PAL, CEB To Fly Moscow

24 August 2015

Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Low Cost Carrier Cebu Pacifi c(CEB) has filed with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) permission to fly Russia following the signing of the recent Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the two countries in July 23, 2015 terms of which remained confidential.

Philippine Airlines applied for Manila to Moscow flights, vice-versa, five times a week using Airbus A330-300, three times a week frequencies on the city pair between Manila and Khabarovsk, vice-versa also three times a week, and and four times a week frequencies on the city pair between Cebu and Khabarovsk using narrow bodied aircraft.

PAL has been promoting Russian tourist travel to the Philippines by operating charter flights in Manila-Vladivostok, vice-versa and Kalibo-Khabarovsk, vice-versa flights over the last two years and hopes to develop this market more by flying regular flights all year long.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific applied for Manila to Moscow flights, vice-versa, three times a week using Airbus A330-300, and Manila to Vladivostok, vice-versa also three times a week using narrow bodied aircraft.

New flights to these destinations would be effected beginning the winter season when approved.

Transaero B747-400 in Mactan Cebu International Airport
In a separate filing, Zest Airways Inc. (AirAsia Zest) also applied for Kalibo to Vladivostok, vice-versa four times a week.

Based on the records of Department of Tourism (DOT), arrivals from the Russian market grew 25.2 percent in 2013, logging 35,404 arrivals from the 28,270 recorded in 2012. In 2014, some 40,000 Russians visited the country, according to DOT data.

They are also the biggest spenders. Russians each spend $1,000 on average for every visit to the Philippines.

The Philippine government has already extended 21-day visa free travel policy for Russians to 30 days to lure more Russians to enjoy the beaches more in Cebu, Bohol, Boracay and Palawan.

“We are confident that the new arrangements will help us meet our targets for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS),” Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said.

The CIS includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

Aeroflot and Transaero also has applied with Russian authorities for flights to Manila from Moscow.  Flight frequencies were not disclosed up to this time says CAB.

CAB said Russian airlines Transaero and S7 has been doing regular charter flights to Mactan-Cebu from Khabarovsk for the last two years.

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