PAL resumes non-stop flights to UK
Millet M. Mananquil (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Pinoy pride soars higher at the World Travel Market (WTM), the biggest global event for the travel industry, with the return of Philippine Airlines to London last Nov. 4.

Amid applause, a water cannon welcome and a reception at the Heathrow airport royal suite, PAL president Ramon Ang cut the ceremonial cake and raised the champagne glass to celebrate this milestone.

“It is like a marriage,” program host Leah Navarro quipped as Ang took the stage with British Ambassador Asif Ahmed, Philippine Ambassador Enrique Manalo and Heathrow commercial head Fidel Lopez.

But this one’s for better – the fastest and cheapest flight five times weekly from Manila to London non-stop in only 12.5 hours. This will further be shortened by two hours when PAL gets the go-signal to take the shorter route over Russia. Seats on the modern and spacious Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are only $1,052 for economy and $2,900 for flatbed business class, both inclusive of all taxes.

PAL shares the 300-square meter Philippine pavilion at the WTM in London where almost 5,000 exhibitors from 184 countries expect to generate more than 1,859 million British pounds in travel industry deals.

The Philippine participation, led by Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., is the biggest since the country joined WTM in 1980, or any travel fair worldwide. London’s biggest annual travel event attracts more than 47,000 global travel professionals.

Ang said that for the first time, the UK is now in the Philippines’ top 10 visitor markets – the only European nation on the list, with arrivals reaching more than 60,000 from Britain during the first half of 2013. “With PAL’s new non-stop flights, we are sure these numbers will increase further.”

Ang added that “with the new direct air links, the Philippines is looking at a potential windfall in tourism, trade and investment from Europe.”

There are 664,000 Filipinos in Europe, and 250,000 reside in the UK.

“They will now return home more often via the airline that knows them best,” said Ang.

London was among PAL’s pioneer destinations in 1947 when PAL made history as the first airline from Southeast Asia to fly to Europe.

BRITISH AMBASSADOR ASIF AHMED FIDEL LOPEZ LEAH NAVARRO PHILIPPINE AIRLINES PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR ENRIQUE MANALO AND HEATHROW RAMON ANG SOUTHEAST ASIA TOURISM SECRETARY RAMON JIMENEZ JR. WORLD TRAVEL MARKET
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