Philippine Airlines has announced it will commence a direct route between Manila and Perth next March, with the non-stop service set to fly four times a week.
At present, travellers have to catch a connecting flight from other cities in Australia, or from Hong Kong or Singapore, in order to complete a journey to the Philippines capital from Perth.
Philippine Airlines is planning to offer the journey every day of the week except Wednesday, with the outbound to Perth departing at five past midnight from Manila and arriving in Perth seven hours later. The return leg will leave Perth at 08:20 and arrive in Manila at 15:50 in the afternoon.
The airline will operate the service on a narrowbody A321neo aircraft, which has 168 seats, including 12 fully-flat business class seats in a 2-2 configuration.
Kevin Brown, CEO of Perth Airport, said the new service would be a win for Western Australia’s business, tourism and exports, and would inject an additional 70,000 seats into the market.
“We had already been able to add around 400,000 new seats of capacity into Perth over the past 12 months from our key Asian markets,” said Brown.
“The Manila route builds on that momentum. We experienced a growth of 15 per cent in the market this year meaning 90,000 passengers travelled between Perth and the Philippines in 2019. Around 40 per cent of that was visitors coming to Perth and Western Australia.
“We think the direct service has the potential to tip the numbers even more in favour of in-bound passengers which will be great for tourism and hospitality and the international education market,” he added.
Eugene C. Go, Philippine Airlines’ chief sales and chief marketing officer, also said the new flights would allow the carrier to promote the Philippines as a “top-notch tourist experience” for residents of Western Australia.
Perth will be Philippine Airlines’ fourth destination in Australia, following Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, which are all served with non-stop flights operated by the airline’s A330-300 or A321neo aircraft.
Philippine Airlines once launched this route in 2013, but quickly axed it.
Overall, the airline operates 19 weekly non-stop flights to above-mentioned three current destinations in Australia, as well as three weekly flights to Auckland in New Zealand.
Earlier this year, Philippine Airlines announced its expansion plan across the Asia-Pacific region, and the launch of its new Manila-Hanoi service.