Philippine Airlines A330 in GES

Philippine Airlines launches Phnom Penh, Hanoi and New Delhi flights – Will it hit?

Philippine Airlines might have trouble connecting North American travelers to Cambodia and Vietnam. This is mostly due to the timetable of their North American flights. # more

Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country’s only 4-star airline, will be launching flights to Phnom Penh and Hanoi in time for the summer season. They are also making a comeback to India’s capital New Delhi six years after cancelling their services.

They are also increasing their frequencies for the following destinations:

  • Cebu to Nagoya from 4 weekly to daily flights,
  • Manila to Osaka (nonstop) from 7 to 11 weekly flights,
  • Manila to Bangkok from 21 to 25 weekly flights,
  • Manila to Kuala Lumpur from 7 to 11 weekly flights,
  • Manila to Jakarta from 7 to 10 weekly flights,
  • Manila to Los Angeles from 14 to 17 times weekly,
  • Manila to San Francisco from 10 to 14 times weekly,
  • Manila to New York JFK from 5 weekly to daily flights,
  • Manila to Toronto from 5 weekly to daily flights,
  • Manila to Sydney from 7 to 9 weekly flights,
  • Manila to Brisbane from 4 to 5 weekly flights,
  • Manila to Taipei from 10 to 14 weekly flights, and
  • Manila to Doha from 4 to 5 weekly flights.

In a press statement released by the airline, PAL President and COO Jaime Bautista said “Philippine Airlines’ strategic vision is to make the Philippines a true gateway to Asia. We are the Southeast Asian airline with the biggest and most extensive network of direct flights to the US and Canada, and thus we can be the leader in carrying North American travelers to India, Cambodia and Vietnam via our Manila hub.”

Manila to Phnom Penh

The new Phnom Penh (PHN) flight will leave Manila (MNL) at 10:10 pm and arrives at 11:45 pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and, Saturday (5x weekly) and will return to Manila at 12:45 am the next day and arrives at 05:20 am. The flights will have a designation of PR521 and PR521 respectively.

Manila to Hanoi

Meanwhile, the new Hanoi (HAN) flight will leave Manila every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (4x weekly) at 10:25 pm and arrives at 12:45 am the next day and will return to Manila at 01:45 am and arrives at 05:30 am. The flights will be numbered as PR595 and PR596 respectively.

Manila to New Delhi

The New Delhi flights hasn’t been finalized yet pending clearances from India but is expected to be flown four times weekly starting April 2019.

How it fits in PAL’s North America timetable

Philippine Airlines might have trouble connecting North American travelers to Cambodia and Vietnam. This is mostly due to the timetable of their North American flights.

Most of Philippine Airlines’ mainland North American routes (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto, and New York) have flights arriving in Manila between 06:00 am to 06:30 am. Meanwhile, their new Phnom Penh and Hanoi flights don’t leave until 10:00 to 10:30 pm. This means North American travelers will have to stay in Manila for at least 16 hours.

The same can be said for the return flights as the new Hanoi and Phnom Penh flights arrive in Manila around 5:30 am and North American flights don’t leave until the evening.

The only exception for this would the daily from Los Angeles (PR102) that arrives in Manila at 7:15 pm. Travelers from Los Angeles to Phnom Penh and Hanoi will only have to stay for three (3) hours in Manila. For the return flight, it’s still a six (6) hour layover though since PR112 to LAX doesn’t depart Manila until 11:25 am.

Still good for competition

While the new flights might not connect North American travellers to Cambodia and Vietnam effectively, it’s still a win for Filipinos. The Manila to Hanoi non-stop route is currently a monopoly held by Cebu Pacific, Philippine’s largest low-cost carrier. Meanwhile, no airline is currently serving the Manila to Phnom Penh route non-stop so it’s definitely a welcome addition.

Filipinos have visa-free access to both Phnom Penh and Hanoi. The new flights mean new possible destinations for long weekends this 2019!

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