Philippine Airlines Flights to Brazil Closer to Reality

Philippine Airlines will help pave the way to boost travel and international cooperation between the Philippines and Brazil as the two countries just signed its first ever air service agreement.

philippine airlines sao paulo
Photo Copyright: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
While expansion to the United States and Europe is on hold, Philippine Airlines set its sights on Brazil last October announcing its intention to seek permission to serve the largest economy in Latin America. Although Filipinos travelling to Brazil is rare, it is actually quite common for a Brazillian to visit the Philippines. In a reported written by the Civil Aeronautics Board, it indicated that Brazil produces more visitors to the Philippines than any other South American country. It is the only South American country that provides a substantial number of tourists to the country. Brazilians actually make up the 10th largest group of foreign residents in the Philippines. The good news for Filipinos is that once a flight is established between the two countries, the doors to Brazil are wide open. Brazil is one of the handful of countries that Filipinos may travel to visa-free. Filipino tourists are permitted entry into the country visa-free for up to 90 days.

Under the agreement, Philippine Airlines is the designated carrier entitled to seven flights to either Sao Paolo or Rio de Janeiro with fifth freedom traffic rights to any third country points. TAM Airlines will be the designated carrier for Brazil with permission for seven flights to Manila along with fifth freedom rights to any third point. In addition, TAM Airlines will have unlimited traffic rights between Brazil and any other Philippine gateway outside Manila.

Fifth freedom rights enable an airline to land in a different country enroute and board additional passengers prior to continuing on to its final destination. In the case of Philippine Airlines, that could mean a stop in Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Dubai, or Abu Dhabi.

philippine airlines brazil
Photo Source: Exciting Centennial of Philippine Aviation
The news is welcome to the Civil Aeronautics Board who included Brazil in a report listing the top ten international growth markets for the local aviation sector. Although no formal announcements have been made, it is expected that Philippine Airlines will use the new rights for service to Sao Paulo even though it also holds rights to Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and representatives in the Philippines see it as a potential growth market.

The service to Brazil remains in line with Philippine Airlines strategy to become a truly global Filipino airline by expanding its international operations. Ramon Ang, President of Philippines Airlines, has not specified which way the airline will fly to South America as no aircraft in currently in production is able to fly the route direct. It was hinted in February that Addis Ababa could be the stop over point as Ethiopian Airlines announced new service to Manila scheduled to commence on June 18. The airline will also introduce its own service to Sao Paulo on July 1 which could lead to a possible code-share agreement between Ethiopian Airlines and Philippine Airlines.

Addis Ababa would be an ideal stop over point as it lies right in the middle between Sao Paulo and Manila. Each airport can easily be reached by the new generation A330-300 which Philippine Airlines is expecting delivery of later this year. Airports in the Middle East and Johannesburg are also a possibility but would require the use of PAL's Boeing 777, Boeing 747, or A340 fleet. Philippine Airlines already announced the launch of flights to Abu Dhabi beginning October 1 and now there is a possibility that the flight could continue onwards to Brazil.

However, in determining what the stop over point will be, Philippine Airlines would need to secure the necessary fifth freedom rights. The Philippines already holds fifth freedom rights for Abu Dhabi and Dubai but does not currently have rights from Johannesburg or Addis Ababa. But such details could be worked out in the future with airline partners and subsequent negotiations. Philippine Airlines is currently seeking rights to Johannesburg and Cape Town as South Africa is the Philippines' largest trading partner in Africa.

Currently, Emirates Airlines and Singapore Airlines offer the only links between Manila and Brazil with Emirates providing a one stop service and Singapore Airlines making two stops in Singapore and Spain before continuing onto Brazil.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines is planning a future order for additional long-haul aircraft. The airline is rumoured to be considering the Boeing 777X. Philippine Airlines just announced a rapid expansion of 12 new destinations in Asia, Australia, and the Middle East for 2013. More could be added later this year. Services to three Australian destinations will begin next month in June while PAL's service to New Delhi via Bangkok will be cancelled.


  1. You can also reach Sao Paulo from Manila with Qatar Airways, via Doha.

  2. I wouldnt go near any country where pedophilia is rampant

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. It's already 2016 and no news yet. Although another possible flight would be through Turkish Airlines with layover in Istanbul. That's the cheapest flight to Sao Paulo. Hoping more Filipinos like me can make it to Brazil!

  5. I've always been fascinated by the blend of art and science in piloting an aircraft. AV8 Prep private pilot license


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