The recent acquisition by Philippine Airlines of two brand-new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft has paved the way for the resumption of service to two international destinations – Brisbane, Australia and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – later this month.
The flag carrier is re-launching flights to Brisbane on March 17 and to Riyadh on March 28, its 25th and 26th international destinations, respectively, in a gradually expanding route network.
The addition of Brisbane, PAL’s third destination in Australia, triggers the restructuring of the airline’s current daily, same-plane operation to Sydney and Melbourne.
PAL will fly a new Manila-Melbourne-Brisbane-Manila route twice weekly, using Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The wide-body jet seats 302 passengers in a two-class layout – 42 in business class and 260 in economy.
On the other hand, Sydney will be served three times a week via Melbourne and twice a week direct from Manila, with new Philippine Airlines aircraft flagship, the B777-300ER, flying both routes.
PAL first flew to Brisbane on June 5, 1985. But commercial difficulties spawned by the Asian financial crisis of 1997 forced the flag carrier to shut down its Australian services on June 5, 1998.
Meanwhile, PAL makes a long-awaited return to Riyadh after an absence of four years. The airline last served the Saudi capital on March 2, 2006, after which the service was suspended for commercial reasons.
From March 28, new Philippine Airlines aircraft will fly four times weekly to Riyadh, with departures every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which seat 12 passengers in business class, 32 in premium economy and 383 in economy, will be deployed on the non-stop route.
PAL’s return to the Middle East has been warmly welcomed by Filipino expatriates, who number over 2.2 million. PAL’s direct service to and from Manila has been traditionally favored by Filipinos in the region because of its time-saving advantage. Other carriers’ flights can involve up to two stops.
PAL first flew to Riyadh on March 1, 1987 and over the decades the Saudi capital became one of its most important points.
PAL’s redeployment of aircraft to Brisbane and Riyadh was made possible with the delivery of two long-range B777-300ER aircraft in recent months. The first arrived in Manila on November 19, 2009 and the second on January 21, 2010.
The fuel-efficient B777-300ER is the world’s largest long-range twin-engine jetliner and is capable of carrying 370 passengers in PAL’s two-class configuration, at a range of up to 7,880 nautical miles (14,594 kilometers).
The state-of-the-art Philippine Airlines aircraft was first deployed on the Manila-Hong Kong route on November 26, 2009. It has since been deployed to Tokyo, on January 12, 2010, and to Sydney and Melbourne, on February 20, 2010.
Accommodating 42 passengers in business class and 328 in economy class, PAL’s B777-300ER features a cutting-edge inflight entertainment system, luxurious seats, and a soothing, coastal resort-themed cabin design. The fully digital inflight entertainment system enables passengers to choose from a broad range of media content.
For the latest PAL packages as well as booking requirements, visit www.philippineairlines.com or call (02) 855-8888.