Rumours of Philippine Airlines’ withdrawal from London market were denied by the airline in a statement last night. Rejecting industry gossip, the airline cited an uptick in customer numbers on the route, because of recent promotions across Britain.
“Improved passenger loads on the route can be attributed to the premium product supported by PAL’s more aggressive marketing campaign in the UK.”
Chatter about the withdrawal from the UK capital seems to have been sparked by the publishing of a report, by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), which recommended that PAL stop building its US presence and cease operations of its to London, as the report deemed the routes redundant.
“PAL has slipped into the red in the past two years, due mainly to losses in the long haul segment… Suspending London and shelving the launch of new US destinations is a sensible initial move by PAL as it tries to restore profitability.”
PAL’s statement reads as follows:
“Philippine Airlines (PAL) continues to review and consider possible expansion of new routes in its US network and also continues its services to London.
The Philippine flag carrier operates 57 weekly long-haul frequencies to North America, specifically to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, Honolulu and Toronto, and 5 weekly flights between Manila and London Heathrow.
PAL is the only airline flying non-stop between the Philippines and the US mainland, Hawaii, Canada and London. PAL uses the new Airbus A350-900 – on its route between London and Manila – which is a better-sized aircraft offering an enhanced premium product. Improved passenger loads on the route can be attributed to the premium product supported by PAL’s more aggressive marketing campaign in the UK. The flag carrier’s non-stop US-Manila flights remain highly popular for business and leisure travellers and Filipino balikbayans.
While there is market clamour for the opening of new routes to the US and Europe and these are under review, PAL remains focused on implementing a well-calibrated program centred on network expansion, fleet modernization and service innovation.”