Philippine Airlines to return to New Delhi in Summer 2019

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has filed schedule for flights to New Delhi effective Summer 2019 schedule. The details were made public by Airlineroute this morning.

The flights are scheduled four times a week and would be operated with the A321neo

PR726 MNL0715 – 1235DEL 321 x246
PR727 DEL1335 – 2235MNL 321 x246

The airline operates a fleet of A320, A321, A321neo, A330, A350 and the B777. The airline has already received 4 A321neo aircraft which are in service and is expected to receive 17 more, which are a mix of Long Range (LR) variant and also equipped with Airbus Cabin Flex (ACF) layout. Some of these aircraft will replace the A320s.

India & the Philippines had amended its Air Services Agreement in July to increase frequency entitlement from seven frequencies to 28 weekly frequencies. India allowed flights to be offered between Philippines to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai along with unlimited access to 18 points in India.

Philippine Airlines operated until 2011 to New Delhi via Bangkok and had recently appointed a local representative in India. The nearest that an airline in India came to a launch of flights to Manila was Jet Airways in 2012 but the plan was dropped. With Indians traveling in large numbers, Philippines is attracting its fair share with beaches and affordable travel.

Surprisingly, the flights do not connect well to North America or Japan with limited connections from Delhi, restricted to Brisbane, Seoul and Guangzhou while inbound is restricted to Cebu. Longer connections will not make it viable to offer transfer traffic as the airline would be competing with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and some Chinese carriers as well. The route then seems to be primarily planned for the traffic between India and Philippines.

New Delhi – which has become a regional aviation hub still would lack connectivity from Indonesia which is a bigger market than Philippines. As India increases trade and diplomatic relations with ASEAN, connectivity from Vietnam, Cambodia in near future could go a long way in trade and tourism ties for the region.

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