Philippine Airlines to stop Riyadh, Kuala Lumpur flights


MANILA (XFNews) - Philippine Airlines (PAL) will stop flying to unprofitable routes like Riyadh and Kuala Lumpur this quarter, and instead increase flights to the United States, its president Jaime Bautista said.

The flag carrier also plans to revive flights to India.

Bautista said PAL will cease serving its last Middle East route in March because of intense competition with Middle East carriers.

Meanwhile, passenger volume to Kuala Lumpur, where PAL flies three times weekly, had fallen with the entry of Malaysia's low-cost carrier Air Asia. PAL will stop servicing that route on Feb 15.

"We were trying to maintain Riyadh to give our overseas Filipino workers the seats but since the Middle Eastern carriers have been serving the route well, then we can suspend operations," Bautista said.

The US route remains the most profitable overseas destination for PAL, and the carrier plans to beef up its flights to either San Francisco or Los Angeles, said Bautista.

He said the Airbus 340 used in Riyadh flights may be utilized to increase its frequencies to the US. Launching flights between Cebu and Los Angeles is also under study.

PAL may start flying to Mumbai this year or early 2007, Bautista said. It used to service that route until 1954.

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