By Benajmin Lim Vergara
LEGACY carrier Philippine Airlines has earned another distinction by winning a four star Major Regional Airline 2019 rating award during the Airline Passenger Experience Association exposition in Boston, Massachusetts last Monday.
The new international award was certified by APEX, a globally renowned New York-based non-profit airline customer association.
PAL said the award, which was given during a special ceremony, is the latest in a string of international victories notched by the Filipino flag carrier.
In February 2018, PAL received the Four-Star Global Airline certification from London-based Skytrax and a “2nd Most Improved Airline in the World” ranking from the annual Skytrax passenger survey released in June 2018.
The APEX award, PAL said, is the result of a fully “Certified, Validated, Verified” rating program based on passenger feedback on PAL’s over-all flight experience in five sub-categories: seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity.
PAL President and COO Jaime J. Bautista dedicated the honor to the Filipino people and to PAL’s loyal customers, as he accepted the award on behalf of the flag carrier during the APEX awards ceremony in Boston.
“We are truly humbled by this latest vote of confidence from our valued customers,” Bautista said, adding that “this new Four-Star APEX award is another victory for the Philippine Airlines team of dedicated professionals, coming after the 4-Star global rating certified by Skytrax earlier this year.”
The over-all ratings were certified by an external audit firm hired by APEX. The association processed verified itineraries that were validated by geo-location from over 50 million verified airline generated itineraries.
More than 500,000 flights by passengers from around the world were rated throughput the year ending on 31 July 2018, according to PAL.
The award will spur the airline to step up its service enhancement program as PAL introduces new aircraft, routes and product innovations, the airline added.
PAL has begun deploying the sophisticated Airbus A350-900 and Airbus A321neo aircraft on key international routes.
The A350 now operates the nonstop Manila-London route and will inaugurate Manila-New York nonstop flights by October 29, 2018, marking another milestone (the longest commercial flight ever operated by a Philippine carrier).
The A321neo now serves Brisbane, Sydney and Port Moresby, and will also fly the much-awaited Manila-Sapporo (Japan) route that opens on October 8th.
This new accolade comes with a fresh challenge: We should never rest on our latest laurels but must always remain focused on our primary role to provide a pleasant and comfortable travel experience for all our passengers, in the air and on the ground. Thus this latest award as 4-Star major regional airline will inspire us to keep getting better and achieve more until we attain the coveted 5-star status as a prime player in global aviation,” Bautista said.