PAL trims flights to Auckland


By Louella Desiderio | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is reducing flights on the Manila-Cairns-Auckland route amid a cut in fuel supply at the Auckland airport in New Zealand.

“PAL will be implementing twice weekly Manila – Cairns – Auckland operations from the current four times weekly frequency utilizing the wide-body 363-seater A330,” the carrier said in a statement.

The move is being undertaken as a damaged pipeline has resulted in temporary rationing of fuel supplies used by airlines departing from the Auckland airport.

Last Sept. 19 and Sept. 21, PAL’s A320 planes departing from Auckland to Manila were loaded with substantial fuel tonnage for the Auckland – Brisbane journey in order to carry out refueling in Brisbane before heading for Cairns in Australia.

Due to the cut in fuel supplies at the Auckland airport, passengers of flight PR 218 on the Manila-Cairns-Auckland route yesterday were accommodated on PR 218 today.

Passengers with tickets on the Manila to Cairns, Manila to Auckland or Cairns to Auckland routes may be re-protected on later flights with the same route within 30 days from the original travel date.

Affected passengers also have the option to refund the cost of their tickets.

“Despite the impact on cost of the aircraft upgrading, PAL opted to carry out such measure to ensure that operations between the two cities continue for the benefit of the flying public,” the carrier said.

PAL said the Auckland Airport continues to work with local airline representatives, oil companies and the New Zealand government to resolve the fuel supply cut.

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