Philippine Airlines to go nonstop on Manila-Brisbane from March

Philippine Airlines Airbus A340-300 at Sydney Airport. (Rob Finlayson)
A file image of a Philippine Airlines Airbus A340-300 at Sydney Airport. (Rob Finlayson)

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will offer nonstop flights to Brisbane from its Manila hub from late March with Airbus A340-300s.

The new three times weekly service begins on March 27 2018 and replaces the current one-stop option via Darwin with Airbus A320 narrowbodies. It will increase to four flights a week from May 1 2018, PAL said in a statement on Thursday

PAL says the A340-300 is scheduled to stay on the route until later in 2018, when the airline begins taking delivery of the 21 Airbus A321neos it has on order.

The airline has previously earmarked Manila-Brisbane as one of the first routes for the A321neo, six of which will arrive with two auxiliary centre fuel tanks putting all of the Australian mainland within range.

The CAPA – Centre for Aviation’s Blue Swan Daily website reported in October 2017 that deliveries of the A321neo were due to begin in February/March 2018, with eight expected to be in the fleet by the end of calendar 2018.

However, the decision to launch Brisbane with ageing A340-300s suggested the possibility of some delays to its A321neo deliveries timeline or a management decision to deploy the next generation narrowbody on other routes before starting on Manila-Brisbane.

The A321neo has a typical range of 4,000nm when configured with 206 passengers in a two-class configuration, according to the Airbus website.

Brisbane-Manila measures 3,125nm, according to the Great Circle Mapper.

In addition to Brisbane, PAL also flies nonstop to Melbourne and Sydney with a mixture of A340 and A330 widebodies.

The A321neo was also expected to be used to increase frequencies on its Melbourne and Sydney services.

Darwin is the second Australian city to lose PAL in recent times. In December 2017, the Filipino flag carrier ended Manila-Cairns-Auckland flights in favour of a nonstop service from Manila to Auckland’s largest city.

PAL said a stand-alone Manila-Darwin service would be “uneconomically sustainable”.

“The airline will revisit this decision in the near future as market conditions improve,” PAL said in a statement.

PAL noted the decision to offer nonstop flight to Brisbane was the latest in a series of moves to eliminate one-stop flights to nonstop.

“In 2017 alone, the flag carrier launched nonstop flights to Toronto (Canada), Auckland (New Zealand), Doha (Qatar), Kuwait City (Kuwait) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) by eliminating the en route stopovers in Vancouver, Cairns, Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively,” it said.

In May 2015, the governments of Australia and Philippines agreed to an expansion of the bilateral air services agreement that lifted the number of seats available for Filipino carriers operating to the four major Australian gateways of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney to 9,300 seats per week.

Flight Number/Routing
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival

PR221 Manila-Brisbane

Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 23:30

09:20+1

PR222 Brisbane-Manila

Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 11:00 17:00

Comments

  1. australianaviation.com.au says

    Thanks Arkair. Indeed it should. Apologies for the error. the story has been updated.