PAL set to fly to Seattle
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is making a major expansion move in the United States with plans to mount flights to Seattle in time for the busy 2020 summer season.
An industry source told the Inquirer that PAL plans to launch flights from Manila to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport starting May 3 this year using its fleet of long-range Airbus A350-900s.
This marks PAL’s most significant move in the United States, a profitable operation supported by a sizeable Filipino-American market, since it launched nonstop flights to New York in November 2018.
Flights to Seattle, located along the US West Coast, will open a new route via the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.
Seattle and nearby towns are also home to a thriving Filipino community of about 100,000 people, a 2010 population survey showed. The area hosts homegrown restaurants such as Jollibee and Max’s Restaurant.
The source said PAL’s Manila-Seattle operations would fly three times per week.The flag carrier is also reviving flights from Cebu to Los Angeles this May and will operate three times per week, the source said.
PAL suspended Cebu-LA flights in May 2017 after a year of operations due to weak volume.
North American operations have historically been a healthy business for PAL.
Flights to the United States and Canada accounted for about 28 percent of PAL’s revenue in 2018, making these countries the second-biggest contributors after Asia and Australia, according to PAL Holdings’ annual report.Apart from Seattle, New York and LA, PAL flies to Guam, Honolulu, San Francisco, Toronto and Vancouver.
Outside the United States, PAL is expanding in China.
PAL said in a statement it would start thrice weekly flights between Clark International Airport and Quanzhou (Jinjiang), a gateway to the southeastern part of China’s Fujian province.
PAL will deploy its Airbus A320 for the Clark-Jinjiang route. INQ
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