MANILA, Philippines – Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), jointly owned by taipan Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC), is increasing its flights to Honolulu in Hawaii and Guam.
The airline currently flies thrice a week between Manila and Honolulu and between Laoag and Honolulu via Manila. Starting August 1, the number of flights will increase to 5 times a week.
On the other hand, PAL currently flies 5 times a week between Manila and Guam. Starting October 26, the carrier will fly daily to Guam.
Currently, PAL operates a total of 26 weekly flights to the US, with frequencies to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Guam.
On April 10, the Philippines regained its much-coveted aviation rating upgrade from US authorities, allowing local carriers to launch and add flights to the world’s largest economy after 6 years.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted the Philippines a Category 1 rating for complying with international safety standards set by the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization.
The Philippines held Category 1 rating until January 2008, when it was downgraded to Category 2 by the FAA. A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards or its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more areas such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping or inspection procedures. (READ: TIMELINE: PH aviation status upgrade)
The upgrade allows Philippine carriers to fly to the US. For PAL, which has existing US operations, it means additional flights and destinations. PAL can also change the planes it uses for US flights and deploy fuel-efficient ones. – Rappler.com
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