Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has announced the introductory fares for its direct 13-hour Manila-London flights starting November 4. On its website, PAL priced its one-way Manila-London economy flights at US$442, equivalent to about P19,385. It includes taxes, surcharges and other fees.
Business class seats start at $1,292, or about P56,655, also all-in. PAL president Ramon Ang had said their fare structure will be competitive against other airlines that service routes between different points in Asia and London.
"Whenever you start a new destination, you should expect a strong competition from any airline that servicing those destinations at the moment. For example, I think one of them had already reacted and lowered the price of tickets already, but it's ok, we foresee that and definitely, we are here to stay and we will compete with them," he told reporters no Tuesday, September 17.
He was referring to the airlines from the Middle East that are heavily subsidized and know for slashing fares. PAL's return to London after 15 years will be via a wide-bodied Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which can seat up to 370.
"Leave Manila in the morning, make it to London in time for afternoon tea," its website ads stress. The flights are between Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and Heathrow International Airport in London.
Both airports are main gateways and are congested. PAL will mount the direct flights 5x a week to and from the world's busiest airport, Heathrow. PAL's London flights marks the first direct link between the Philippines and Europe after KLM stopped its direct Manila-Amsterdam flights in 2012.
This also highlights the first time a Philippine carrier is mounting flight to Europe after the European Union lifted its safety ban on Philippine carriers in July after the local aviation regulator met the safety standards of the 27-member economic bloc.
The Philippines and the UK government has an existing bilateral air agreement for up to 7x a week flights.