Flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) re-launched a direct service flights between Cebu and Osaka, Tokyo after seven years of halted operation to boost tourism and trade between the two countries.
The Lucio Tan-owned carrier re-launched it October 26 “giving Cebu its third link to economically booming North Asia and boosting Japanese tourism and trade to southern Philippines.”
Jaime J. Bautista, said “The restoration of PAL link between these two dynamic cities underscores the importance we place in both Osaka as a major source market of tourism and investors, and on Cebu as a destination of choice for the Japanese.”
Bautista said newly delivered, modern Airbus A320 aircraft, which seat 12 passengers in the Mabuhay (business) class and 144 in the Fiesta (economy) class, are used to serve the route.
The service will initially operate twice weekly, every Thursday and Sunday.
The Cebu-Osaka service was one of the most popular tourist routes when it was introduced in 1944, contributing to the Japanese visitor boom that transformed Cebu into the country’s most vibrant destination after Manila.
But the service was halted October 2001 when Japanese government travel advisories were issued in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States, which discouraged the Japanese from traveling.
”With Cebu now established as a major international destination, we deemed it an appropriate time to reinstate the Osaka link in order to complement our direct Tokyo and Seoul services from Cebu,” Bautista said.
PAL operates a six times a week service between Cebu and Tokyo, and flies four times a week between Cebu and Seoul. Korea.