Starting August 15, Philippine Airlines (PAL), the Philippine flag carrier, undergoes a modest expansion of its domestic network when it commences regular jet service to Dumaguete and adds a third daily frequency to Zamboanga.
On the same day, the flag carrier’s low-fares brand PAL Express starts turbo-propeller service from Manila to three points in northern Luzon -– Tuguegarao (Cagayan), Cauayan (Isabela) and San Fernando (La Union) – as well as to Ormoc (Leyte) in eastern Visayas.
Dumaguete, a pioneer PAL destination that the airline first served in February 1946, rejoins the network after a decade’s absence.
PAL last flew to the Negros Oriental capital in June 1998, when operational difficulties forced a suspension of the service.
This time, PAL will field two flights daily, with convenient morning and afternoon departures. The first service, PR 291, departs Manila at 7:00 a.m. and arrives in Dumaguete at 8:20 a.m. The return flight, PR 292, leaves Dumaguete at 9:00 a.m. and lands in Manila at 10:20 a.m.
The afternoon service, PR 293, departs Manila at 3:20 p.m. and touches down in Dumaguete at 4:40 p.m. It returns as PR 294, leaving Dumaguete at 5:20 p.m. and arriving back in Manila at 6:40 p.m.
Airbus A319 aircraft, which features the only business-class service in the Manila-Dumaguete sector, will be deployed on the route. The state-of-the-art jet seats 126 passengers in Fiesta (Economy) Class and eight in Mabuhay (Business) Class.
Meanwhile, PAL will add a mid-morning flight to Zamboanga on August 15, raising total frequency to three flights daily, in response to rising demand.
The new service, PR 127, departs Manila at 10:00 a.m. and arrives in Zamboanga at 11:45. The return flight, PR 128, leaves Zamboanga at 12:25 p.m. and lands in Manila at 2:10 p.m. Airbus A319 jets will operate the frequency.
On the other hand, PAL Express goes through its third major expansion in two months. The turbo-prop unit added five routes to its main Cebu hub last July 1, followed by four routes to its Manila hub on July 15 (plus an extra route to Manila on August 1).
The launch of four more services on August 15 boosts the PAL Express network to 22 routes nationwide – 11 apiece from Cebu and Manila.
Overall, from August 15, the PAL domestic network will count 18 jet and 22 turbo-prop routes.
The new Dumaguete service and additional Zamboanga flight will operate from PAL’s regular jet hub at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Centennial Terminal 2, while all PAL Express services operate from the newly opened NAIA Terminal 3.