Philippine Airlines said Monday it adjusted the schedule of its London flights in a bid to improve load factor.
“The change in departure times better suits our customers, especially those connecting from our provincial services,” said PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista.
“This is just one of the many service enhancements passengers can expect as we continue to improve and build up our London operation,” he said.
PAL’s load factor at London flights stood at over 70 percent.
PAL operates four-times-weekly service between Manila and London’s Heathrow airport.
Since the start of its current summer schedule, PAL has moved its Manila departure time from early morning to a more convenient early-afternoon slot.
The schedule change has allowed passengers from PAL’s various domestic and regional points, whose flights typically reach Manila in the morning, to expediently connect to its principal European service.
Flight PR 720 now departs Manila at 1 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Arrival at London Heathrow is now at 9 p.m.
The return service, PR 721, now departs London at 10:50 p.m., a slot moved back from the previous mid-afternoon departure.
This gives passengers the benefit of a full day’s stay in the British capital for business or leisure. Arrival in Manila is now at 8:05 p.m. the following day.
PAL earlier said it was evaluating options to acquire new Airbus 350 for long-haul flights.
“We will study this very carefully. The A350 can replace the long-haul aircraft of any airlines. It can be the replacement of A340 and Boeing 777,” Bautista said.
“There would be a need for us to get some long-haul aircraft for expansion in North America, Europe and Rome,” he said.
PAL is expanding its network in the Oceania region as the flag carrier prepares to fly to Auckland, New Zealand and Cairns, Australia by Dec. 1 this year.
PAL will operate four flights weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays) to serve the Manila-Cairns-Auckland route, utilizing the 156-seater Airbus A320.
“The new service allows PAL to cater to the travel needs of business and leisure travelers and showcase its distinct brand of service marked by Filipino warmth, charm and hospitality. With close to 40,000 Filipinos residing in New Zealand, the new service is their convenient link to their home country-the Philippines,” Bautista said.