PAL returns to East Coast with inaugural Manila-New York flight

NEW YORK CITY – The Philippine flag carrier returns to New York for the first time since 1997 after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restored its Category 1 status last year.

Philippine Airlines flight 126 touched down at the John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y. earlier than its scheduled 7 a.m. arrival on Monday.

The maiden flight left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport just before midnight on Sunday with a two-hour transit stop in Vancouver, Canada before it proceeded to New York.

The PAL Boeing 777 carried a full flight.

Imus, Cavite native Digna Sayaman, who is visiting New York for a short vacation said, “Maganda naman talaga ang PAL dahil marami na rin akong travel puro PAL talaga kasi maganda ang service nila.”

Vilma Garde, also an Imus Cavite native said, “At least at home ka, yun ang importante. At home ka talaga sa PAL.”

“It’s cheaper,” Milford, K.Y. resident Vicente Saniel said, “I live in Kentucky so I don’t need to go through San Francsico. It’s cheaper to come here to New York.”

PAL last flew to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey in 1997.

The airline had to close its operations there because of the Asian financial crisis.

Between 2008 and 2014, PAL was prohibited from adding new destinations in the US after failing to comply with minimum safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Last year, PAL finally received the greenlight to restore its Manila-New York service after the FAA upgraded its status to Category 1.

The restored operations of the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia marks another milestone in Philippine Airlines’ 74 years of service.

Ryan Tan Uy, PAL’s VP for Sales said, “They can continue to expect the warm, maalaga service of Philippine Airlines. We are known for that and we are proud of that and we are really looking forward that the Filipinos would support our airline.”

Following Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Guam,  New York is now PAL’s fifth US destination.

“We do have the youngest fleet in the network. Our professional Filipino pilots are very known for their safety records. In fact, we do have the best landings as we call, very very soft landing,” he said.

The 9,000-mile flight From Manila to New York via Vancouver that takes about 16.5 hours of travel will be PAL’s longest route.

Ken Exaltacion flew in to New York to intern for the Six Flags in New Jersey said, “Convenient in a way that there was no transfer, we don’t have to get our baggages and you know just check in.”

Tan Uy says flight PR 126 departs Manila four times a week for now but could increase to a daily flight depending on demand.

With PAL’s Pinoy-style service back in the Big Apple, kababayans here say trips to the homeland just got easier and little bit more fun.

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3 Comments on this post.

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  • kikay Pang0
    16 March 2015 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    BAd service .. bitchy lazy attendant … not trustworthy Filipino pilots who picked their nose during the flight.

    • Kenikeni
      17 March 2015 at 1:19 pm - Reply

      So true!!

  • Generoso Magaoay
    17 March 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    It’s good idea to expand the business. Too good to be true! This time PAL arrived ahead of time, ok i’ll give them that credit. When the tough gets going, Filipino time starts kicking in. Always late, broke, late again, on-time once in awhile, etc…