PAL to launch NZ flights in Dec

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AS part of its network expansion in the Oceania region, Philippine Airlines will launch flights from Manila to Auckland, New Zealand via Cairns, Australia beginning December 1 this year.

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With close to 40,000 Filipinos residing in New Zealand, the new service is a convenient link to the Philippines, the country’s flag carrier said.

PAL said on Wednesday it will operate four flights weekly–Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays–to serve the Manila-Cairns-Auckland route with a 156-seater Airbus A320.

“The route will stimulate passenger traffic along three travel streams–Manila and Cairns, Manila and Auckland, as well as Cairns and Auckland,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime J. Bautista said.

He added, “The new service allows PAL to cater to the travel needs of business and leisure travelers.”

Upon arrival in Manila, passengers may connect to any of the 67 other destinations of PAL network, which is composed of 30 domestic and 37 international.

“In the long term, the service will drive traffic between Southeast Asia and New Zealand,” Bautista said.

The six-hour flight to Cairns–PAL’s fifth Australian destination–departs Manila at 11:45 p.m. Manila time, arriving in Australia at 8 a.m. local time the next day.

The one-hour stopover allows PAL to pick up passengers from Cairns for the continuing flight to Auckland. Arrival in New Zealand is at 4 p.m. local time.

Flights from Auckland depart on the same days at 6 p.m. local time, arriving in Cairns 10:30 p.m. local time. After a quick stopover, flights depart from Cairns, arriving in Manila at 3:30 p.m. Manila time the following day.

Prior to launching flights to these two destinations, PAL opened services to New York in the US last March 15 and to Jinjiang in Quanzhou, China on April 25.

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