Philippine Airlines will enhance its Middle Eastern operations this month, with the launch of all-non-stop flights and premium seats on routes to seven destinations in the region.
Effective 26 March 2017, the national carrier will remove all stops from its Middle Eastern routes, offering direct services from Manila to Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi, Dammam and Riyadh. In total, the airline will offer 33 weekly return flights to the Middle East.
In addition, PAL will change the layout of the aircraft it operates on its Middle Eastern routes, providing premium cabin options. At present, the region is served using the airline’s 414-seat, all-economy class Airbus A330. But this will be progressively upgraded to a fleet of three-class A330s in the coming months, including premium economy seats and flat beds in business class.
These aircraft will be deployed on the Dubai route from 15 June, Abu Dhabi and Doha from 15 July, Riyadh from 15 August, and Kuwait and Jeddah from 15 September. Passengers will also be offered in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment.
“The shift to bi-class service gives our passengers the flexibility to choose between regular economy, premium economy and business class service. Regardless of which class of service you choose, PAL will deliver its distinct brand of Filipino service,” said Jaime Bautista, president & chief operating officer of PAL.
The move to more premium cabins represents a strategic shift for PAL; instead of primarily targeting overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East, it now appears to seeking the premium market, including outbound traffic from the Gulf region. In line with this, onboard meals include halal options.