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Philippine Airlines launches Saipan flight

Planes at NAIA ©
PAL planes at NAIA ©

THE Philippine Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, will have a direct flight to Saipan beginning on Wednesday, June 15.

In a statement, PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista, said “over the past decades, our kababayans have to take other routes to Manila via Guam. With this new offering, they now have a direct link to our home country. The high passenger count is proof that this new flight is keenly awaited. We look forward to giving them inflight service that shows the heart of a Filipino.”

Bautista said that Filipinos make up 35.8 percent of the total population in Saipan (44,220) or an equivalent of 22,000. 

“The new service will also allow Filipinos, Saipan residents and other foreign nationals living in Saipan to fly directly to Manila to seek medical treatment. The early morning arrival in Manila also allows convenient forward connections to Asian countries like China, Thailand and Singapore,” PAL Senior Vice President-Commercial Group David A. Lim said.

The twice weekly SPN-MNL service departs Saipan every Thursday and Monday at 4:35am local time and arrives in Manila at 6:45am.

PAL flight leaves Manila every Wednesday and Sunday at 9:20pm and touches down in Saipan at 3:35am local time the following day.

The Airbus A320 aircraft (12 business and 144 economy seats) will be utilized for the 4-hour-15-minute flight.

Saipan, a United States territory in the Western Pacific and one of the largest islands in Northern Marianas, is a 23-kilometer long island, ideal for nature adventure lovers with its sandy beaches, an offshore coral reef and limestone covered mountains.

Known for its sandy shores, mountainous landscapes, golf courses and World War II battlefields, Saipan has the reef-lined beaches of its western and southern coasts that are popular for diving and snorkeling, while its rugged eastern and northern reaches provide trekking opportunities.

Saipan is PAL’s 43rd destination in its international network, which includes countries in Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, the United States and Europe.

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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