Philippine Airlines said it is temporarily suspending the launch of the Manila-New Delhi service amid the tension in the region.
“We are constrained to take this step as news of India-Pakistan border tensions has prompted many travelers to cancel bookings and defer their travel plans,” PAL said.
The airline announced earlier it would start four times weekly nonstop flights between Manila and New Delhi next month, using brand-new Airbus A321neo aircraft.
“We seek the understanding of our passengers who have already booked flights or purchased tickets on the Delhi service,” the airline said.
PAL said ticket holders of flights between Manila and New Delhi could reroute their tickets to any regional destination within 30 days from their original ticket or refund the cost of their tickets.
“Philippine Airlines apologizes to all affected passengers. We assure the traveling public that we will make the appropriate announcement once a new start date is finalized,” the airline said.
PAL earlier said its return to the Indian market would boost the tourism industries of both the Philippines and India.
The airline previously operated the Manila-Delhi route from 2011 to 2013, with most flights making costly stopovers in Bangkok because of the limited range of the Airbus A320 aircraft which was then in use.
PAL announced in January that it was expanding operations in Asia by launching new routes to Hanoi (Vietnam) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) from its Manila hub.
The latest expansion by PAL creates the first direct air link between the Philippines and the capital of Cambodia, expands PAL’s existing Vietnam network and re-establishes a historic link to India with immense potential for tourism development.