Philippine Airlines Returning to New York in March 2015, Expands Toronto Flights

Flying home for Filipinos on the east coast of the United States is about to get much easier. According to the latest airline timetables, Philippine Airlines is set to return to New York City after a seventeen year absence in March 2015, when it launches flights from Manila to "The Big Apple" via Vancouver, Canada.

Copyright Photo: Kenny Li/PPSG
Flights to New York will officially begin on March 15, 2015 operated by an Airbus A340-300 aircraft. In launching the new service, Philippine Airlines will take advantage of the expanded Air Services Agreement between Canada and the Philippines, which now allows Philippine carriers to fly up to 14 weekly flights between the two countries.

Flight PR126 will depart Manila at 11:50pm and arrive in Vancouver at 8:50pm. The flight will then continue on to New York, departing Vancouver at 10:50pm and landing at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport at 7:00am the following day. Philippine Airlines's flights to New York via Vancouver will depart every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The return flight, PR127, will depart New York at 11:00am and arrive back in Vancouver at 1:50pm.  The flight continues on to the Philippines, departing Vancouver at 3:20pm and arriving back in Manila at 8:30pm the following day.  

The restoration of the New York flight marks yet another milestone in Philippine Airlines' history as it will be the first time the flag carrier has flown to the east coast of the United States since it exited receivership. Philippine Airlines last flew to New York's Newark Liberty Airport in 1997. The airline was originally forced to cancel the service due to the Asian Financial Crisis.  

MANILA TO JFK FLIGHTS NOT A FIRST

Philippine Airlines will not be the first carrier to operate direct service between Manila and New York's JFK Airport in recent years. Delta Airlines has been flying between the two cities under flight numbers DL172 and DL173 since 2010. Unlike the Philippine Airlines flight, the Delta flight makes a stopover at Delta's Tokyo Narita hub, rather than in Vancouver.  However, as Delta is set to realign its Asia-Pacific services in October 2014, the Atlanta-based carrier will be assigning a different flight number to its Manila services, meaning that future flights to and from Manila via Tokyo Narita will arrive and depart from a different city in the United States.  

COMPETITION FROM  SOUTHEAST ASIAN CARRIERS

By the time the New York flight launches in March 2015, Philippine Airlines will become the second Southeast Asian carrier to have an active service to the city after Singapore Airlines. However, it remains to be seen if Philippine Airlines will be able to successfully sustain service to the city in spite of the sizeable overseas Filipino population on the US east coast. History suggests that southeast Asian carriers have had mixed luck flying to New York City over the course of the past decade.  

Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International used to operate ultra long-haul non-stop flights from their respective hubs in Singapore and Bangkok to New York in 2004 and 2005. However, due to rising operating costs, Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines were forced to discontinue their non-stop flights in 2008 and 2013. Singapore Airlines continues to fly to New York on a daily basis. However, it is now solely served on a one-stop basis via Frankfurt. Malaysia Airlines also used to fly to New York via Stockholm. However, that service was also discontinued in 2009.  

Meanwhile, a different story has unfolded for Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific, whose flights between Hong Kong and New York's JFK Airport are considered ultra long-haul. The carrier has successfully grown from having just one non-stop flight between the two financial centres in 2004 to four daily non-stop flights between the two cities. This includes one daily flight to New York's Newark Liberty Airport. All four non-stop services operated by Cathay Pacific to New York are in addition to a fifth flight that operates via Vancouver.

Assuming that Philippine Airlines will be using its fifth freedom rights to also sell tickets to passengers travelling between Vancouver and New York, the carrier will compete directly with Cathay Pacific, which also sells tickets between the two cities, and Delta Airlines that operates service on a seasonal basis. Cathay Pacific has a long established product in the Vancouver market, operating flights with its four-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft featuring the carrier's new premium economy class and a wide array of personal in-flight entertainment including audio-video on demand across all classes. Philippine Airlines will be launching its new New York service with ex-Iberia A340-300 aircraft featuring Business and Economy Class. The aircraft is equipped with mainscreen entertainment, rather than personal television screens with audio-video on demand. Under the current flight schedules, Philippine Airlines and Cathay Pacific will depart Vancouver for New York at almost the same time. 

EXPANDED SERVICE TO TORONTO AND OTHER DESTINATIONS

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines will be expanding its service to Toronto adding a fourth weekly flight via Vancouver as it simultaneously launches flights to New York. Beginning on March 16, 2015, flights PR118 and PR119 will also fly on Mondays in addition to its existing Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday flights. Flights will continue to be operated by the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The move to expand flights in the United States and Canada comes after the Philippines was restored to Category 1 status by the United States Federal Aviation Administration. Earlier this year, Philippine Airlines President Ramon Ang revealed that the carrier planned to expand its service to the United States including increased frequency on existing routes to Honolulu, Guam, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.  In fact, the flag carrier is due to increase the frequency of its Honolulu flights to a daily service starting December 10, 2014 in time for the Christmas season.  In addition to New York, the carrier is also planning on serving other US destinations such as San Diego, Chicago, and Florida.

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Reference: Airline Route

31 comments:

  1. I wonder, though, they talked about using the B777 to New York. What happened now? Oh well. Hopefully, by the time they start serving NY, they would have already leased/bought newer aircraft with modern IFE. Perhaps that's the reason they've delayed their NY service from October to March. I really hope that that's the reason why.

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    1. Airbus 340's will be used. B777's are wishful thinking for now.

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  2. Are Flights 126/127 the same numbers the used for MNL-YVR-EWR?

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  3. I dont really care a340 as long there is long haul products for comforts .

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  4. I like the flight times to Vancouver from JFK as the CX flight times arrive in Vancouver around 1-2AM.

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  5. This is what i have heard before its either yvr to jfk or yyz to jfk..toronto flights are now getting more passengers than before i wont be surprised if one day pal will resume non stop flight yyz flight and proceed either to jfk or in winnepeg.

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  6. It's nice that PAL will fly the New York route again. But there are two problems:
    a) the service will not be daily; and
    b) PAL is using old, second hand aircraft that people in general don't like.
    Sadly, I cannot imagine PAL prospering on this route.

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    1. Hopefully, the A340s are only temporary. Hopefully, once PAL gets new aircraft, they'll deploy them to JFK.

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    2. Or perhaps, they'll already have new aircraft by the time they start serving NY. I mean, how long does it take to lease aircraft?

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    3. Typical filipino crab mentality. So what if its not daily? How sure are you that people in general won't like it? I wish PAL will prosper in this route. People like you must have hated your own skin!

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    4. Not that I dislike my country's own airline but if I have options to choose, I would prefer to fly with Cathay Pacific which is, by far, the better or best airline to this long-haul route. It is just a matter of comfort, safety and confidence with CX's "products". If PAL can match them, I would gladly fly PAL

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    5. Crab mentality? BS! Sorry but dollars talk. Welcome to the world of globalization! If u don't have what it takes to compete, then u deserve to lose!

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    6. And the person who said "crab mentality" does not understand its meaning. Just asking questions about something like PAL's schedules and aircraft types is not crab mentality, it is freedom of speech. Just choosing the best of the best is freedom from want, it is not hating your own skin, if you mean berating PAL and the Filipino "product" particularly (airline business). Wake up, it's now 21st century.

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    7. if you really love your country, you will not hesitate to point out its problems. this is the only way it gets better. and PAL has a lot of problems, beginning with the very inefficient call center. as an example, on Cathay Pacific, to change a flight I only need to either do it online or make a two minute call. With PAL, I need to go to a ticket office, fall in line, just to get them to physically put a sticker on my ticket. we have to be critical... otherwise, we lose out in this global market.

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  7. LOL the dreaded A340 again... good luck PAL. Why can't they just focus on their existing routes and then move into a new market when they have proper aircraft in place? Customers who have the misfortune of flying on these decrepit planes are unlikely to return.

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    1. PAL has got full of ambitions to expand its routes especially JFK which is alright. But on the other hand, PAL hasn't got the right and modern aircraft to service the route.Certainly, not with those decrepit ex-Iberia A340-300s which it has been discarding and now leased by PAL. Anyone who had the misfortune of flying on those antiquated aircraft will inevitably leave a lasting impression - never to fly again with PAL!

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    2. At least Iberia Airlines charges the cheapest air fare (I can safely say no frills airline fares) for those flying with their A340s from Europe to USA. How do I know? I've flown Iberia recently availing of this deeply discounted air fare. That's happiness for my savings in exchange for 10 hrs of mini-misery in flight. Why does not PAL copy this to compensate its A340 fliers so that it will not run to the red ink? You know what business term I am saying, right?.

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  8. Hoping to upgrade this route into Boeing 777-300ER.

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  9. PAL needs to align itself to help this routes...Star, Oneworld or Skyteam. It should increase or help loads.

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  10. For the comfort of the customers and for efficiency purposes, they should use their 777-300ER for their New York flights.

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    1. It is not comfortable to fly long haul to NYK with an airline like PAL whose 777-300 has 3-4-3 (10 abreast) very tight seating. Check it so you will prove it.

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    2. I have noticed in my recent flight from Toronto-Vancouver-Manila-Vancouver-Toronto in the economy seats flight attendants are having difficuly of pushing their food card without getting a bump on the seats.. this is how tight it is with PAL Boeing777-300ER Fiesta Class (economy)

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    3. 777-300ER's are typical 3-4-3 seating, even Emirates have the same seat configuration

      I've been flying to Toronto many times with PAL's 777, only difference i experienced is when i was seated at the window seat at the back of each compartment (the 2-4-2) row, it doesnt recline much as the 3-4-3 seats, and the seats seem to be different than the others

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  11. If they could reconfigure some of the A343 economy class, it would probably help them attract some market but anyways, if I'd chose between PAL and Delta from YVR to JFK, I'll fly with the former.

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  12. Somebody working from pal bigshot guys told me that soon pal will lease additional B777-300ER 's ..lets wait and see

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  13. YES! B777 is staying in Toronto!!!!

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  14. Las Vegas forgotten???

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    1. Before abandoning its Las Vegas market two years ago or so, PAL mgmt. said that it was not making money on this route. But it is very ironic why Korean Air is monopolizing this LAS/Manila route now because they have good managers, excellent and industrious flight employees, new widebody 777 aircrafts, excellent food choices and unlimited juices/drinks/wines in its first, business and economy classes. I should know, I have flown this route with the likes of PAL, United, Asiana and now my favorite Korean Air. Of the four airlines mentioned, PAL is virtually the only loser todate. PAL should think twice, compete vigorously and honestly so that the Pinoy market in Las Vegas will go back to PAL again. It is as simple as that. Mr. Tan or San Miguel Corp., are you hearing it?

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  15. I'm just happy that PAL is returning to NYC by the first quarter of next year. A lot of Filipinos here in the east coast have been waiting for this!

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    1. The majority of Filipinos residing in the USA are in California if I recall.

      However doesn't New York City have at least 40,000 (with many more in the eastern seaboard USA states?)

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  16. PAL, please fly to IAD!

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