PAL readies Manila-New Delhi flights

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is facing better market conditions with the relaunch of flights between Manila and New Delhi in March 2019, an aviation think tank said.

CAPA-Center for Aviation said in a report on Wednesday that Indian visitors to the Philippines had more than doubled to 107,000 since 2013, when PAL suspended flights to the Indian capital of New Delhi.

“The prospects for PAL in the Indian market are much brighter this time around. The Manila-Delhi market—and the overall Philippines-India market—has more than doubled over the past five years, making a nonstop service more viable,” CAPA said.

The use of its brand-new Airbus A320neos will also make the route more sustainable, it added.

PAL, CAPA said, had operated widebody planes such as its A330s and A340s for India—a decision that made the flights unviable. PAL’s nonstop flights to Delhi were scrapped in 2011 while its one-stop flights via Bangkok were suspended in 2013.

“If the flights are successful, a Manila-Mumbai service may also be launched by PAL or another airline,” CAPA said.

“India is a strategically important new market for PAL and the Philippines overall. India is the largest source market for the Philippines that does not currently have any nonstop services,” it added.

PAL, in a statement, said it would launch four times weekly nonstop flights between Manila and New Delhi on March 31, 2019. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS


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