MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Fifteen days after announcing that tycoon Lucio Tan has regained control of Philippine Airlines (PAL), the flag carrier said it is making a comeback to New York, with a maiden flight slated on March 15, 2015.
Lucio Tan, PAL chairman and chief executive officer, said that the resumption of regular flights to New York coincides with PAL’s 74th anniversary.
PAL used to fly to New York but was forced to suspend the operations in 1997 due to the Asian financial crisis.
Tan said the airline is flying to New York City via Vancouver, Canada, aligned with its network expansion to the East Coast, following the Federal Aviation Administration (US-FAA) upgrade of the country’s aviation safety rating back to Category 1 on April 9.
The 4-times-a-week service, full traffic rights via Manila-Vancouver-New York will operate at Terminal 1 of New York’s JFK International Airport.
With the addition of New York, PAL also flies to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Guam. The route would be flying via Airbus A340-300, covering a distance of 14,501 kilometers or approximately 16.5 total flying hours. It will be PAL’s longest route.
The resumption of its New York service will also boost PAL’s Canadian operations to 11 flights from 7 times a week.
Meanwhile, PAL announced that the Manila-Toronto flight would add a 4th weekly frequency. The increased capacity on this long-haul route is in time for summer – the peak travel period out of Manila.
Tan bought back the 49% stake of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation for $1.3 billion. (READ: PAL buyback: Lucio Tan’s change of heart)
The change in PAL ownership comes after the company posted a financial turnaround and as it embarks on expansion in the United States and Europe.
The airline resumed flights to London in November 2013. – Rappler.com