United Airlines bullish on PH market | Inquirer Business

United Airlines bullish on PH market

MANILA  -United Airlines is optimistic in achieving a good passenger load factor for its slated Manila-San Francisco flights given the robust air travel demand between United States and the Philippines and rest of Asia Pacific region following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Walter Dias, the US carrier’s regional director for sales in Greater China, Korea and Southeast Asia, said in a briefing in Taguig on Wednesday that “travel demand from the United States is exploding.”

Data from the Tourism department showed that among the top international visitors from Jan.1 to Jul. 19 came from US with 550,569 guests, accounting for 18.35 percent of the total.


“The international traffic is definitely growing very fast. That’s what really prompted us to take a careful look at the different markets in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.


Last month, United announced its plan to launch a nonstop flight between Manila and San Francisco by Oct. 30. It will be the only US airline offering direct transpacific flights to the Philippines by then.

According to the carrier’s booking page, a roundtrip ticket for this flight can cost $1,392 (P75,883) for economy; $2,810 (P153,183), premium economy; and $5,570 (P303,640), business class. Passengers will have a travel time of 15 hours and 15 minutes.

“To demonstrate the confidence that we have in the Philippine market, we’re coming in with our largest aircraft,” Dias said.

The route will be serviced by Boeing 777-300ER, which has 60 seats in the business cabin; 24 seats in premium cabin; and 266 seats in economy section.

“We are very confident about the load factor,” Dias said. “We’ve seen really strong demand in both directions.”

United is in the process of securing regulatory approvals for the route from the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines. Dias said they expect it to “go smoothly.”


Currently, the carrier services routes from the Philippines to Palau and Guam. Asked if United would increase capacity for said flights given the increasing demand, Dias said they were still studying the market.

The airline is operating a 770-aircraft fleet. By 2032, it will receive 700 new narrow and wide body jets.

Meanwhile, United is also set to increase or resume flights to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Taipei by October.

The US airline is beefing up its routes to Asia amid a forecast that the continent will drive the momentum of the global aviation sector this year, especially with the reopening of China’s borders.


PH, rest of Asia to see fastest air travel growth in next 20 years

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TAGS: Air Travel, strong demand, United Airlines

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