PAL repatriation flights take them to countries outside their network

Talk about "going out of your way to help others." This was what Philippine Airlines (PAL) exactly did and is continuing to do to help bring home stranded Filipinos around the world.

In the middle of the pandemic even when commercial flights from the Philippines were suspended, PAL continued to answer the call of a mission to bring stranded Filipinos back to the Philippines. These special flights did not only land in countries within the PAL flight network, but even outside and farther!

According to PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna, "PAL operated 12 flights from Bridgetown (BGI) Barbados carrying Filipino seafarers of the Royal Carribean Cruise Lines; and a flight from MNL to BGI to ferry foreign seafarers of RCCL. The flag carrier has flown to Male (Maldives), Miami (Florida), Milan (Italy), Algiers (Algeria) and Tunis (Tunisia) to fetch stranded Filipinos who worked as land-based and sea-based OFWs."

The latest repatriation flights outside their regular network include Bombay and Goa (India) as well as to Lahore (Pakistan).

The airline also performed repatriation flights within its network like to the US Mainland (LAX, SFO, NYC), Canada (Toronto, Vancouver), Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney), London, cities in the Middle East and Asia. 

Photo credits: Cielo Villaluna

New milestones

PAL's repatriation missions also brought new milestones both for the airline itself and for Philippine aviation as well. Last May, a PAL Boeing 777-300ER flew non-stop from Manila to Miami, making it the airline's longest non-stop flight. It was also the longest non-stop flight from Manila, the longest non-stop flight to arrive in Miami, and the longest non-stop flight by a Philippine carrier. The flight back however already carried passengers and had to make a technical stopover at Los Angeles before flying back to Manila.

Last June, PAL operated a repatriation flight from Bridgetown, Barbados to Clark International Airport via Vancouver carrying 345 Filipino seafarers from the Royal Caribbean cruise line. This is the first link ever from Barbados to Clark, Pampanga.

PAL SVP Chief Strategy and Planning Officer Commercial Dexter Lee said, "This is PAL's third repatriation mission to and from Barbados, but the first to make a historic landing in Clark. Each journey is a homecoming for our country's modern day heroes. It is a privilege to bring our countrymen home."

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