Philippine Airlines Studying Potential US Routes

Philippine Airlines is currently evaluating a number of possible new routes to the United States as it seeks to better serve the needs of Filipino-Americans. San Diego and Texas are two of the destinations currently under consideration. In addition, PAL is also looking at launching more non-stop service from Cebu to the United States. 

philippine airlines usa
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
According to Philippine Airlines President Jaime Bautista, it is just a matter of time until these new routes become reality. "We have been receiving a lot of requests to fly to other parts of the United States," said Bautista. "It is part of our plan and we are studying it." 

It is also believed that Philippine Airlines may be targeting another city in the eastern United States such as Chicago. However, the national flag carrier is currently awaiting the arrival of new long-range aircraft from Airbus, not scheduled to join the fleet until 2018.

Philippine Airlines would like to launch more US routes from its secondary hub in Cebu. Earlier this month, Philippine Airlines launched its inaugural service from Cebu to Los Angeles. The new flights operate three times weekly using an Airbus A340 aircraft. PAL is apparently considering launching new flights from Cebu to San Francisco and New York.

Meanwhile, the national flag carrier is also studying possible new destinations in Europe including Paris, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Rome. But European expansion is considered much riskier, especially with the competitive presence of the Gulf and Asian carriers. According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, the majority of Philippine Airlines' profits have been generated by its healthy North American routes, where it faces limited competition. 

If Philippine Airlines chooses to launch a new Western US destination, it could easily be handled by the existing fleet, which would enable the carrier to launch a new route by the end of 2016, as the carrier accepts delivery of two additional Boeing 777 aircraft.

The possibility of non-stop service to New York will have to wait for the arrival of the new A350-900, which Philippine Airlines ordered earlier this year. PAL should be able to launch the new non-stop route by the middle of 2018. According to Bautista, Philippine Airlines is also considering the possibility of launching non-stop service to Toronto.

As the carrier's load factor is generally high on its routes to the United States, there is strong reason to believe that the market can support increased capacity. According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, there are clearly opportunities for further expansion as Philippine Airlines has nearly six years of growth to catch up on from when it was banned from any US expansion under Category 2 restrictions.

Although Philippine Airlines will be able to increase its market-share on its Los Angeles and San Francisco routes as it adds frequencies, the greatest opportunities to gain market share will be on new non-stop routes such as Cebu to Los Angeles, where Philippine Airlines will enjoy a competitive advantage as the sole non-stop operator.

With the introduction of the new Cebu to Los Angeles route, Philippine Airlines now operates forty weekly flights to the United States including eleven from Manila to Los Angeles, ten to San Francisco, four to New York, five to Honolulu, and seven to Guam. PAL is also set to launch five weekly flights from Manila to Doha on March 28 as the carrier prepares to expand in the Middle East.

19 comments:

  1. SAN and DFW is ok even 3 x weekly.

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  2. San Jose and a possible return to Las Vegas seem like good destinations.

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    1. yes would love nonstop from las vegas

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  3. Las Vegas or Chicago or DC would have high yeald rouutes

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  4. They should resume Las Vegas as Filipinos are the largest Asian group in the state of Nevada. Then add Chicago to their US routes.

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  5. Philippine Airlines has the potential to serve any new destination in the US, but it's just a matter of flying to which ones first.

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  6. Let's get those A330's re-configured with Bussiness/PrmEconomy/Economy to around 310 Seats. And maybe tag-on a European Destination, if they are allowed to pickup passengers in the Middle-East.

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  7. Why hamburg?and not frankfurt or zurich in switzerland?

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  8. Congrats PAL my aunt is one of the passengers from los angelis to cebu direct flight,she said the flight is fully booked,.the fa's are so attentive and they serve foods in generous amount.keep it up pal!

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    1. Good job then. The only reasons
      why I discontinued flying PAL was the lack of ample food, drinks and other inflight amenities.



      Good job then! The food a

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  9. CEB-SFO
    CEB-JFK
    MNL-SAN
    MNL-SEA
    MNL-ORD
    MNL-LAS
    MNL-IAH

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    1. Opening this route to the US capital has a good potential for travelers from DelMarVa region including those from Southern PA and maybe W.Va

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  10. Hopefully PAL can service Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg in Canada soon. It's ok even there is a short stopover in Vancouver.

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    1. This can be feasible as a tag from the current MNL-HNL sector with 5th freedom rights between HNL and/or YYC/YEG.

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  11. They are already, as they are in a code share agreement with westjets.

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  12. This will changed when Pal resume non stop service from Manila-Toronto as Pal is planning to connect thru Winnipeg that they are interested about aviation fuel rebate being offered by the Gov't of Manitoba.

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  13. While everybody is excited with PAL's US expansion, we must remember that our ASA with US is restrictive. Under the present ASA, PHL is only allowed an additional 4 gateways in addition to LAX, SFO, HNL, GUM and SPN while an additional 24 points in the U.S. is allowed provided a stop is first made at an existing U.S.gateway or the additional points are served on a codeshare basis only. PHL has 18 remaining points available since the 4 codeshare points with HA [Kahului (OGG), Kona (KOA, Hilo (ITO), Lihue (LIH)] has recently been approved (look up DOCKET# DOT-OST-2016-0040 on regulations dot gov). In 1997, PHL govt has designated IAD, MIA as codeshare points from LAX and SFO (with AA as operating carrier) while NYC (JFK/EWR), ORD, DFW as gateways. In 2003, PH govt designated LAS as additional gateway. In 2008, PH replaced DFW with SAN as gateway.*

    Anyway, in retrospect, I think that PAL is keen to open routes to the designated gateways first before launching one-stop or codeshare service with JFK and ORD at the top of the food chain. They can always partner with any US major or minor or non-US major for codeshare anyway. They can either revisit their codeshare agreement with AA since it never got off the ground anyway or partner with say NH, UA, AS or even B6. However, I still wish PH will renegotiate the outdated ASA and get better terms or should I say fair terms.

    *Sources: US-RP 1995 MOU supplementing 1982 US-RP ASA; DOT-OST-1995-487;DOT-OST-1996-1645; DOT-OST-1996-247;DOT-OST-1997-2633; DOT-OST-2003-16522;DOT-OST-2008-0015; DOT-OST-2016-0040

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