PAL expands China Airlines tie-up with Taiwan flights
MANILA -Lucio Tan-led Philippine Airlines (PAL) is beefing up its routes to Taiwan, which has allowed visa-free entry for Filipinos until next year, via a partnership with China Airlines.
In a statement on Monday, the flag carrier said it was offering Manila-Kaohsiung and Cebu-Taipei flights through its codeshare deal with the Chinese carrier.
The flight to Kaohsiung, with code PR 3300/CI 712, is offered four times a week and is serviced by a Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The route to Taipei (PR 3302/CI 706), utilizing Airbus A321neo aircraft, is available five times weekly. The flights are operated by China Airlines.
“Under this codeshare arrangement, [PAL] is the marketing carrier while China Airlines is the operating carrier,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna told the Inquirer.
The route expansion came after the Taiwan government extended the 14-day visa-free entry for Filipinos until July 31, 2024.
Since it reopened borders last year, over 60,000 Filipinos have already traveled to the popular tourist destination as of the first quarter of the year.
“We will build on our strong partnership with China Airlines to offer more convenient access for Filipino tourists to visit Taiwan, even as we welcome Taiwanese tourists to come and visit the fun and festive Philippines,” PAL vice president for sales Bud Britanico said.
“Cebu is a great destination for both business and leisure, while Kaohsiung is a dynamic port city and economic hub that also houses many overseas Filipino workers,” he added.
China Airlines vice president of corporate development office Jeremy Chang added the partnership would not only “strengthen collaboration between the two airlines but also promote business and tourism between the two regions.”
The carriers have been codeshare partners since 2015.
PAL has been beefing up its fleet to address the recent flight disruptions caused by the unavailability of some aircraft, which are currently undergoing maintenance.
It recently reactivated a 199-seater A321ceo (current engine option), which is now being utilized for Kalibo-Seoul flights and Seoul-Manila flights.
“We have proactively reduced our schedules since the beginning of the year and improved our spares provisioning. We started sourcing additional engines for lease and we are adding aircraft to our fleet network,” the airline said.
The carrier will also purchase from Airbus nine A350-1000s, which will be used for long haul services from Manila to the East Coast of the United States and Canada. INQ