Philippine Airlines: Flights to London Restored, Frankfurt Next

Philippine Airlines restored direct service between the Philippines and Europe with a new flight to London on November 4, marking the airline's return after an absence of fifteen years. London is the capital of the United Kingdom and the largest financial hub in Europe.  
pal inaugural flight to london
Image Source: Rappler
The last direct link to Europe ended in 2012 when KLM cancelled its direct flight between Manila and Amsterdam. PAL's flights to London operate five times per week from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 to London Heathrow's Terminal 4. Flights will be operated by the Boeing 777-300ER with seating for up to 370 passengers. 
pal inaugural flight heathrow
"On Approach to London Heathrow - Inaugural Flight"
Image Source: infrequentflyer/Flickr
London Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe and third-busiest in the world serving more than 70 million passengers annually. The launch of flights to London is an important first step in fulfilling the mission of transforming Philippine Airlines into a truly global airline for Filipinos. As the national flag carrier, Philippine Airlines serves as a symbol of pride for all Filipinos around the world referring to PAL as "our airline." 
For the many overseas Filipino workers that step on board a PAL aircraft for a flight to the Philippines, there is often an immediate sense of belonging and feeling at home being surrounded by fellow countrymen. Many overseas Filipinos often suggest an emotional attachment to Philippine Airlines with many not feeling at home with other foreign airlines in spite of their attempts to offer Filipino cuisine on board. There are also stories of Filipinos returning home for Christmas after an absence of several years. Some suggest that it was never uncommon to clap as soon as the plane touched down when flying Philippine Airlines but it was a practice that never seemed appropriate on other airlines. 
ramon ang philippine airlines crew
Image Source: ourawesomeplanet/Instagram
With the strong emotional sentiment that overseas Filipinos feel towards Philippine Airlines, it's no surprise that Philippine Airlines chose the marketing slogan, "Your Home in the Sky" because that is exactly what the airline represents to many Filipinos. It feels as if they have arrived at home in the Philippines from the moment they step on the aircraft. It's an important strategy because Filipinos are the primary target market for PAL's new flights. But Philippine Airlines is hoping to attract more than just overseas Filipino workers, the airline is hoping to tap into the country's growing popularity as a tourist destination by attracting foreign tourists. 
Philippine Airlines' return to London was the main focus of the Philippine delegation at the recent World Travel Mart, the largest global tourism industry event. Ramon Ang, President of Philippine Airlines, is banking on new aircraft, enhanced in-flight service and amenities, and the fact that PAL is the sole provider of a direct link between Europe and the Philippines as key attractions for choosing Philippine Airlines over other carriers. 
london to manila philippine airlines
Image Source: ourawesomeplanet/Instagram
"In the first six months of 2013 alone, we had more than 60,000 arrivals from Britain," said Ang. "This elevated the UK to the Philippines' top ten visitor markets for the first time, the only European nation on the list. With PAL's new non-stop flights, we are sure those numbers will increase further." He added that Philippine Airlines intends to win back the millions of overseas Filipino workers who used the services of PAL in the past. 
Ang suggests that with foreign airlines creating hours of layovers for Filipinos in foreign airports like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai, Philippine Airlines can offer a much faster travel time for Filipinos with a direct route. Philippine Airlines is hoping to fly through Russia, which will cut the travel time of its current 15-hour flight to London by two hours resulting in just a 13-hour journey. Ang hopes to get the endorsement of the Russian Embassy in Manila in the near future. "We can cut the flying time by two hours if we can get a Russian over-flight permit," said Ang. "We can leave Manila by 9:00am." The current flight departs Manila at 7:30am. "We are forced to leave early because of this. If we leave this early, there are less connecting passengers," Ang added. 
But Ramon Ang isn't finished with London. He already has plans to serve other key European cities next year. "Based on our study, we will first mount a direct flight to Frankfurt because after you land in that city, you can go anywhere in Europe by train, which is much cheaper and preferred by Filipino workers," said Ang. Philippine Airlines is also targeting Moscow citing the large market for tourists in Russia. PAL recently launched charter services from Vladivostok. 
fly pal to london
Image Source: ourawesomeplanet/Instagram
The airline's flights to London comes just four months after the European Union lifted a safety ban preventing the carrier from flying to Europe. Ang says that the return of flights to London is a direct result of the lifting of that ban. "London is one of our most important destinations and is a result of the lifting of the EU ban," said Ang. He added that a key difference for the airline now is that unlike in the past where the airline used to serve London with the first generation of jetliners, four-engined gas-guzzling DC-8 jets, the airline is now able to operate a wider, more comfortable, and fuel efficient Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. 
"This will promote tourism and investments from the UK and it would make it more convenient for passengers not to take other planes because they can fly non-stop at a very competitive fare," said Ang. "That's a lot of passenger volume between the UK and Manila, and we hope to promote more European destinations." He added that there are currently 250,000 Filipinos living in the United Kingdom, the largest OFW population in Europe. 

The British Ambassador to the Philippines, Asif Ahmad, was on hand for the ceremonies and highlighted the significance of the new flight. "London is now within reach of businessmen and tourists," said Ahmad. "We are inviting everyone to go to London. With direct flights now possible between Manila and London, it is easier to be with Filipinos, their families and friends because travel time is shorter." He added that people will no longer consider going first to Hong Kong because they can now fly direct from Manila to London and that with London being the gateway to Europe, some may even continue on to other countries. "The real dividend of PAL's first route to Europe is that Britain will be the most obvious place for a Filipino to visit. We speak your language, English," said Asif. "You can meet 250,000 Filipinos who have made the UK their home."
Asif dismissed concerns that UK visas are difficult to obtain for Filipinos. UK visas are distinct from Schengen visas that enable travellers to visit the European Union. Asif added that bona-fide visitors including students, businessmen, and Filipinos who visit their relatives with clean travel history were able to obtain a UK visa within a short time. 


  1. Go pal go! Mr. Ang pleade get that moscow permit. Please remember sir the success of this country is in pals name and you sir.GOD speed!

  2. We will see how long PAL under management of Ramong Ang President, will be at the level of the responsibilities'!
    After 15 years of prohibition, to fly all over Europe! exactly
    on June 19, 1998, when PAL filed a petition for the suspension of payments for landing taxes, taxes routes, Slots and corporate Boeing and GE.

    Section 304 of the Bankruptcy Code authorizes a United States Bankruptcy Court to grant relief designed to further the efficient administration of a foreign bankruptcy proceeding.

    Specifically, the bankruptcy court prohibit continuation of legal actions against the foreign debtor, prohibit acts against property involved in the foreign proceeding, and order additional relief that the court determines is appropriate.

    Section 304 affords the bankruptcy court broad discretion both in determining whether to grant relief, and in determining what relief to grant.

    The Bankruptcy Code provide the following criteria to guide the bankruptcy court in exercising its discretion which PAL is prohibit to fly and operate all over European Countries.

  3. The efficiency and speed of airplanes have revolutionized the way we experience the world. AV8 Prep how to become a pilot


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