Last updated: 05:30 PM ET, Tue March 17 2015

Philippines Airlines Resumes Flights To New York

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | March 17, 2015

Philippines Airlines Resumes Flights To New York

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

After an 18-year absence of flying the Manila-to-New York route, Philippines Airlines on Sunday flew into John F. Kennedy International Airport to mark the first of its four-times-a-week flights into New York City.

Flying time from Manila is 16½ hours, including a two-hour layover in Vancouver.

According to, about half a million ethnic Filipinos reside on the East Coast – including a quarter-million in the New York City metropolitan area alone – making it a natural destination for PAL. Most of the other 3.4 million Filipino population live on the west coast.

So why the long absence from what many consider to be a no-brainer market? Well, Philippines Airlines voluntarily removed itself from the Manila-NYC route in the 1990s, while still maintaining flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu and Guam.

But when it tried to get back the New York flights, the Federal Aviation Administration had already downgraded the PAL’s safety ranking to a “category 2” status, and therefore could not approve any new routes from Manila to U.S. destinations.

The “category 2” designation is a safety standard rating. It means the country's aviation oversight did not meet standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). However, the Philippines scored a “category 1” ranking last year from the FAA and was able to resume flights to New York.

Round trips begin at $1,225 per person.

In announcing the New York service, PAL Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lucio C. Tan said, “This auspicious start of regular flights to New York will coincide with PAL’s 74th founding anniversary.”

Daily service between Manila and Vancouver will increase to 11 flights weekly in order to give travelers continuing on to New York more options on the connecting flight.

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