MANILA, Philippines – Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) expands its routes to Japan, adding Osaka and Nagoya destinations this coming December.
The Tan-led flag carrier will fly 4 times a week to Osaka and 3 times a week to Nagoya via the Mactan-Cebu International Airport starting December 19, bringing to 67 per week the number of PAL flights to Japan from the current 60 per week.
In a statement, PAL said the expanded routes to Japan is aimed at accommodating more visitors from Japan, currently the third major source of tourists for the country.
“The launching of the new air services is the flag carrier’s response to strong public clamor for new routes to Japan, considered the third biggest source of visitor arrivals to the country,” PAL said Tuesday, October 28.
“The new routes will commence 9 months after the air carrier launched flights to Haneda, PAL’s fifth gateway to Japan after Narita, Osaka, Fukuoka, and Nagoya,” the airline added.
PAL currently flies 11 times a week to Haneda; 14 times a week to Narita; 7 times a week to Nagoya; 7 times a week to Osaka; and 7 times a week to Kansa via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.
The national carrier also flies 14 times a week to Narita via the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.
On October 27, Cebu Pacific announced that it also has expanded its Japan routes, flying to Tokyo via its Cebu hub starting March 26, 2015.
The Lucio Tan group is currently reviewing the massive fleet renewal program, undertaken by diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC). (READ: Clipping PAL’s ‘too many wings’)
SMC previously owned 49% stake in PAL via the $500 million investment made by San Miguel Equity Investment Inc. in April 2012.
On September 15 this year, Lucio Tan’s group shelled out about $1.3 billion to buy back SMC’s interest in PAL.
On October 23, Jaime Bautista has been renamed president of the airline, replacing SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang. – Rappler.com
Mt. Fuji aerial view with cityscape image from Shutterstock
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