PAL vows more long haul flights in ’16

Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced the start of its thrice-a-week Cebu to Los Angeles flights yesterday as the highlight of its 75th anniversary and guaranteed  more long haul flights this year.
The flag carrier also bared yesterday it’s new slogan “the heart of the Filipino” replacing the old “your home in the sky” which has been in used for several decades.
“From our maiden flight from Nielsen airfield (now occupied by Ayala triangle in Makati) to Loakan Airport in Baguio City, we are here to deliver what our chairman Lucio Tan said that ‘PAL is the Philippines and Philippines is PAL,’” the airline’s president Jaime Bautista told business reporters yesterday at the formal ceremony at Century Park hotel.
The 11-hour direct flight from the Mactan-Cebu international airport to Los Angeles departed at 6:55 p.m and  will arrive at 5:55 a.m. the following day local time. Bautista said come March 28, 2016, PAL will start its Manila-Doha flight. On June 15, 2016, the airline will start flying Manila to Saipan.
Bautista said part of the celebration of its 75th year is the careful evaluation if some of the flights would be brought to Clark International Airport from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“There is a serious consideration of flying via Clark. Our corporate planning department is working on it. As soon as the planning is done, we will make a grand announcement that some of our flights will originate there,” the president added.
He acknowledged that the severe air congestion in Manila is a wakeup call for other airlines to consider flying to and from Clark airport.
Bautista added PAL is on expansion on workers due to more flights that will commence this year and next year. “This year, we will be hiring 300 ground crews and 100 pilots,” the official said. Majority of the workers that will be hired will be assigned to flights in Paris, Amsterdam and Rome either late this year or next year.       
David Lim, the airline’s senior vice president of commercial operations, said the maiden flight of the airline on March 15, 1941 served as the catalyst for so many firsts for the airline.
“From that flight with five passengers using beachcraft model aircraft, PAL made so many historical innovations unmatched by any entity in the country,” Lim said.
Among the firsts that PAL instituted is the first in Asia to have a woman pilot; the first to send massive relief aid to disaster-struck Bicol and Tacloban; and the first to become a five-star airline in the Philippines in due time.

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