PAL reopens China routes starting with Shanghai

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PAL reopens China routes starting with Shanghai
  • Philippine Airlines has begun relaunching its top routes to China, starting with direct flights to Shanghai on February 14, to be followed by direct flights to Beijing on February 21
  • The resumption of passenger flights from Manila to Shanghai’s Pudong Airport and Beijing’s Capital Airport comes nearly three years after a halt to most services due to COVID-related border restrictions
  • PAL hopes relaunching the flights to Beijing and Shanghai will help fuel a rebound in tourist and business travel

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is relaunching its top routes to China with the opening of direct flights to Shanghai on February 14 and to Beijing on February 21.

The resumption of passenger flights linking Manila with Shanghai’s Pudong Airport and Beijing’s Capital Airport comes almost three years after most services were paused due to pandemic-related border restrictions, the flag carrier said in a statement.

China was the second-largest source of tourists to the Philippines with 1.74 million Chinese residents visiting in 2019, PAL noted.

“We are forging ahead with the restoration of PAL’s Greater China flight network, an investment that will strengthen our connections to the economic hubs in the mainland and help boost bilateral relations between the Filipino and Chinese people,” said PAL president and chief operations officer Stanley K. Ng.

“We hope that our relaunch of flights to Beijing and Shanghai will help fuel a rebound in tourist and business travel. Our goal is to once again operate the largest network of flights on multiple routes between mainland China and the Philippines.”

Shanghai and Beijing join Xiamen and Guangzhou on the roster of PAL’s Chinese destinations.

PAL is increasing its Manila-Xiamen-Manila flights from once weekly to three times weekly starting February 25; and its Manila-Guangzhou-Manila flights from once to twice weekly starting February 16, and progressively increasing to daily flights starting on March 26.

Quanzhou (Jinjiang) and Macau are next in line for flight resumption in March 2023.

Effective February 14, PAL’s Manila-Shanghai (Pudong)-Manila service will operate initially with three flights per week, then increase to daily flights from March 26. PAL’s Manila-Beijing (Capital)-Manila service, meanwhile, will start from February 21.

PAL will also offer flights to Jinjiang on March 19, 22 and 24, then increase the frequency to daily flights from March 26.

The flag carrier will also restore its twice-weekly regular flights between Manila and Macau from March 26.

PAL will increase its Manila-Xiamen-Manila services to twice weekly effective from February 14, with a third weekly frequency starting on February 25.

A major ramp-up of services between Manila and Guangzhou will see PAL flights increasing to twice weekly on February 16, then progressively adding frequencies to reach a full daily service by March 26.

PAL said it is working closely with Chinese and Philippine health and aviation authorities to ensure the highest level of health safety protection for travelers.

Before the pandemic, PAL served the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Quanzhou (Jinjiang) and Xiamen for a total of 34 weekly flights.

From March 2020 up to the present, PAL operated regular and ad hoc all-cargo and charter flights to mainland China, including passenger charters to Tianjin and Wuhan, as well as special vaccine transport flights.