PAL expands Mactan-Japan flights
MANILA, Philippines–Flag carrier Philippine Airlines will expand flights to Japan out of Mactan Cebu International Airport, the country’s second-biggest airport.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) said in a statement that on Dec. 19, it would start flying from Cebu to the Japanese cities of Osaka and Nagoya. PAL currently operates 14 direct flights between Cebu and Tokyo, Japan using Narita International Airport.
Philippine Airlines said the Cebu-Osaka flights would be four times a week (Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays), while flights to Nagoya would be three times (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays).
The new routes will bring to 67 the total number of PAL flights to Japan each week, the carrier noted.
Apart from Cebu, Philippine Airlines operates from Manila 11 weekly flights to Haneda (Tokyo), 14 weekly flights to Narita (Tokyo), and seven weekly flights each to Nagoya, Osaka (Kansai), and Fukuoka.
The launch of the new air services “is the flag carrier’s response to strong public clamor for new routes to Japan, considered the third-biggest source of visitor arrivals to the country,” Philippine Airlines said in its statement.
Data from the Department of Tourism showed that, from January to August 2014, arrivals from Japan reached 310, 901—an increase of 5.95 percent from the 293,445 tallied during the same period in 2013.
The new routes will commence nine months after PAL launched flights to Haneda, PAL’s fifth gateway to Japan after Narita, Osaka, Fukuoka and Nagoya, the statement showed.
Targeting more overseas routes is crucial to the carrier’s strategy in returning to profitability, possibly within the 2014, airline president Jaime Bautista said.
Apart from Japan, Philippine Airlines plans to mount daily flights to Honolulu, Hawaii, by Dec. 11. It currently flies to the island state four times a week.
The move comes ahead of flights to New York, where the carrier will be returning to after economic and feasibility constraints prompted Philippine Airlines to scrap flights in 1997, just after a year of operations.
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