Philippine Airlines, the Philippines’ flag carrier, will launch long haul flights to New Zealand from December 1 2015, via Australia as part of its expansion plans. This will be a four-in-a-week service and will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Philippine Airlines (PAL) will be using Airbus A320 for operating this new Manila-Cairns-Auckland route. The mid-range aircraft has a capacity of 156 seats.

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PAL President And Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Bautista said the route would boost passenger traffic along three travel streams — Manila and Cairns, Manila and Auckland and Cairns and Auckland.

“The new service allows PAL to cater to the travel needs of business and leisure travellers and showcase its distinct brand of service marked by Filipino warmth, charm and hospitality. With close to 40,000 Filipinos residing in New Zealand, the new service is their convenient link to their home country,” he said.

He added that Philippine Airlines hopes the route would drive traffic between Southeast Asia and New Zealand in the long term.

As per a tentative flight schedule, flights to Cairns will take off from Manila at 11:45 pm (Local Time) and arrive in Australia at 8 am (LT), the following day. There will be one-hour stopover before the flight continues the journey to Auckland. The flight will land in Auckland at 4 pm (LT).

Return flights from New Zealand will leave the same day at 6:30 pm (LT) and arrive at Cairns by 10:30 pm (LT). The flight will make it onward journey to Manila after a brief stopover and reach there at 3:30 am (LT), the next day.

Philippine Airlines recently launched flights to Quangzhou, China and New York.

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