PAL resumes flights to Europe
MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Airlines is making its return to Europe in November.
On Tuesday, PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang announced the airline will start flying to London on November 4, just four months after the European Union lifted its ban.
"We're very happy that London is PAL's first Europe destination since flights to that continent were discontinued in 1998," he said.
British Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Stephen Green, who is on an official visit to Manila, welcomed PAL's flights to London.
"I’m delighted to celebrate a very concrete example of the growing ties between our two countries, that being the reestablishment by Philippine Airlines of direct flights between Manila and London for the first time in over a decade. I am confident that these flights will greatly enhance the relationship between the UK and the Philippines," he said.
PAL will fly five times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday), departing Manila in the morning and arriving at Terminal 4 of Heathrow airport in London. PAL's direct, non-stop flights will get passengers to London in an average of 13 hours.
"That we have been given permission to fly to Heathrow makes our return much more meaningful ... We take this as a strong vote of confidence by UK authorities in PAL's ability to bring in the passenger traffic volume worthy of the world's top airlines," Ang said.
Ang said the London flights will boost tourism, trade and investment from Europe. In 2012, a third of the estimated 349,000 European visitors to the Philippines came from Britain. In the first half of 2013, arrivals from UK reached 60,234.
"With PAL's new non-stop flights, we are sure these numbers will rise even further," said Ang.