Philippine Airlines Finally Mounts Nonstop Manila-New York Flights

Travel between the Philippines and the east coast of the United States has now gotten a bit faster.  On October 29 2018, Philippine Airlines (PAL) finally made history by launching an inaugural nonstop flight between Manila and New York's JFK Airport.  This flight used to feature an intermediate stopover at Vancouver International Airport. 

pal new york flights
Photo Credit: C. Villaluna / PAL

PR126 departed at 8.42 pm, which is 30 minutes later than the originally scheduled departure time of 8.10 pm.  It arrived at New York's JFK Airport at 11.33 pm.  In command of the aircraft were Chief Pilot Captain Emmanuel 'Butch' Generoso and Captain Jose David. Mr Ramon Munoz served as the flight purser leading a team of 11 other cabin crew members.

Before the flight proper, a launch party was held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It was attended by PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Dr Jaime Bautista, Manila International Airport Authority Chief of Staff Raul Austria, Officer of Tourism Promotions Board Venus Tan, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, and Congressman Cesar Sarmiento. Ambassador Kim sent his congratulations to PAL for mounting this nonstop flight to the Big Apple.  Bautista and other PAL officials greeted passengers as they boarded the aircraft.

PAL's new Airbus A350 is used on this flight.  This means that each business class passenger would have a seat that reclines into a bed and has direct access to the aisle.  The route also offers a proper premium economy cabin which allows passengers to be at most a seat away from the aisle and a power port to charge their laptops.  Each passenger has a personal in-flight entertainment (IFE) unit to allow them to watch programmes, films, and listen to music from PAL's library as well as the option to purchase wifi plans to remain connected.  Mood lighting is also installed on the aircraft.

Passengers in business class had the option to order selected dishes served by Wolfgang's Steakhouse, which is rated as one of the best steakhouses in New York City. Chef Chris of Wolfgang's Steakhouse personally prepared some of the meals which included a Filet Magnon and its New York Style Cheesecake. 

With this nonstop flight, PR126/PR127 now holds the record for the world's seventh longest nonstop commercial flight in terms of great circle distance. It also marks PAL's third nonstop flight between Manila and the mainland United States. Currently, PAL also offers up to two nonstop flights a day from Manila to San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

This is the second nonstop flight from Southeast Asia to New York City that was launched this month. Earlier this month, Singapore Airlines reinstated its nonstop Singapore-New York flight. That flight is the world's longest.  These also come on the heels of Cathay Pacific launching a nonstop flight between its Hong Kong hub and Washington DC's Dulles airport in September.  All these flights use some variant of the Airbus A350.  The Centre for Aviation has expressed concern that low yields would make it 'challenging' to sustain these new long-haul operations, especially as fuel prices are increasing again.      

Source: When In Manila, PAL's Facebook PageCAPA, Flightradar24

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