PHILIPPINE Airlines commences a year-long celebration leading to its 70th anniversary in March 2011 by launching a series of promotional events where up to 70,000 free seats on various PAL flights will be given away throughout the year.
The flag carrier has announced the introduction of a grand seat raffle, a major discounted fare promo, a “Philippine Free” international campaign, and a new loyalty program targeting the youth market. These are initial salvoes of an aggressive marketing campaign that will run over the next 12 months. The initiatives were formally unveiled during PAL’s 69th anniversary on March 15.
PAL was founded by a group of prominent Filipino industrialists on February 16, 1941. On March 15, 1941, a Beech Model 18 aircraft carrying five passengers took off from Nielson airfield in Makati bound for Baguio – a flight that earned for PAL the distinction of being Asia’s first airline. According to the company, PAL is the country’s largest carrier today, with a fleet of 41 all-jet aircraft that fly to 44 domestic and international destinations. Two more overseas points, Brisbane and Riyadh, join have joined the network. Last year, PAL carried more than 8.96 million passengers, an increase of 17.1% over the previous year.
“As we count down to our 70th anniversary, we want to share this milestone with people who helped us get there – our passengers and loyal patrons. They deserve credit for steadfastly supporting their airline through both favorable and difficult times,” PAL said.
The grand seat raffle covers all customers who purchase PAL revenue tickets in the Philippines and via PAL’s website, and who travel between March 16 and Dec.31. A total of 16,000 winners will be chosen during nine monthly raffle draws. Prizes include free tickets for routes equivalent to those in tickets bought and flown. On March 15, 2011, PAL’s 70th anniversary, up to 3,000 passengers get to travel for free.
The fares promo, known as the “Anniversary Fare Special,” features discounted rates on all domestic PAL routes. A flat rate of P700 on one-way flights between Manila and points in Luzon or the Visayas, and P1,700 to and from Mindanao destinations are offered. International flights are also covered by the promo, fares vary according to route. Meanwhile, a campaign from 18 international destinations called “Philippines Free,” features free travel within the Philippines.
It will be offered to passengers who travel on PAL’s international services during selected periods of the year. The sale period is until April 7. Another promo benefits passengers celebrating their 70th birthday between March 15 and April 15. These senior celebrants receive a free domestic ticket when a companion’s ticket is purchased for travel on the same date and route. This promo is valid for travel from May 15 to Aug. 20.
Finally, a program called the Mabuhay Miles “Y Flyer” was launched on March 15. With the youth comprising an increasingly active segment of the flying public, PAL has developed a product specifically for them. The program covers passengers between the ages of two and 21 years. Current Mabuhay Miles members in this age group automatically qualify as Y Flyers. They get a 10% discount off published fares, initially for PAL domestic routes.
In addition to accumulating miles by regularly flying PAL, Y Flyers also earn miles by using partner brands’ products and services. Earned miles can then be redeemed for free PAL tickets.