European tourists will now have easier and faster access to the Philippines, as two major airlines from the Philippines are set to launch direct flights from Manila to key cities in Europe. Philippine Airlines (PAL) will begin its flights to London, England on November 4, 2013, after 15 years of absence since 1998. PAL would fly five times weekly to London’s Heathrow Airport, the premiere gateway to the United Kingdom and the world’s busiest airport.
The announcement came four months after the European Union lifted its ban on PAL flights.
PAL would operate direct, non-stop flights, providing the fastest travel to London, at an average of 13 hours, as well as convenient connections from the UK capital to top Philippine tourist spots and other destinations in Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific plans to ask the European Union aviation officials in November to lift the ban on its flights.
Cebu Pacific President and CEO Lance Gokongwei said the airline’s team will present to the EU authorities the progress on implementation of safety measures.
Meanwhile, aviation authorities in the Philippines and Italy have agreed to increase flight entitlements between the two countries to 14 flights per week, according to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).
At present, there are 170,000 Filipinos in Italy. Rome and Milan can also be a jump off point for traffic between Southern Europe and the Philippines.
The Philippines will also hold air service talks with Israel and Russia to increase seat entitlements from those countries.
Both PAL and Cebu Pacific Air have expressed interest in flying to Russia. PAL is also said to be intent on flying to Israel.
The Philippines has existing air service agreements with Israel and Russia, but authorities cite the need to increase the flights from the Philippines to those countries, and vice versa.