PAL to Introduce Europe flight by 2010

Eyes London next Summer!

15 August 2009

- Philippine Airlines (PR Holdings, PSE) has filed with the UK's Department for Transport (DfT) an application for an operating permit to fly regular scheduled flight between London Heathrow Airport and Manila International Airport, Dft said over the weekend.

The airline which last flown in 1998 is returning to Heathrow on the same weekly frequency it previously operates almost 12 years ago. The application states that the airline will fly using the Boeing 777-300ERs' on the route on a thrice a week service initially commencing summer of next year says International Aviation and Safety Division (IASD) of DfT. No further information was disclosed.

Airport Co-ordination Ltd. (ACL) which also received PAL's application for airport slot categorise its status as "new entrant" says Peter Morrisroe, Managing Director of Airport Coordination. He further confirmed that the time schedule for the airline has not been fixed yet as its requested landing and take off slots at London Heathrow is still being evaluated by ACL. Its docking point was however confirmed at Terminal 3. Request for additional information was denied.

Financial services firm Deloitte & Touche valued a peak-time Heathrow slot at an all-time high of £25 million in 2008 but the recession forced the numbers to settle around £10-15 million in 2009.

ACL is the regulatory authority responsible for slot allocation and schedule facilitation at Europe's busiest airport. According to ACL, an airport slot is the scheduled time of arrival or departure available or allocated to an aircraft movement on a specified date at an airport as allocated by them.

The United Kingdom and the Philippines recently amended its Air Service Agreement in July 9, 2009 expanding the frequency to 14 flights per week between the two countries, inclusive of daily flights between the two capitals.

Virgin Atlantic does not fly to Manila while British Airways ceased flight operations in 2000. There is no indication that the two British carriers will fly the route in the immediate future thereby making Philippine Airlines as the only operator for the route.

There are more than 200,000 registered Filipino migrants in Britain in 2008 based on the figures released by the Home Office.


  1. I´m still sceptic about a re-appearance in Europe !
    Nevertheless it sounds promising so far.
    Wonder if they plan to re-introduce the "old" routing MNL-FRA-LON (albeit it was LGW at the time ... )
    London (no matter whether LHR or LGW) is pretty unconvenient for most non-U.K. residents.
    In particular for Filipinos/as living in the "Schengen-countries" as transit via the U.K. is a nightmare visa-wise !!! - basically a no-go -
    So, PAL´s flights would have to rely on U.K. originating traffic !

  2. They started direct flights to LHR in 1996 but was cut short in 1998 because of its financial difficulties, and to think their LF is quite impressive hovering somewhere around 82% far better than the Schengen Countries. That probably answers the question. Its management holds no secret about returning. The only question is when?

    I think they have the O&D traffic well figured already. With their seat configuration I think they will succeed at LHR. They have nowhere to go with the US of A held hostage its capacity for growth. At least, those new planes have somewhere to fly to. If they can't fly to San Diego or Chicago there is always Europa. After all they were the first asian airline to fly the continent.

    Until then, lets just wait and see!

  3. I'll be excited if they fly non-stop MNL to LHR. 4 times weekly will be a great start. I'm sure not only filipinos will crowd the brand new B777 but foreigners as well who wish to visit our country. More flights, more visitors more jobs for our people. Wishing all the best to PAL!!

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