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Philippine Airlines to serve Cairns, Auckland from December

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 21, 2015

Philippines Airlines is 'upguaging' its Brisbane services. (Rob Finlayson)

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will add Cairns as its fifth Australian destination and introduce flights to Auckland from December with Airbus A320s.

The new four times a week service kicks off on December 1 and will operate via a Manila-Cairns-Auckland routing, the airline said on Wednesday.

Currently, Philippine Airlines serves Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane via Darwin from its Manila hub.

PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said the airline would have pickup rights on the Cairns-Auckland sector and help stimulate travel between Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.


Moreover, PAL would offer the 40,000 Filipinos living in NZ a convenient link to their home country.

“The new service allows PAL to cater to the travel needs of business and leisure travellers and showcase its distinct brand of service marked by Filipino warmth, charm and hospitality,” Bautista said in a statement.

“In the long term, the service will drive traffic between Southeast Asia and New Zealand.”

PAL’s A320s are configured with either 150 seats (12 business and 138 economy) or 156 seats (12 business and 144 economy).

Currently, Cairns Airport receives international service from Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong), Jetstar (Denpasar, Osaka Kansai and Tokyo Narita) and United (Guam).

The airport also has seasonal international service to Auckland with Air New Zealand, while China Eastern and China Southern have also served Cairns on a seasonal from their hubs Shanghai and Guangzhou, respectively.

In addition to PAL’s arrival, Singapore Airlines’ regional wing SilkAir was due to commence flights to Cairns from Singapore on May 30.

Cairns Airport chief executive Kevin Brown said the new PAL service would help boost tourism both in Australia and the Philippines.

“Through Manila the new Philippine Airlines service will offer even more Asian connections for visitors coming to Cairns and Great Barrier Reef,” Brown said in a statement.

“The Auckland service will provide us with year round direct connectivity with New Zealand once again linking us with this important neighbouring tourism market and through connections via Auckland.

“Resort islands such as beautiful Boracay are sure to prove popular with Cairns locals.”

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Comments (5)

  • Chuck


    This is exactly the sort of route (an Asia–NZ connection through regional Australia) that Townsville has been courting and the airlines should be considering. Well done to Philippine Airlines for seeing the potential in these routes using A320s – lower traffic volumes shouldn’t cause the airlines to have conniptions about long-range single aisle routes. Perhaps other airlines will also see potential in routes like these.

  • Tropicalcat


    Look I hope it will be successful, and suspect the CNS-AKL-CNS leg, will do well as currently I think many Cairns locals go via Brisbane to go to AKL due to pricing. But it does seem an odd destination, I assume it is an inbound market and yet I’m not aware that Cairns has a huge Phillipino community. I hope it won’t be another route that starts up then fades away like too many that we’ve had. With Jetstar starting Bali recently and Silk Air about to start Singapore you do wonder though. Jetstar are certainly pricing Bali well here and doing OK with the outbound market but it doesn’t leave many more bums looking for outbound leisure destinations.

  • Frank


    Provided that the cost is either the same, or preferably cheaper, than by flying Cairns/Brisbane/Manila, & vice-versa, then it could be a winner, & not only for NZ people, but the much smaller Cairns Filipino community. Currently, this route is serviced by Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong, or Air Niugini, via Port Moresby, which is much higher priced.

  • Mark


    I wish PAL success in this new route!

  • Kent


    Not only Cairns locals will benifit this route going to Manila. It would cater down south as far as Rockhampton, Emerald, Mackay etc. Fare is gonna be cheaper than doing down to Brisbane. I hope…

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