Cheap flight lure to Philippines

Philippine Airlines is offering return fares to Manila from just $520 to launch its first service to Perth, which starts this morning.

The fare is the latest in an expanding price war, with airlines increasing capacity as demand eases. Philippine Airlines, Asia’s oldest carrier, will operate from Perth to Manila via Darwin four times a week using 156-seat Airbus A320 planes.

The new service is part of the carrier’s biggest expansion into Australia, which includes new Darwin and Brisbane flights on top of existing Sydney and Melbourne connections. PAL is the 18th international airline to fly to Perth and will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Last year, 191,150 Australians visited the Philippines, making Australia its sixth biggest tourism market. In the same year, more than 36,000 Filipinos visited Perth.

PAL president Ramon Ang said the new service would allow West Australians to “enjoy Manila’s attractions such as its resorts and historical landmarks before connecting to other international and regional destinations”.

Established in 1941, the carrier is the biggest airline in the Philippines with a fleet of 45 planes, a combination of Airbus and Boeing jets, and boasts a route network covering 32 domestic and 39 international destinations.

The $520 return fare is subject to special terms and conditions. The entry of PAL is expected to lift competition for passengers, particularly in the budget-fare market.

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