Friday, November 12, 1999

Philippine Air
to resume
Hawaii flights

A pilots strike and financial
woes had forced the carrier
to drop its Manila service

By Russ Lynch


Philippine Airlines Philippine Airlines next month will resume the Honolulu-Manila service it dropped a year and a half ago.

The airline said today it has scheduled nine flights on the route in December and starting Jan. 1 it will operate on a long-term schedule of two Honolulu-Manila flights a week.

Minda De Santos, PAL district sales manager in San Francisco, said the airline is already getting strong interest from Hawaii. "I think they want the direct flights, with the big Filipino population in Hawaii," she said.

The airline stopped flying to Honolulu in June 1998 after its pilots went on strike. The company's ensuing financial troubles, which led PAL to shut down completely for a time, it did not resume the Hawaii route.

PAL has been flying direct between Los Angeles and Manila and San Francisco and Manila but the only way people have been able to fly between Honolulu and Manila is to go first on other airlines to Guam, Taiwan or Japan or to fly first to the West Coast.

Even the Taiwan connection ceased in September because of an ongoing aviation dispute between the governments of the Philippines and Taiwan.

PAL said it has scheduled five Los Angeles-Honolulu-Manila round-trip flights in December. The flights will depart Honolulu on Dec. 2, 11, 18, 21 and 23.

De Santos said PAL has also posted a schedule for San Francisco-Honolulu-Manila flights on Wednesdays, Dec. 8, 15, 22 and 29.

She said that starting Jan. 1, PAL will move into a long-term regular schedule of two Honolulu-Manila flights a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The airline will use Airbus 340-300s, seating 264 passengers in three classes, first, business and coach.

The lowest Honolulu-Manila round-trip fare showing up in Honolulu travel agents' computers for the new PAL service is $767.

Continental Airlines lists a fare through Guam of $818 and Northwest Airlines has a Honolulu-Osaka-Manila fare for $1,171.

De Santos said PAL has no plans to open a Honolulu office and is handling the service from the regional office in San Francisco, through wholesalers who work with island travel agents.

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