Canadians in Winnipeg Remain Optimistic About Direct Flights to the Philippines

Filipinos in the Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba are remaining optimistic that they might one day enjoy direct flights to Manila operated by Philippine Airlines after the provincial government of Manitoba introduced a jet fuel tax rebate on international passenger flights.

philippine airlines winnipeg
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
Beginning on July 1, any carrier that offers non-stop international flights from the province of Manitoba will be able to take advantage of the fuel rebate, that will save airlines 3.2 cents per litre on jet fuel purchased in the province. However, the rebate will not apply to any charter flights, or routes bound for Mexico, the Caribbean, or mainland United States. But flights to and from Hawaii will qualify. 

According to the Premier of Manitoba, Greg Selinger, even just one new international flight per week from Winnipeg will generate an additional 70 jobs in the province, resulting in economic growth. "We think that there's going to be interest in international destinations such as India, such as the Philippines, such as Europe, and of course London," said Selinger. 

It remains unclear if the market in Winnipeg is strong enough to support even a weekly direct flight between the Philippines and Winnipeg. However, the service might be viable as a one-stop service via Vancouver or even Honolulu if Philippine Airlines could acquire the necessary fifth freedom rights to carry passengers between Winnipeg and Honolulu. 

There are presently no direct flights between Manitoba and Hawaii. Service to either Hawaii or the Philippines would be welcome news for the population of 1.2 million people that often seek warm holiday destinations to escape to during the harsh Canadian winters. Moreover, flights to Hawaii would still qualify for the provincial government's fuel rebate. 

The province of Manitoba is presently home to more than 70,000 Filipinos. According to the Winnipeg Airports Authority, Manila is high on the priority list of new routes from the airport. "We would like to attract either a non-stop or a direct flight to Manila," said a spokesperson of the airport. "We're interested in adding service to a number of cities, and Manila is certainly high on our list."

Philippine Airlines currently offers eleven non-stop flights weekly between Manila and Vancouver. Some of these flights continue on to New York or Toronto. Local travel agents in Winnipeg say that the Filipino community have been seeking direct flights for quite some time.
"There's a lot of families that travel together with their children, who were born here that want to visit the Philippines," said Contessa Benson, General Manager of Sarbit Travel Agency in Winnipeg. "So it's better for families to travel on a direct flight." She added that direct flights would also benefit seniors as it would minimise the risk of lost baggage and challenging flight connections.

References: CBC News


  1. As what have been reported in cbc news last year..most probably pal will have manila-hawaii-winnipeg

  2. When I first read the headline - I laughed, but truthfully - 5th freedoms rights between Honolulu and Winnipeg actually makes sense. The market can probably support a weekly service and instead of making nosie about a flight to Dubai they can't fill, PAL can focus on these markets. Even without the 5th freedom, there is probably enough traffic to support the service via Honolulu weekly. Who wouldn't want to stop in Hawaii on the way back to cold winters in Manitoba?

    1. Paging pal management read this comment

  3. Just try pal least once a week,who knows?!

  4. PAL's plan to fly to Winnipeg has a good incentive from that city's government but honestly, there will be problems with load factors and ample passengers that make PAL's business viable year-round! I love to see local employment there, so hopefully it will materialize!


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