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PAL eyes next hub in Davao

MANILA, Philippines – The national carrier is planning to make Davao as one of its hubs.

“Davao would be another airport we would consider to be a hub,” Philippine Airlines (PAL) president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said.

Bautista said PAL sees potential in operating more flights to and from Davao as it is one of the profitable destinations for the carrier.

With the recent ratification of the Asean open skies agreement, PAL sees opportunities to fly to more destinations and Davao as a hub can play a role in the expansion.

Bautista said the Open Skies agreement allows PAL to start flights from Davao to destinations such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, as well as Manado and Bali in Indonesia.

He said PAL could also mount flights from Davao to other points such as Australia and even Palau.

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As the Ninoy Aquino International Airport has become congested, PAL is looking at airports outside of Manila to expand its operations.

“The Davao Airport, Cebu Airport can take additional flights but (in) Manila, we’re having a difficult time,” Bautista said.

PAL currently has Manila and Cebu as its hubs.

As part of its expansion, the airline is set to start operating flights to its 43rd international destination Saipan from Manila today.

PAL said the service has received high passenger bookings.

“The high passenger count is proof that this new flight is keenly awaited,” Bautista said.

PAL’s service to Saipan from Manila will be offered twice per week. The Airbus A320 aircraft will depart Saipan every Thursday and Monday at 4:35 a.m. local time and arrive in Manila at 6:45 a.m.

From Manila, the flight will depart every Wednesday and Sunday at 9:20 p.m. and be in Saipan at 3:35 a.m. local time the following day.
 

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