Philippine Airlines Apply for Flights to Russia

After the successful expansion of the air services agreement between Russia and the Philippines, the nation's three largest carriers have all submitted their intent to the Civil Aeronautics Board to operate flights between the Philippines and Russia. According to an article in the Manila Times, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and AirAsia are all planning to tap into the large Russian market in an effort to further develop tourism.

Image Copyright: Maks Maydachenko/Flickr
Philippine Airlines has applied for flights to link the capital cities of each nation. PAL would like to operate five weekly flights between Manila and Moscow using an Airbus A330-300 aircraft. In addition, the national flag carrier also plans to operate flights to Khabarovsk from both Manila and Cebu with a narrow-body aircraft. Flights would be offered to Khabarovsk four times weekly from Cebu and three times weekly from Manila.

Cebu Pacific plans to add Moscow as part of its low-cost carrier long-haul network. The budget carrier is planning to link Manila and Moscow three times weekly with its 436-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft. In addition, Cebu Pacific also plans to serve Vladivostok from Manila three times weekly with an Airbus A320.

AirAsia Zest plans to link Vladivostok to its hub at Kalibo International Airport with four weekly flights aboard A320 aircraft. Flights would provide Russian tourists with a direct flight to the popular resort island of Boracay. 

The Department of Tourism has identified Russia as one of its top target markets. The Philippine government has already increased visa free entry to the Philippines for Russian tourists from 21 days to 30 days in an effort to attract more Russians to the various holiday hotspots around the country. 

In 2014, approximately 40,000 Russians visited the Philippines with numbers rising sharply each year. It is estimated that the average Russian tourist will spend USD $1,000 on each visit to the Philippines. It is hoped that the introduction of regularly scheduled flights all year long will help to increase the number of tourist arrivals.

Meanwhile, Russian carriers Transaero and Aeroflot have both applied with Russian authorities to launch flights between Moscow and Manila. Prior to new air services agreement, a number of Russian and Philippine carriers had been operating charter flights between the two countries. Philippine Airlines operated non-stop flights between Vladivostok and Manila as well as Kalibo and Khabarovsk, while Russian carriers, S7 and Transaero, operated direct services from Khabarovsk to Cebu.

If the applications are approved, it is expected that flights would not begin until the winter at the earliest.


  1. A very interesting route: Los Angeles/Moscow/Manila on Aeroflot! It operatesB777s for long-haul flights and it is the airline which offers the lowest air fares to any destination. Aeroflot is still trying to impress the modern world that it, too, can compete with the rest. Only hitch is the language barrier, transiting in Moscow (reportedly, they are still unfriendly and communist cold). SQ is doing well, though. Things will change for the better!


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