MANILA, Philippines–Philippine Airlines (PAL) will start flying to Guangzhou, a city rich in historical and cultural heritage, on July 16, 2013, bringing to six PAL’s total destinations in China.
In a statement issued to media, the flag carrier said it will have four flights weekly to the capital of Guangdong province via PR382, with return flights via PR 383. Current PAL destinations in China include Beijing, Xiamen, Shanghai, Macau and Hong Kong.
The new PAL service provides Guangzhou business and leisure passengers convenient connections to PAL’s 31 domestic and 32 international destinations from its hub in Manila. PAL will also be one of the few full-service carriers to operate at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.
PAL President Ramon S. Ang said, “The launching of the Manila – Guangzhou – Manila route aims to further strengthen the strong ties between both cities. More importantly, this will allow business travelers and tourists the chance to spend time in the Philippines, and hop to any of our domestic or international destinations.”
The flights are being launched in the wake of robust tourist arrivals to and from Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton. In 2012 alone, there were 52,279 Manila tourist arrivals in the Chinese city and 56,107 Chinese tourist arrivals in Manila.
Guangzhou is the third largest city in China, after Beijing and Shanghai. Its isolation from the rest of China by mountains and early exposure to Western influence has led to a consumerist lifestyle, liberal ideas, distinctive cuisine and tremendous wealth. Many tourists prefer not just to shop but also to experience its culinary delights.
Guangzhou is less than two hours away by train from Hong Kong.
Having three industrial zones, the city accommodates countless huge markets specializing in almost any made-in-China products, including tea, herbs, garments, watches, electronics and toys, whose low prices attract enterprising travelers from around the world. Usually, sculptures made of jade, wood and olive from the whole region are most sought-after.
As a port city with different travel options, Guangzhou has an extensive underground railway system using high-speed trains, a two-runway international airport, the world’s second largest Bus Rapid Transit (mass transport system) and river ferries.
PAL first flew to Guangzhou (Canton) on August 1, 1979 using tri-engine Boeing 727-200. PAL was the first Southeast Asian airline to fly to China after Beijing reopened the country’s doors to the outside world in 1975.
Recently, PAL launched maiden journeys to Darwin, Brisbane and Perth in June 2013 and to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Basco, Batanes in May, 2013. The flag carrier and its affiliate PAL Express are slated to mount flights to Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam in the Middle East before the end of 2013.