Saudi Arabian Airlines Operates Last 747 Flight to Manila

Less than one day after the nation celebrated the beginning of a new year, the aviation landscape in the Philippines is already witnessing some changes. As announced late last year, Saudi Arabian Airlines has upgraded its services from Saudi Arabia to the Philippines from a Boeing 747-400 aircraft to a modern Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. 

saudia 747
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
Saudi Arabian Airlines operated its last Boeing 747 flight to Manila on December 31. In addition to upgrading its Manila service to a Boeing 777 aircraft, the carrier is going to increase frequency on its Manila route up to two daily flights. 

Copyright Photo: Rick Schlamp / Flickr
The Philippines is an incredibly important market for Saudi Arabian Airlines, which takes advantage of the large number of overseas Filipinos living and working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There are presently 700,000 Filipinos living in the country. 

As part of its efforts to increase its presence in the Philippines, Saudi Arabian Airlines recently opened a new ticketing office in Makati City, located in the Zuellig Building. Saudi Arabian has been flying to Manila since 1982 when it began service with just two flights per week. 

saudi arabian 747 manila
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
Saudi Arabian Airlines currently operates the highest number of flights between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. In the first nine months of 2014, the carrier had flown 314,532 passengers between the two countries. The carrier is currently operating from Terminal 1 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Saudi Arabian operates non-stop service from Manila to Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam. The approximate flying time from Manila to Saudi Arabia is 9.5 hours. 

saudi arabian 747
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
The Queen of the Skies Disappearing from Manila

With the removal of the Boeing 747 from the Manila schedule operated by Saudi Arabian Airlines, the carrier adds to a growing list of airlines that are no longer operating the Queen of the Skies to the Philippines. In September of last year, Philippine Airlines operated its last Boeing 747 flight replacing the aircraft in favour of the more fuel efficient Boeing 777. Later this month, EVA Air will stop flying the Boeing 747 to Manila, replacing the aircraft with an Airbus A330 aircraft. Delta Airlines has also announced plans to gradually retire its entire Boeing 747 fleet, which leaves relatively few carriers still operating the aircraft type in the Philippines. 

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