Philippine Airlines plans to begin flights this year to secondary cities in China, which may include Nanning, Haikou, Hangzhou and Chengdu, where tourists rent planes to go to the island resorts of Boracay, Palawan and Cebu, President Jaime Bautista said in an interview Tuesday. The airline, owned by billionaire Lucio Tan, also intends to boost the frequency of its Manila-Shanghai route.
Bautista said the company’s purchase of Airbus A321neos has enabled the expanded plan for China, as smaller and more efficient planes allow the airline to cover more destinations without sacrificing capacity.
Chinese tourists who now want to visit the islands must fly from a major city like Beijing or Shanghai to Clark or Manila, and then take another plane to the resorts. Philippine Airlines will increase the frequency of its Manila-Shanghai flights to 10 times a week from daily starting July 27.
China is the fastest-growing travel market for the Philippines. The national carrier flew about 700,000 passengers from the mainland in 2017, and expects an increase of about 50% this year, Sales Vice President Ryan Uy said in an email.
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