MANILA, Philippines–PALex launches its long-haul operations on Wednesday with an inaugural flight to Dubai, one of the world’s most dynamic cities and the PAL Group’s second gateway in the United Arab Emirates.
In a statement released Tuesday, PALex said the new service will operate five times weekly, with flight 2P 658 departing Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 2 in Manila every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 1:00 p.m, and arriving at the Dubai International Airport at 6:15 p.m. (local time).
Flight time is approximately eight hours, with a four -hour time difference between both cities.
The return service, flight 2P 659, departs Dubai on the same days at 7:45 p.m. and arrives at Naia Terminal 2 at 8:15 a.m. the following day.
The brand-new Airbus A330-300, the latest model of the wide-body type, will be deployed on the route.
PAL president Ramon S. Ang said, “Our flights to and from Dubai will give our countrymen a direct, convenient link to their homeland, and allow them to experience the trademark Filipino service PAL is known for.
“We guarantee that our kababayans, as well as tourists and business people from Dubai traveling to the Philippines, will truly feel special on our flights. Aside from experiencing the brand new Airbus A330-300, they will also get to enjoy our specially-prepared inflight cuisine, including halal meals, which will be made available upon request,” he added.
Dubai is the latest addition to the PAL Group’s rapidly expanding route network. It comes just two days after the airline’s maiden flight to London on November 4, marking PAL’s historic return to Europe after 15 years, and a month after its inaugural flight to Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, on October 1.
Together with PAL’s five times weekly service to Abu Dhabi, PALex’s new service to Dubai brings the PAL Group’s combined weekly frequencies in the UAE’s two main hubs, to 10 – the most among Philippine carriers.
Even as PALex will make history for operating its first long-range service, PAL itself is no stranger to Dubai. The flag carrier first flew to the emirate 31 years ago, on August 7, 1982. Back then, Dubai was a transit stop on PAL’s Manila-to-Europe and, later, Manila-to-Saudi Arabia services.
On Wednesday, PALex will be flying to a Dubai that has become a major destination in its own right. The booming emirate – home to the world’s tallest skyscraper, largest shopping mall and largest man-made island – is the undisputed financial and retail hub of the Arabian Gulf.
It also hosts 450,000 Filipino expatriates, mostly professionals, who make up the natural base market for PALex.