Philippine Airlines plans to expand its operations in North
America, as the carrier this week restarted service to New York after a nearly
The Philippines flag carrier now operates flights four times
per week between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Manila,
with a stop in Vancouver each way. It last launched flights to the region in
1996 at Newark International Airport, but stopped the subsequent year because
of cost considerations, said Philippine Airlines president and COO Jaime
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in 2008 downgraded
the carrier to a Category 2 rating, indicating its determination that the
airline fell short of international safety standards, which prevented further
growth in the United States. Last year, FAA upgraded it back to Category 1,
which has allowed expansion plans to resume, Bautista said.
Philippine Airlines already operates in the United States
out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Guam and recently increased
service out of some of those airports. Service to New York, however, will be
limited to five flights per week under its agreement with U.S. and Canadian
authorities, according to Bautista. Carrier executives recently met with their
Canadian ambassador and discussed the possibility of getting more service to
Canada, he added.
"Our people wanted a daily flight because it's a better
product than four times a week, but since we are still in a development stage,
we'll start with four," Bautista said. "Maybe we can increase it to
five and then work with U.S. and Canadian authorities to have more
In the meantime, the carrier is working with some U.S.
airlines to boost traffic on its New York route.
"We don't have codeshare agreements yet, but we have
special prorate agreements that allow us to offer attractive fares from Manila
to New York to other East Coast destinations," Bautista said. "We
expect it will become a busy route, as we should be able to carry passengers
from other East Coast [destinations] like Florida."
Philippine Airlines also is adding service to new markets in
the Asia-Pacific region in the coming months, including to Jinjiang, China,
later this month and service to Port Moresby, New Guinea, in April.
Source: Business Travel News