Philippine Airlines will fly to Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in 2013

Asian’s first airline, Philippine Airlines (PAL), will be flying to the other side of the world, the Middle East and Europe, sometime mid next year. There have already been plans for Philippine Airlines to return to routes to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for the past couple of years already.

Philippine Airlines plans on flying to Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam all from Manila by May 2013. They have already petitioned for 21 flights to Saudi Arabia to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) who regulates economic aspect of air transportation in the Philippines. So that’s roughly about 7 flights a week to three different destinations in Saudi Arabia.

Philippine Airlines Logo

Furthermore, Philippine Airlines now has plans in flying to Kuwait as it has recently requested 8 flights to the Middle Eastern state.

In August and October of this year, Philippine Airlines went on a spending spree and purchased 22 Airbus A330s and three dozen Airbus A321s. I believe the Airbus A330s will be used for the Middle Eastern routes to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait as the maximum range of these aircrafts are 10,000KM (the distance from Manila to Riyadh is 7,800KM).

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Photo Credit: Flickr

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – Photo Credit: Flickr

Therefore, Overseas Filipinos (OFWs) and migrants working in the Middle East can easily fly with Philippine Airlines and connect to other cities and provinces in the Philippines. Additionally, I presume the fares will be a lot cheaper compared to competitors as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, all of which are all 4 and 5 star airlines (based from SkyTrax).

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Photo Credit: Flickr

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – Photo Credit: Flickr

On another note, the recent request from Philippine Airlines to fly to Turkey came as a surprise to me. Philippine Airlines has been eyeing the skies of Europe for some time now, however, haven’t been granted due to safety concerns stated from the European Union air transportation body. Interestingly enough, Turkey is yet to be a member of the European Union even though it sits on the European continent.

Istanbul, Turkey - Photo Credit: Flickr

Istanbul, Turkey – Photo Credit: Flickr

Philippine Airlines has announced that they have intentions of flying to two major airports in Turkey – Istanbul’s Atatürk International Airport and Ankara’s Esenboğa International Airport with three weekly flights. The flag carrier will probably be utilizing two of their new Boeing 777-300ERs being delivered early next year as the route between Manila and Istanbul is roughly about 9,100Km. The Airbus A330s can certainly fly that distance, however, will just barely make it to the destination. That’s a risk an airline shouldn’t take.

Kuwait City, Kuwait - Photo Credit: Flickr

Kuwait City, Kuwait – Photo Credit: Flickr

So how much will it cost to travel all the way from the Philippines to the Middle East and Turkey? Here are my expected roundtrip fares including surcharges and taxes based on today’s economic situation (December 2012):

Destination Estimated Fare RT (including taxes and surcharges) ($USD)
Riyadh ~ $960
Kuwait ~ $990
Istanbul ~ $1,300

Note: These are just my personal expected round-trip fares to the above destinations based on other competitor airlines, distance and frequency.

I’ll definitely keep my eye open next year with Philippine Airlines. They seem to be aggressive with their strategies for the next few years ahead. It would be indeed a milestone for Philippine Airlines to fly to Turkey. This will be a great stepping stone to other European destinations as it’s only a few hours by flight to major European destinations such as Rome, London, Paris and Amsterdam. We’ll just have to wait and see. I hope these new routes will be given the go ahead and be materialized.

  • Myk and Reese

    source of this news? link please

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  • teejay

    that is a good new! is that your summation of fares are round trip or just one way?

    • Jose Francisco Farrugia

      It’s just an estimated amount which I calculated by comparing to other airline fares.

  • teejay

    the truth is middle east airlines, etihad airways, emirates, qatar airways and gulf air are less expensive compared on our resuming flag carrier PAL. In a good way, it brings more opportunity in our kababayan’s to have their new job. by the way, is that direct route or it has stop over its either jeddah-riyadh-manila or jeddah-dammam-manila.

    • Jose Francisco Farrugia

      If I am not mistaken, it’s a direct route. I am hoping the fare with PAL will be slightly cheaper compared to the Middle Eastern Airlines especially when the service on board Ethida, Emirates, Qatar and Gulf Air are far superior compared to PAL’s.

  • teejay

    I think it has a stop over in Dubai too.Qatar and Singapore is the expensive airlines that bound to manila from Saudi Arabia but in terms of service and foods are both nice and fantastic. That’s great if it it’s a direct route cause almost 9 hours duration in flight is such a long. What would be the tentative dates for the PAL resuming on flights in the middle east?

    • Jose Francisco Farrugia

      I believe they plan on flying this Summer 2013. Perhaps April and May? They also plan on flying to Kuwait too.

  • Nico Isaias Rivera

    Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey, it’s Ankara. Same like what other people think of Sydney being the capital of Kangaroo Land instead of Canberra.

    • Jose Francisco Farrugia

      Hi Nico. Yeah, I am fully aware of that. Did I mention that in my video?

      • Nico Isaias Rivera

        Yup. on 2:36. I think you’re just confused. Anyways, more power to you.

        • Jose Francisco Farrugia

          Whoops. Pardon for the mistake ;)