PAL to add third weekly MNL-Toronto flight in April

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PAL A350. Photo from PAL's website.
  • Philippine Airlines will introduce a third weekly nonstop frequency on its Manila-Toronto route starting April 5, 2024
  • The move results in a 50% capacity increase to meet growing travel demand between the Philippines and the Canadian East Coast
  • Toronto plays a crucial role in PAL’s global network, being Canada’s largest city and home to a significant Filipino community
  • PAL operates the Toronto route with the Airbus A350-900, accommodating 295 passengers across business, premium economy, and economy classes
  • The expanded flight schedule enhances connectivity between Southeast Asia and Canada via Philippine Airlines’ Manila hub

Philippine Airlines (PAL) will introduce a third weekly nonstop frequency on its Manila-Toronto (MNL-YYZ) route starting April 5, 2024.

The move, resulting in a 50% capacity increase, responds to rising travel demand between the Philippines and the Canadian East Coast. This expansion is part of PAL’s long-term investment in enhancing business and tourist travel connections between the two countries.

With three weekly frequencies to choose from between Manila and Toronto, PAL said in a statement that passengers gain added flexibility to structure their travel plans.

The expanded schedule highlights the importance of Toronto in PAL’s global network, as it is Canada’s largest city and home to the biggest Filipino community in Canada, estimated at over 350,000 ethnic Filipinos in Ontario province. Toronto is the gateway to Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and other areas in the Eastern seaboard of Canada.

Currently, PAL is the sole carrier providing nonstop flights between the Philippines and Canada and also serves Vancouver with daily flights from its Manila hub. Other Canadian destinations like Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Calgary are served through PAL’s codeshare partner, WestJet.

PAL operates the Toronto services with the new-generation Airbus A350-900, a long-range jetliner that accommodates 295 passengers across a tri-class layout with 30 passengers in business class, 24 in premium economy, and 241 in economy.

Effective April 5, 2024, the MNL-YYZ-MNL schedule will be as follows:

  • PR118 MNL-YYZ (Wed/Fri/Sun)
  • PR119 YYZ-MNL (Wed/Fri/Sun)

The current twice-weekly service departs every Wednesday and Sunday from both Manila and Toronto. According to PAL, the early morning arrivals in Manila seamlessly connect passengers to its extensive network in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, North Asia, and China.

“Our expansion of flights to Toronto highlights the importance of the Canadian market in the Philippine Airlines network,” PAL chief commercial officer Eric David Anderson said.

Anderson noted that Canada ranks among the top 10 sources of foreign tourists to the Philippines, with over 180,000 Canadians visiting during the first 10 months of 2023. He added that the new frequencies will enhance connectivity between Southeast Asia and Canada via PAL’s Manila hub.

Khalil Lamrabet, chief commercial officer of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, expressed enthusiasm about the increased frequency. Lamrabet noted, “With this additional flight, more passengers will be able to fly directly, reducing their total travel time by more than 25% compared to a connecting itinerary.”

Canada recently included the Philippines in the electronic travel authorization (eTA) program, allowing Philippine passport holders to travel to Canada visa-free provided they hold a valid US visa or have been issued a Canadian tourist visa in the last 10 years. Canada has also opened its borders to more immigrants, workers, and students, witnessing a steady growth of Filipinos in Toronto and Vancouver.