Philippine Airlines to Launch MNL-Seattle Flights This Oct.
Manila/ Nomads/ Explore

PAL Reveals New MNL-Seattle Route, Reviving MNL-Japan Routes This 2024

Seattle Skyline Night Photo by Wikimedia Commons/Dllu

Itching to see the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington? Or to visit, perhaps a closer country like Japan, to experience snow in Sapporo or take a photo with the Glico Man at Dotonbori, Osaka?

Well, consider them done on your bucket list because Philippine Airlines (PAL) recently announced that starting October 2, they will launch direct flights between Manila and Seattle. They also revealed that flights between Manila-Sapporo and Cebu-Osaka may be revived sometime this year.

“Revenge Travel” era has come and gone, but tourism remains on the rise. Last year, an average of 476,900 people traveled outside the country each month (around 50,000 to Japan and 20,000 to the United States). This January 2024 alone, figures from the Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed more than 551,300 Filipinos traveled out of the Philippines (nearly 58,000 to Japan and 20,000 to the United States).

In addition to these optimistic figures, PAL is also banking on the 240,000 Filipino Americans currently residing in the states of Washington and Oregon. Direct flights, also, can be likened to doors that go both ways. With the United States (US) as the Philippines’ second largest source of tourists (over 900,000 Americans visited in 2023), the country’s flag carrier anticipates that this nonstop flight route will boost tourism and business.

Seattle is the sixth US destination, joining the list which includes California’s Los Angeles and San Francisco; New York; Honolulu (Hawaii); and Guam. The route will operate three times a week (every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday), departing from Manila at 10:40 PM and will arrive at 7:15 PM. The flight from Seattle will depart at 11:40 PM and arrive in Manila at 4:45 AM.

Travelers can expect full-flat seats in Business Class and PAL’s iconic inflight services, featuring Filipino and Western meal choices. And to sweeten the deal, PAL is offering a special introductory all-in roundtrip fare: US$771 (Economy Class) and US$3,071 (Business Class).

This introductory fare is available for purchase until April 30, 2024. Travel dates are from October 2 to November 30, 2024, or from February 1 to March 22, 2025. Book here.

Future Routes

Aside from this new route (and the Japan routes that will be revived this summer), PAL remains mum on their future route plans. While there is much clamor for the airline to restore routes to Europe, there is simply a lot to consider before that idea takes off.

Christoph Gaertner, PAL Vice President of Network Planning, underscored some of the major factors they are considering regarding routes: Demand, Connectivity, Timing, Fuel Price, Manpower, and Financial Sustainability.

“Generally, we look at point-to-point market size and demand. Connectivity, we’re not just serving Manila to Seattle, but we have opportunities to connect customers from Seattle to other points in the US. And also via Manila, to domestic Philippines and regional Asia. Timing also matters to maximize connectivity. Fuel price and manpower play important roles as well. But most importantly, when we look at a new route, it has to be financially sustainable. If we think a route won’t hurt our bottom line, then it’s [a place] we’re generally interested in,” he said.

Gaertner, however, confirmed that they are still looking into relaunching direct flights to Europe, as PAL is committed to serving destinations that have plenty of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and expatriates. But he pointed out that a destination’s seeming popularity does not always translate to actual profit.

“I think a lot of people think that flying somewhere must be profitable. But [in] reality, it’s very hard to make money [in that destination]. Just because there’s a personal [inclination] to go somewhere, you may know friends or so, [but that] doesn’t necessarily mean that there are a lot of people who would like to go there,” Gaertner said in an exclusive interview with The Beat Asia.

Philippine Airlines Press Conference
Photo by The Beat Asia

2023 Highlights & Plans for 2024

2024 is shaping up to be a good year for PAL who ended last year with an annual net income of US$379 million (92% increase compared to 2022 figures) and a total revenue of US$3.2 billion (27% increase versus 2022’s US$2.5 billion).

In 2023, they also launched direct flights between Manila and Perth, Australia, and a domestic route, Cebu-Laoag. They also revived routes that featured five destinations in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Macau, and Jinjiang) and Seoul, Korea. Not to mention local routes: Manila-Tuguegarao, Cebu-General Santos/Ozamis/Legazpi, and Clark-Busuanga/Caticlan.

Guests with lounge access were also pleasantly surprised with the two new Mabuhay Lounges in NAIA Terminal 1, Manila and Cebu Lounge. This trend, fortunately, is to continue this year with plans to renovate PAL Mabuhay Lounges in Bacolod, Cagayan, Davao, and General Santos.

PAL also revealed additions to their fleet which will be delivered from 2025 to 2029: Nine A350-1000s which can carry 380 passengers and 13 A321neo planes that will traverse regional routes between Asia and Australia. Also in the works is the reconfiguration of 18 A321ceo planes to provide more legroom for Business Class passengers, on-board WiFi, and seat-back in-flight entertainment.

Do you have Mabuhay Miles? This perk is for you: Miles can now be redeemed for ride-sharing, retail, activities, and of course, more travel perks.

“Let me assure you of our ongoing commitment to enhance our customer journey on the ground and in the air. And that we will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to address the challenges of the industry. We, at Philippine Airlines, are determined to succeed in our mission to deliver better service and greater connectivity for the benefit of our kababayans and for all international citizens that we serve,” PAL President and CEO Captain Stanley K. Ng said in his introductory speech at the recent press conference held at the Century Park Hotel in Malate, Manila.

To stay updated on the PAL Mabuhay Miles partners, keep an eye on their website, and for more information on the flag carrier, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter).

Get the latest curated content with The Beat Asia's newsletters. Sign up now for a weekly dose of the best stories, events, and deals delivered straight to your inbox. Don't miss out! Click here to subscribe.

This Week's Events In Manila View more

Sign up to receive updates on what's going on in the city. Don't miss out on exciting events, news, and more. Sign up today!

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice
Thank you for subscribing! Click here if you were not redirected.