Flights Sought Between Manila and Winnipeg

The Vice President of the Winnipeg Airports Authority, Pascal Belanger, is hoping that with the renewed Air Services Agreement between Canada and the Philippines, the city of Winnipeg might get a share of the entitlements.

"Winnipeg International Airport"
Image Source: Winnipeg Free Press
Belanger believes that there is a strong case for flights between Manila and Winnipeg, Canada. He says that if Mexican and other Carribean points are out of the question, Manila is the airport’s largest international market with around 35,000 passengers travelling between that city and Winnipeg every year usually via Vancouver. He added that the flight between Manila and Winnipeg can be done in just 14 hours, which is within the capabilities of most modern aircraft.

Although passengers interviewed by CBC News are excited with this prospect and the convenience that it would bring, some of them are still waiting to find out what the price of a ticket would cost for a direct flight between the Philippine capital and Manitoba’s largest city.

At present, the farthest destination that can be reached from Winnipeg directly is in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Previously, Iceland Express provided a flight between Winnipeg and Reykjavik, Iceland twice a week, but the service was discontinued when that discount carrier suffered financial problems in 2011. Should the plan push through, Manila will be the only city outside the western hemisphere to receive direct service from Winnipeg.

Under the amended air services agreement between Canada and the Philippines, the number of weekly flights that carriers from each side can mount between the two countries has increased from seven to fourteen. In addition, fifth freedom rights, which allows carriers to fly revenue passengers to a third country has increased from four to five times weekly.

Although the Winnipeg Airports Authority can propose direct service, Belanger said that it is still up to the carriers whether to mount them. At present Philippine Airlines is the only carrier that provides flights between the Philippines and Canada with a daily service between Manila and Vancouver. Three of those flights continue on to Toronto. Other options to fly between the Philippines and Canada involve a stopover in cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul or Taipei. Consequently, a flight between Winnipeg and Manila usually requires a stopover in Vancouver and an additional point in Northeast Asia if the passenger does not fly direct from Vancouver with Philippine Airlines.

While the Winnipeg Airports Authority Vice President claims that a Manila-Winnipeg flight is viable, previous attempts of a non-stop flight between Manila and a city east of Vancouver may have proven otherwise. On November 30, 2012, Philippine Airlines launched non-stop flights between Manila and Toronto. Although official traffic figures between the two cities remain undisclosed, the flight was eventually relegated to a one-stop service via Vancouver in both directions since March 15, 2013, just three and a half months after the flag carrier launched the flight. Philippine Airlines nearly decided to cancel the Toronto service in September of last year before deciding to maintain the service.

According to a 2011 census, 43,390 out of 147,295 (29.46%) immigrants living in the Winnipeg Metropolitan Area have at some point in their lives migrated from the Philippines. This makes the Philippines the single largest country of origin of immigrants in Winnipeg. Unsurprisingly, 45,745 residents in the area speak Filipino, which is the single largest non-official language spoken in the area. There are also more than 2,000 speakers of other Philippine-based languages of Ilocano and Bisaya.



  1. Im living in Winnipeg and I work at the airport aswell, there is a potential for nonstop flights to and from MNL but its illogical for the carrier. A one stop service would be more realistic, MNL-YVR-WPG and back, same thing with MNL-YVR-YYZ.

  2. Sounds nice in theory. But the market would be very thin... PR would do it's usual grand launch, follow by route cancellation after 6 weeks. Waste of time, energy, and customer expectations.

  3. manila-vancouver-toronto 4x a week.
    manila-vancouver-winnipeg 2x a week.
    one day to split between the last two destinations, whichever city demand calls for.

    1. I agree, with the Winnipeg market filling 1/3 of the plane, that leaves 2/3 to fill for YVR then thats not bad at all filing a whole 77W or 343, something PR should consider.


Powered by Blogger.