IN A bid to cater and serve the Mindanao and Visayas growing market, the Philippine Airlines will open the Cebu – Los Angeles (LA), USA international flight starting March 2016.
Victor D. Suarez, officer in charge and area head manager for Mindanao sales and services told reporters during Monday’s edition of Kapehan Sa Dabaw at the SM City Annex that the new international flight will serve three times weekly. This is the first USA flight link to Cebu.
“We open this new international flight to serve Mindanao and Visayas, so those passengers from Davao and the rest of Mindanao will need not to go to Manila to fly to LA,” Suarez said adding that a total of two Boeing 777 plane units are set to be delivered in the late quarter of next year.
When asked about the possibility of opening a direct Davao to international destinations, Suarez was quick to add that they are starting to look to that possibility but he emphasized that what they prioritize now is strengthening and adding more flights out of Davao to Visayas particularly Cebu.
“In Cebu we have a number of international flights including China, Japan and soon to be Los Angeles, USA, so those from Davao can go to Cebu then fly directly to international destinations,” he said.
As part of its expansion, PAL opened another one flight to Cebu from Davao last December 15 of this year.
At present, Davao to Cebu has two flights (morning and evening) daily, same with Cagayan de Oro while the airline has its maiden flight between Zamboanga and Cebu.
“Davao is one of our top cities in terms of number of passengers making it a very important market in Mindanao,” Suarez added.
Davao–Cebu is served by Airbus 320 with a maximum capacity of 156 passengers.
“On an average, the Davao-Cebu flight has an 80 percent load factor,” he said.
Suarez also said that 2015 has been a good year for PAL as they opened numerous international and domestic flights including the Manila-Jinjiang, Fujian, China, Manila-New York, Papua New Guinea and the Auckland, New Zealand via Cairns (Australia), which is opening four times a week service.
As PAL celebrates its 75th anniversary this March 2016, Suarez announced that a lot of special fare promos are expected to be enjoyed with the PAL passengers.
“The year 2015 is a good year for PAL and we hope that next year will be as good or better for the airlines as we continue our vision and commitment of providing airline services to Filipinos,” Suarez said.