The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) said that Philippine Airlines (PAL) has bagged 14 flights a week to and from Manila and Haneda Airport in Japan.
“Haneda is 14 frequencies lang [only], all were given to PAL, kasi [because that’s]14, but you can only operate seven in the morning, seven night time,” said Maria Elben Moro, CAB legal division chief.
With this, PAL will start flying to Haneda twice a day starting March 30, complementing its thrice a day service to Narita, to provide better options and convenience for travelers to and from Japan.
In September last year, the governments of Philippines and Japan agreed to increase flights between their countries to 400 per week.
At present, the existing air service agreement is for 119 flights between Manila and Narita.
Also, the Philippines and Japan agreed to open 14 flights per week between Manila and Haneda, as well as unlimited flights between airports outside Manila and Haneda.
Haneda, also known as Tokyo International Airport, is one of the two premier airports servicing the Greater Tokyo Area. It is considered the world’s most slot-restrictive airport and a prime business hub.
It now becomes PAL’s fifth gateway to Japan—following Narita, Fukuoka, Osaka and Nagoya—making the flag carrier the biggest Philippine operator to and from Japan with 47 flights a week.
Currently, PAL operates 21 weekly flights to Narita, five times a week to Fukuoka, seven to Nagoya and seven to Osaka.
In a statement, PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon Ang said that, “The new service makes PAL the exclusive operator on the Haneda-Manila route. This route forms part of PAL’s network expansion aimed at providing our passengers more and better choices.”
Haneda airport, which is around 30 minutes from the Tokyo metropolitan area, has one domestic and two international passenger terminals, and connects conveniently to the Tokyo monorail.
Strong market demand
Along with the route expansion, PAL is upgrading its inflight menu with the introduction of Bento Box meals on all flights to and from Japan.
The new inflight menu, designed and prepared by the airline’s experienced culinary team, provides passengers a wider selection of Japanese dishes to choose from.
The flag carrier is expanding its presence in Japan in response to a strong market demand, even as PAL continues to reinforce its warm and hospitable inflight service.
Japan provides a significant passenger market to the Philippines, being the third biggest source of tourist visitors to the country.
In 2012 alone, Japanese tourist arrivals reached 412,000.
The country is also a prime tourist destination for Filipinos, with its trend-setting culture, superb cuisine and historical sites.