PAL Flies Siberian Airspace

Polar Route From North America Commences

18 December 2017



Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has began flying Siberian Airspace overflight to North America beginning with PR flight 119 from Toronto to Manila Sunday.

The Arctic polar routes are now common airways for airlines connecting Asian cities (Bangkok, Beijing, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo) to North American cities (New York City, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Montreal,San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington, D.C.)

Asian Airlines Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, China Airlines, EVA Air, Philippine Airlines and China Eastern using polar route
The Annex to the Air Services Agreement with the Russian Federation signed in 14 July 2014 paved the way for Philippine Airlines (PAL) to overfly the Siberian Airspace towards North America and Europe for the first time in the airline's history. It uses the airspace for its flight to London in 2014.


PAL used to fly North America via Alaska for its flight from Toronto to Manila westward instead of a more direct path via Siberia over polar routes 2,3, and 4. It also flew Europe following the routes via Bangkok, India and Iran, which is the same route flown by other EU and ASEAN carriers from Bangkok.

PAL intends to fly Toronto, New York, Chicago and Houston on a more direct flight to Manila via Western and Central Russia saving the airline passengers 2-3 hours of travel time.

Russia earns "royalty payments," from foreign airlines that want to fly over the country's airspace. Although these payments are significant for the airlines, it's still cheaper to pay them than divert flights away from Russian airspace.

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