Philippine Airlines (PAL) has started the year by expanding its network in the Middle East with the inauguration of its two latest destinations in the region.
PAL on January 17 launched Manila-Kuwait flights with a frequency of four times a week, and introduced on January 19 its twice-weekly service of Manila-Jeddah, Saudi Arabia flights. The new services add to the airline’s existing operations in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dammam, Dubai, and Riyadh.
“Opening up new routes to and from the Middle East such as Kuwait and Jeddah enables us to serve the flight needs of our ‘kababayan’ who work overseas,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said in the statement.
“Our flights aim to provide our Filipino compatriots, as well as leisure and business travelers, the distinct Philippine Airlines brand of service,” Bautista added.
The flag carrier said it has a captive market in the two destinations, given the large number of Filipino workers in these places, with 190,000 Filipinos in Kuwait and another 300,000 in Jeddah.
Moreover, PAL said its passenger load factor on its newest routes reflect “high numbers.”
Bautista said “Jeddah serves as a gateway for pilgrimages to the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina,” and “pilgrims may now choose PAL for their travels in observance of the Umrah and Hajj.”
PAL is utilizing its new A330-300 for the new routes.
Flight R668 departs Manila every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday and arrives in Kuwait the following day. PR669 departs Kuwait local time every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, arriving in Manila the following day.
Meanwhile, flight PR658 departs Manila every Tuesday and Saturday and arrives in Jeddah the following day, while PR659 leaves Jeddah local time every Wednesday and Sunday and lands in Manila the next day.