Just a few hours ago, we were in a meeting with Philippine Airlines country manager for Canada, Allan Coo, about the upcoming direct flights on Philippine Airlines to Manila from Toronto.
Philippine Airlines or PAL is the official flag-carrier of the Philippines.
Although there are already many flights from Toronto to Manila and Cebu on other airline carriers, this particular flight has been on the wish list of many regular visitors to the Philippines who use Toronto as their gateway.
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is home to approximately
400,000 200,000 residents with Philippine-connections and/or Filipino roots. They maybe in the GTA either as overseas foreign workers, live in caregivers, immigrants, as children born in Canada or spouses of former/recent Philippine citizen.
That does not include those who are interested in traveling to the Philippines as visitors, dating a Filipina based in the Philippines and others.
Whenever I look at the number of prospective customers that could potentially boost the capacity of Philippine Airlines in Canada, I always wondered why PAL has not done any effort to have a direct flight to/from Toronto.
Through the years that we have been in the travel agency business and marketing mainly to those going to or coming from the Philippines (and Southeast Asia), we saw Korean Air and Cathay Pacific adding more flights to Manila and/or Cebu.
But not Philippines Airlines, which seemed to be stucked with their Vancouver flights.
Today, I feel so glad that finally PAL have realized Toronto’s potential as a market for those visiting the Philippines. It’s been a long time coming.
According to Allan, the target date of the inauguration for the maiden flight is November 30, 2012. As I write this, Allan cannot provide us yet how the fare will be constructed, so we will have to wait a few weeks more to know how they will price the flights.
I will post more updates about this latest information as PAL fill us in in their next announcements.
Welcome to Toronto, Philippine Airlines!
(Sept. 18, 2012)