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PAL to resume direct flights to Beijing, Shanghai

Aviation Updates Philippines – After more than three years of suspension owing to pandemic-related travel restrictions, Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country's flag carrier, is preparing to resume its top routes to mainland China.

Photo from RPLL Aviation Images

The airline will begin direct flights from Manila to Shanghai on February 14 and Beijing on February 21, connecting the two countries' capitals. These routes are expected to help revitalize the airline's connections to mainland China's economic centers and ease tourism and business travel between the two countries.

According to the flag carrier, mainland China was the Philippines' second-largest source of tourists before the pandemic, with 1.74 million Chinese visitors in 2019. The return of flights is expected to significantly boost the local tourism industry.

“We are forging ahead with the restoration of PAL’s Greater China flight network, an investment that will strengthen our connections to the economic hubs in the mainland and help boost bilateral relations between the Filipino and Chinese people,” said PAL President and COO Capt. Stanley K. Ng.

“We hope that our relaunch of flights to Beijing and Shanghai will help fuel a rebound in tourist and business travel. Our goal is to once again operate the largest network of flights on multiple routes between mainland China and the Philippines.”

PAL will resume its Manila-Shanghai service with three flights per week initially, increasing to daily flights starting from March 26.

The Manila-Shanghai flights will depart on Tuesdays at 5:05 AM (until March 21 only), and on Thursdays and Saturdays at 11:30 AM (until March 25), while the daily flights will depart at 10:50 AM (starting March 26). The Shanghai-Manila flights, on the other hand, will depart on Tuesdays at 10:50 AM (until March 21 only), and on Thursdays and Saturdays at 4:55 PM (until March 25), and daily at 4:00 PM (starting March 26).

Meanwhile, PAL's Manila-Beijing service will start from February 21, with two flights per week initially and increasing to four flights per week starting from March 26.

The Manila-Beijing flights will depart on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7:00 AM (until March 24), and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 7:10 AM (starting March 26). The Beijing-Manila flights, on the other hand, will depart on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12:55 PM (until March 24), and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 12:55 PM (starting March 26).

Xiamen and Guangzhou have also been added to PAL's list of mainland Chinese destinations, in addition to Shanghai and Beijing.

From February 25, the airline will boost its Manila-Xiamen-Manila flights from once to three times per week. Furthermore, its Manila-Guangzhou-Manila flights will be available twice a week beginning February 16, and will gradually rise to daily flights beginning March 26.

Quanzhou (Jinjiang) and Macau flights are also slated to reopen in March 2023.

PAL is collaborating closely with health and aviation authorities in China and the Philippines to guarantee the best possible health safety measures for travelers.

Before the pandemic, PAL had 34 weekly flights to various cities in mainland China such as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Quanzhou (Jinjiang), and Xiamen.

Since March 2020 until now, PAL has been running scheduled and occasional cargo and charter flights to mainland China, with passenger charters to Tianjin and Wuhan, as well as dedicated vaccine transport flights.

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