Philippine Airlines to fly direct to Auckland


By Catherine Talavera | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is set to offer non-stop flights from Manila to Auckland beginning Dec. 6, driven by the growing number of tourist arrivals from New Zealand.

In a statement, PAL said it would  start operating a non-stop thrice weekly service on the highly popular Manila-Auckland route next  month.

“The flights will significantly bring down travel time from the current 13.6 hours to 10 hours,” the flag carrier said.

PR 218 will depart Manila every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 11:15 p.m. and will arrive Auckland at 2:05 p.m. local time the following day.

PR 219 leaves Auckland every Friday, Saturday and Tuesday at 12:30 a.m. local time and touches down in Manila at 5:45 a.m.

At present, PAL operates flights to NZ with a Cairns, Australia stop–over utilizing the narrow-body Airbus A320.

“The new service will mean a shift to the more comfortable wide-body Airbus A340 aircraft more suitable for long-haul flights,” PAL said.

Apart from this, PAL will start non-stop flights from Manila to Toronto thrice a week on Dec. 16.

“The non-stop service via the Boeing 777 will reduce travel time from 16 hours to 14.4 hours,” the air carrier said.

PR118 leaves Manila every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4:15 p.m. and arrives in Toronto at 5:55 p.m. local time on the same day. Return flight PR119 departs Toronto every Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 12:15 a.m. local time and touches down in Manila at 5:45 a.m. the following day.

Meanwhile, PAL said it is slated to accept delivery of two more Boeing 777-300s next month  and two Airbus A350-900s within the first half of 2018.

“These orders will allow the flag carrier to add non-stop frequencies between Manila and the US West Coast and open a non-stop Manila–New York service. Currently, the MNL-NYC service stopsover in Vancouver,” PAL said.

Meanwhile, PAL will introduce the long-range version of the Airbus A321 NEOs, which will enable the flag carrier to open new non-stop routes such as Manila–Brisbane and Manila–New Delhi.

In the domestic market, PAL will open new routes out of Cebu which will further enhance the Visayan hub’s connectivity with Northern Mindanao and the Bicol region starting Dec. 1.

“The new routes, which will utilize PAL’s Bombardier Q400 Next Generation turboprops,  are Cebu–Siargao, Cebu–Camiguin, Cebu–Ozamiz and Cebu–Legaspi,” PAL said.

Also in December, PAL will launch flights from Clark to Legaspi, Masbate Calbayog and Catarman and new routes particularly Clark–Bacolod and Clark–Tagbilaran will also be introduced.

Clark – Cagayan de Oro and Clark–Virac flights are slated to begin on Dec. 16 and 10, respectively. In addition, the airline will open Clark–Naga and Clark–Legaspi flights in January 2018.