PAL plans to resume flights to major Saudi cities

Posted at 06/01/2013 10:34 AM | Updated as of 06/01/2013 10:36 AM

AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia - Philippines Airlines (PAL) is planning to resume its flight operations to Saudi Arabia’s major cities on December 1, 2013.

PAL senior officials from Manila arrived recently in Al-Khobar and met with Filipino community leaders to get the views of the Filipino community on the airline's plan to resume flights to Saudi.

According to PAL product manager Reynaldo Garcia, the airline plans to resume its flights from Manila to Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam to cater to the needs of the Filipinos.

“Nandito po kami to explore the possibility of operating again in Saudi Arabia,” Garcia said.

He promised that should the plan push through, they will provide better services that will satisfy their countrymen.

“If ever na matuloy ang aming operation dito eh sana ho masuportahan ninyo kami at gagarantisaduhin namin na wala ng tatalo pa sa karinyo ng kapwa mo Pilipino. Kaya tangkilikin natin ang sariling atin. Mag-Philippine Airlines tayo,” Garcia said.

The Filcom leaders welcomed PAL's plan, but expressed hope the airline will offer competitive prices and better services than the other airlines.

“Maganda ito at sana matutuloy ang plano ng PAL na magbalik-biyahe dito sa kaharian para makapag-bigay kasiyahan sa kapwa-OFW na makasakay sa Pambansang Airline ng ating bansa sa tuwing bakasyon o pag-uwi namin sa Pilipinas,” said Gamaliel Gonzales, an official of the All Filipino Community and Sports Commission (AFCSCOM).

“Sana maging competitive yong price at service ng Philippine Airlines compared sa ibang airlines at sana naman madagdagan ng kilos ang mga bagahe ng mga Pilipinos para lalo silang matutuwa at lalo nilang tangkilikin ang Phil. Airline, mabuhay!” stated Lulu Silverio, an AFCSCOM official.

According to Pocholo Azucena, PAL Manager for GSA Relations and Charter Services, the flight services would use newly purchased Airbus 330 aircrafts.

“We have acquired new aircrafts, Airbus 330, they are high gross weight aircrafts that could carry up to 414 passengers," Azucena said.

He said they will also go to Riyadh and Jeddah to meet the Filcom there. A second group of PAL technical people will visit in June.

Based on the embassy’s record, tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia to the Philippines,especially among families, has increased from 22,214 in 2010, and 27,945 in 2011, to 30,040 visitors in 2012.