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PAL resumes flights to Kuala Lumpur

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Airlines (PAL) resumed yesterday flights to Malaysia after seven years of absence.

A total of 86 passengers boarded an Airbus 319 plane that took off at 7:55 a.m. yesterday including two visiting French women.

There were eight business class and 78 economy passengers. The flight took three and a half hours.

Among the passengers were Josen Perez de Tagle, PAL AVP for external affairs and Bryan Lim, PAL head for international sales.

Two French tourists who gave their names only as Isabelle and Charlotte said they wanted to see the Philippines which they heard from friends as a good place to visit and see.

“It’s gorgeous, we loved it. We really enjoyed our stay in the Philippines,” they said, adding that they plan to come back and see Boracay and other places in the Philippines.

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Isabelle and Charlotte, who are both from Lyon, France, said they are taking the PAL flight to Kuala Lumpur on the way back to France.

Tagle said the Civil Aeronautics Board allocated 900 seat entitlements to KL in line with the Confidential Memorandum of Understanding (CMOU) Manila signed on June 20, 2011. He said Pal would initially use the A319 but would shift to A321 starting June 1, when daily flights to KL begins..

At present, PAL flies to Kuala Lumpur thrice daily through a code share agreement with Malaysian Airlines.

The flag carrier stopped flying to Malaysia in the early 2000s because of “commercial reasons,” but the increase in tourist traffic and the response to passenger’s clamor the way for the resumption of service.

Airphil Express and Cebu Pacific currently fly out of Manila to Malaysia.

The resumption of PAL’s flights to Malaysia was delayed by the recent intrusion of Filipino followers of the so-called Sultan of Sulu to Sabah.

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