Philippine Airlines (PAL) will expand its US network next year, with the launch of flights to New York.
On 15 March 2015, the national carrier will commence four weekly flights between Manila and New York’s JFK International Airport, via Vancouver. The route will mark PAL’s first service to the East Coast of the US, and it will also become the airline’s longest route, at 14,500km.
PAL’s chairman & CEO, Lucio Tan, said the timing of the new route was “auspicious”, as it will “coincide with PAL’s 74th founding anniversary”. Then called Philippine Air Lines, the national carrier operated its first commercial flight on 15 March 1941.
Flight PR126 will depart Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2350, arriving in Vancouver at 2050 the same day, having crossed the International Date Line. After a two-hour stop, the service will continue to New York, landing at JFK at 0700 the following morning.
The return service, PR127, will then depart New York at 1100 every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving in Vancouver at 1350. Following a 1.5-hour stop, it will then fly back across the Pacific Ocean to Manila, landing at 2035 the following day.
PAL will operate the route using an Airbus A340-300 aircraft with 254 seats – 36 in business class and 218 in economy. All passengers will have access to seatback in-flight entertainment and the business class cabin will feature full flat-bed seats.
The New York service will also boost PAL’s Canadian operations, with the four Manila-Vancouver-New York flights adding to the existing daily Manila-Vancouver services. This means that from 15 March 2015, the total frequency between Manila and Vancouver will rise to 11 flights per week. In addition, PAL will add a fourth weekly flight between Manila and Toronto.
The addition of New York will take PAL’s total number of US destinations to five, following Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Guam. This expansion has been made possible by the easing of restrictions on PAL by US aviation authorities last year.