Announces Manila-Kuala Lumpur route to mark milestone
Before World War 2, and shortly after, the Philippines was considered the second most progressive economy in Asia next to Japan. One such proof is how this archipelago of 7,107 islands became the first nation in Asia to have a flag carrier via Philippine Airlines.
Since its first flight in 1941, the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia, which continues to operate under its original name, has flown trillions of miles across continents, transporting millions of passengers throughout the globe.
With much reason to celebrate as it goes from strength to strength on its 76th anniversary this year, PAL mounted a three-day expo at the Bonifacio Global City (BCG) High Street Ampitheater from March 24 where the airline’s top executives outlined innovative services and announced its latest route.
To start off with, PAL has partnered with network carrier Globe Telecom for services especially crafted for balikbayans. Linking its Mabuhay Miles program with Globe’s International Business Group, PAL now enables OFWs and travellers to get in touch with their loved ones as soon as they touch down on local soil via free Traveler SIM cards.
According to PAL Vice President for Ancillary Business Unit Kevin Hartigan-Go, the SIM has been distributed to passengers on PAL’s international flights to Manila free of charge since December 14, 2016.
“Through this partnership with Globe, we are very happy to give our Mabuhay Miles customers a more enriching in-flight experience by making them feel we are making their trip to the Philippines more rewarding. We have supplied hundreds of thousands of PAL passengers with free SIM cards and we cannot wait to give to more people,” Hartigan-Go added.
“We continuously strive to serve the needs of our dear OFWs, balikbayans and tourists. Through the partnership with Mabuhay Miles, we have created an avenue where our customers are able to enjoy their homecoming by means of instant communication as soon as they land,” Globe Telecom Senior Vice President of the International Business Nikko Acosta echoed.
Meanwhile, PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime Bautista disclosed the airline has now acquired a total of 81 planes of various sizes and models, and that nine more are on the way to increase their fleet.
“Philippine Airlines has been continuing the tradition of service innovation to provide passengers a heart warming travel experience that represents the best of the Philippines and best of the Filipinos. With our line-up of initiatives, we are committed to make people all over the world experience the unique brand of service that can only come from ‘The Heart of the Filipino’,” Bautista said, using the airline’s latest tagline.
He also revealed to The Manila Times that a new route between Manila and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will commence in June to celebrate their 76th anniversary.
As a profit center in the ASEAN region, Malaysia provides a favorable investment climate to individuals and organizations.
As explained by Bautista, with investment opportunities in Malaysia’s service and manufacturing sectors, the PAL route will provide direct access to new business opportunities.
The reopening of the route also comes during this period of ASEAN integration in which member-states are gearing towards economic integration through increased trade, investments and employment opportunities.
Close to 800,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are employed in Malaysia.
“The resumption of PAL flights between Manila and Kuala Lumpur will help foster economic and cultural ties between the Philippines and Malaysia. Most importantly, it addresses the clamor for a direct service between the two capital cities,” the PAL chief executive said.
“Through PAL flights and code-share partners, we can carry passenger traffic from Kuala Lumpur to China, Japan, South Pacific and North America and thus enhance our ASEAN network,” he added.
The decision to operate daily flights between Malaysia’s capital city and Manila comes amidst the airline’s fleet modernization and route expansion program.
PAL likewise launched its newest campaign called “Stories from the Heart,” an audio-visual presentation featuring testimonies of passengers, employees and benefactors who have experienced the unique brand of service of the Philippine flag carrier.