Philippines Airlines (PAL) had amended its schedule to New Delhi, where it commences flights effective 17th April 2019. The earlier schedule which did not cater to any connecting traffic, has been changed in favor of red-eye arrival and departure out of New Delhi.
The new timings would be as below
PR726 MNL2045 – 0100DEL (+1)
PR727 DEL0145 – 1045MNL
The flights will operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from Manila and Monday, Wednesday and Friday from New Delhi. A fourth weekly frequency with flights from Manila on Saturday and New Delhi from Sunday would commence from 5th May 2019. A321neo will operate the route.
The airline is taking the Chinese carriers head on with New Delhi to Manila priced at INR 23000, but flights to Beijing and Shanghai via Manila priced as low as INR 13000!
The earlier timings did not connect well to any of the destinations beyond Manila and would have needed very high market stimulation to succeed. The revised timings connect to Cebu, Nagoya, Seoul, Osaka and Busan seamlessly.
For some destinations in North America, there are long connecting times. However, there are reasonable connections to Los Angeles, However, there are long connecting times one way for flights to North America. With its location, the airline could vie for some traffic to Japan, South Korea and parts of China.
PAL operated to New Delhi via Bangkok from 2011 to 2013 and has served Kolkata in the 1950s as one of the many intermediately stops for its service to Europe.
There are multiple reasons why airlines change flight timings and this could be the slot the airline was originally looking for at New Delhi but was unavailable at the time of filing and approvals. New Delhi – which is a regional power house now and closed 2018 – a little shy of 70 million passengers. The airport is congested – both by terminal capacity and runway capacity. While the late night hours are relatively better for runway capacity, the airport sees many international arrivals which keep the gates / remote bays busy and finding an empty gate for a new airline is a challenge. Likewise Manila is also one of the congested airports and slots are hard to come by. Airports follow guidelines for slot allocation which helps newer airlines and newer cities to connect on priority and with Manila being a new destination from New Delhi, the priority would have helped get the preferred slots. The turnaround time in the revised time is down by 15 minutes from the earlier schedule. The A321neo which PAL will operate will have 168 seats configured for long-haul travel – as per the airline.