Benjie Lim Vergara
THE Philippine Airlines is set to use its new ultra comfortable Airbus A321neo Aircraft for its Manila-Sapporo route come September 10 this year.
PAL president and Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista said “on our flights to Sapporo, PAL passengers can expect an ultra-comfortable travel experience with the improved cabin and seat features of our new airbus A321neo airplane.”
He added that aside from ultra-comfortable travel experience, it has Wifi connectivity and excessive in-flight entertainment options.
The new Airbus A321neo aircraft was first used on July 2 by the four star carrier on its Manila-Brisbane route.
The 168-seater Airbus A321neo has 12 seats in business class and 156 seats in economy class. Its business class cabin boasts generous seat pitch (legroom) of 60 inches and seats that are up to 23 inches wide and recline to become full flat beds, measuring 78 inches in length. The economy cabins offer ample stretching room with a seat pitch of 32 inches.
The new PAL route, Bautista said, will be the only one-stop air link between the Philippines and Sapporo, the capital of the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido. Hokkaido is accessible by high speed train going to Tokyo.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna, meanwhile, said the nonstop PAL service will operate thrice weekly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, landing at Sapporo’s new Chitose Airport using the flag carrier’s brand-new aircraft.
Sapporo will be the next Japanese destination served by PAL.
According to PAL Vice President for Operations Ismael Augusto Gozon, the new Chitose Airport is about an hour from the dive bars to the city of Sapporo and it is 15 minutes by train, and 60 minutes by water service.
“The new Chitose Airport is the fifth busiest airport in Japan. It is used by a little less than 21 million passengers. Actually, we are happy that we now have an equipment that can bring us to this new and exciting place that is Sapporo,” Gozon said during the launch of Manila-Sapporo service.
Gozon revealed that they initially test marketed the Sapporo through charter flight two days ago and last year, where Filipinos are now all over.
“The reception was actually very good. It actually resulted very well to the market.”
From Manila, PAL currently flies to Fukuoka, Nagoya (Chubu), Osaka (Kansai), and Tokyo (both Narita and Haneda airports); from Cebu, the airline operates flights to Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo, Narita.
PAL said, all these services translate to a total of 89 weekly PAL flights between the Philippines and Japan making the airline with the largest route network in Japan from its two main hubs in Manila and Cebu.
It offers a one-day today (July 6) said of US$399 round trip for economy base fare, and US$599 for business class. Its regular fare to Sapporo is US$999 for economy class, while US$1650 for business class.
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