Philippine Airlines is the flag carrier and one of the two largest airlines in the Philippines. They operate a large fleet of modern Airbus aircraft as well as a small number of Boeing aircraft from their hubs in Manila and Cebu. The airline is the oldest in Asia and was once as dominant as carriers like Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific, but took a big hit during the Asian Financial Crisis and was forced to cut back on a lot of routes and staff, yet still remained in business. Today the airline is gradually rebuilding its former self with many new aircraft on order and destinations being added (such as Manila to Auckland via Cairns). The airline was awarded ‘Airline Turnaround of the Year’ in 2006 and 2007 by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.
Name: Philippine Airlines
Hubs: Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Rewards Program: Mabuhay Miles
NZ Routes: Auckland to Manila via Cairns
Partners: PAL Express, their domestic subsidiary
Classes of Travel: Business and Economy, also known as Mabuhay and Fiesta.
Meals: All meals and drinks (including alcohol) are included. Special meals available.
Entertainment: Movies, TV shows and music included with personal seatback screens in Business class only. Economy class has overhead screens showing movies.
Luggage Allowance: One piece of checked luggage up to 30 kilograms and one piece of carry on up to 7 kilograms included on all Economy fares. Increased allowances apply for higher classes (see below).
Seat Selection: Your House of Travel consultant can assign seats on most flights for no extra charge.
Connectivity: Not available.
*Please note all the above info is for flights to and from New Zealand on their A320 aircraft only.
- Being such an old airline, Philippine claims a number of firsts including being the first Asian airline to fly across the Pacific and the first Asian airline to fly to Europe.
- Philippine is one of the first airlines to offer WiFi aboard its aircraft (certain aircraft only, not yet available on flights to New Zealand).
New Zealand: Auckland to Manila via Cairns.
Manila: To most major Southeast Asian cities.
Business Class: In Business Class you’ll receive larger seats, personal seat back screens with movies, TV shows and music, an amenity kit with Clarins products and a power outlet/USB dock. Checked luggage allowance is one piece at 40 kilograms, cabin is two pieces at 7 kilograms each.
Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport: Easily the largest airport in the Philippines, Ninoy Aquino handles over 30 million people annually. The airport has three terminals, but most Kiwi’s will only encounter Terminal 2 which is used exclusively by Philippine Airlines. Although it’s not particularly old, the terminal has definitely dated and unfortunately is not the best experience. Common complaints include ineffective air conditioning and long queues, as well as too few toilets, so yes, go to the toilet before you leave! We definitely recommend having extra time up your sleeve when checking in and transferring. Terminals 1 and 3 are better, but only just. Terminal 1 hosts the majority of foreign airlines and international flights, while Terminal 3 is mainly utilised by Cebu Pacific, Philippines’ second largest airline. Although construction on a link has started, the terminals are not currently connected and it can take up to 45 minutes to transfer thanks to shuttles having to drive around the perimeter of the airport in Manila’s notoriously bad traffic. The shuttles are free. The airport has a small selection of cafes and duty free stores.