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December 4, 2014

Philippine Airlines Returns to New York

By Neharika Padala

philippines-airlinesWith light rain falling, cold gusts yanking umbrellas, and a murky grey overcast stalled above Manhattan, New Yorkers inevitably dreamt of clear, blue skies and gentle tropical breezes.

As if to remind New Yorkers of greener pastures—and a way to get there—a delegation of Philippine Airlines and Philippine Department of Tourism officials brought a bit of their native warmth to the Roosevelt Hotel on Wednesday for an announcement that Philippine Airlines will in March of 2015 re-assume direct service from New York (JFK) to Manila (MNL) for the first time since 1997.

In expanding its service options on the Eastern seaboard, Philippine Airlines, Asia’s first and oldest commercial airline and an early pioneer in flat-body seating, is providing elite travelers with a comfortable and stylish way to access the Southeast Asian country’s impressive economic growth or enjoy the nation’s much-lauded luxury travel opportunities. Just last year, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and Huffington Post UK all named the Philippine island of Palawan “The Best Island in the World,” and with more than 7,000 islands and 36,289 kilometers of coastline to choose from, the Philippines is quickly becoming one of the world’s ultimate luxury destinations.

Eric Pechstein, Regional Director for Philippine Airlines, a 30-year airline industry veteran who worked with Lufthansa, American Airlines, Delta, US Airways, and Qatar Airways before making his way to the Southeast Asian airline, remarked to gathered travel executives and agents that in his thirty years of experience in the airline industry, he’s never experienced such a caring and friendly flight staff.

Business class options on JFK-MNL flights include 36 full-flat beds, Wi-Fi, vast entertainment options, and meticulously curated meals, with options to dine on traditional Philippine dishes, Asian specialties, or traditional Western cuisine. The Mabuhay miles frequent flyer program offers a roundtrip ticket from New York to Manila for every 15,000 miles flown. On the return trip from Manila, PAL’s premier hub, travelers will have access to the brand new Mabuhay Lounge, including a dining area, bar, and workspace.

In the city of Cebu, one of PAL’s two major domestic hubs, an international convention center has a capacity for 3,000 to 6,000 delegates.

In addition to New York service, PAL also flies to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Honolulu. PAL will offer four flights per week from JFK to MNL.

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