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PAL adds Vancouver stopover on Toronto, New York flights

Aviation Updates Philippines – National flag carrier Philippine Airlines announced that all non-stop New York-Manila and Toronto-Manila flights will now have a technical stop in Vancouver, Canada, amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Photo from Boeing

Among other international airlines, PAL is overflying Russian airspace as it is a much faster route to and from the east coast of the United States, Canada, and Europe. Authorities gave Russian overflight clearance to PAL in 2014, which cut travel time for Manila-London flights by at least two hours.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has affected the global route network, as airlines have had to adjust flight plans to avoid both Ukrainian and Russian airspace. This includes PAL, which has now announced it has temporarily avoided the airspace.

More extended routing and flying times are to be expected. Instead of traveling eastward through Russia, flights will fly westward via the North Pacific Ocean. The longer route will now be out of max operating range for the aircraft, especially with high fuel load, high passenger capacity, and strong headwinds.

PAL added a one-hour refueling stop in Vancouver before proceeding to Manila. The new routing may be more inconvenient for passengers and crew. However, safety remains foremost in the aviation industry.

The Manila-New York and Manila-Toronto will be flown non-stop and remain unaffected since it passes over the Pacific ocean and not Russian airspace. Once "operational issues are resolved," the flag carrier said it would revert the non-stop flights from New York and Toronto to Manila.

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