalk