Philippine Airlines is the oldest national airline of Philippines, with headquarters located at Pasay city. Its major hubs are Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu City. The airlines offers air travel to 19 domestic destinations, covering major cities of Philippine and 24 foreign destinations. Philippine Airlines is the only airline in the Philippines to be accredited with the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit), by the International Air Transport Association. It has also been rated as a 3-star airline, by Skytrax.
Founded on 26th February 1921, Philippine Airlines is the oldest airline in the country. It was established by a group of businessmen, headed by one of the most celebrated entrepreneur of Philippines, at that time, Andres Soriano. Andres also became the general manager of Philippines Airlines, at the time of its creation. The air service was presided over by its chairman Ramon Fernandez, a former senator. On July 22, it acquired the franchise of the Philippine Aerial Taxi Company. The same year, in September, Philippine Government invested in the airlines, which paved the way for its nationalization.
The services of Philippine Airlines came to a standstill between 1941 and 1945, following the disturbances due to the Second World War. With the end of the war, it resumed services in 1946 and went to make great growth. The airline became the first in Asia to cross the Pacific Ocean, carrying 40 Americans to Oakland, California; while halting at Guam, Wake Island, Johnston Atoll and Honolulu. A regular service connecting Manila to Honolulu also commenced the same year. At the same time, the airlines also got the honor of being designated as the flag carrier of the country.
Among the19 domestic destinations Philippines airlines caters to, the notable ones are Laoag, Legazpi, Manila, Butuan, Cotabato City, Ozamiz, Zamboanga, Puerto Princesa, Dipolog, Bacolod, Cebu, Tcloban and Roxas City. It also serves 24 foreign destinations, in 12 countries. This includes China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in East Asia and Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam in the South-East Asia. The airline conducts flight operations in Canada, U.S, Australia and Guam as well. This is apart from the cities only served by Air Philippines and PAL Express. The airline has also announced plans to resume its air service to India.
Philippine Airlines consists of a fleet of 47 aircrafts, which include Airbus A319-100, Airbus A320-200, Airbus A330-300, Airbus A340-300, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 747-400M, Boeing 777-300ER, Bombardier Dash 8 300 and Bombardier Dash 8 400. Apart from that, it has also placed orders for 6 new airplanes. The Boeing 737-300 owned by PAL is currently leased by subsidiary, Air Philippines.
Financial Setback & Revival
As a marketing tactic, Philippine Airlines branded itself as Asia’s sunniest airline. It started service to New York and began re-fleeting itself, which left it in financial lurch. The Asian financial crisis loomed over the airline industry and sealed the fate of Philippine Airline as well, which recorded its greatest annual loss ever. This was followed by labor strikes and disputes, which further damaged the company. As the situation aggravated, the airlines operations were completely shut down in September 1998. However, the issue was sorted out and the airlines resumed its domestic and international services in October. It also returned to profit- making by 2001