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4月3日のまにら新聞から

PAL to revive Cebu-Osaka flight midyear

[ 440 words|2024.4.3|英字 (English) ]

By Robina Asido

The Philippine Air Lines (PAL) is set to revive its Cebu to Osaka flight in the middle of this year.

In a media press conference in Manila on Tuesday, Christoph Gaertner, PAL's Vice President for Network Planning said the airline is looking at launching the Cebu-Osaka flight "this summer".

"It goes along with our overall commitment to not only just expand our network from Manila but also Cebu. So that is something that we'll plan on flying from beginning of July," he said.

"We started with Tokyo and now we are sort of getting our feet wet again with Cebu-Osaka... we're confident that it's not going to be a daily service as it was prior to the pandemic, for now we started with weekly services but what we hope to increase capacity over time," he added.

Gaertner said compared to Manila markets where more Filipinos are travelling to Japan "for leisure purposes and for corporate" in Cebu most are inbound markets where more Japanese are coming to the province for leisure.

"We always had a lot of Japanese coming to Cebu for leisure for English as a second language, diving and all sorts of things that people do in Cebu," he said.

However, Gaertner noted that "since the pandemic the Japanese travel behavior hasn't really come back the way it was prior to the pandemic."

"That's why we've been struggling with our Japan to Cebu route. I wouldn't say struggle but that's why we still don't have the same capacity as we had in the pre- pandemic," he said.

He also noted some of the challenges that they were facing in reviving the flights to Japan which includes the devaluation of yen and the shortage of manpower in the Land of the Rising Sun.

"Japanese don't yet travel as much as they used to pre-pandemic. The second challenge is that the Japanese yen, the currency, has devaluated quite a lot versus the dollar compared to pre-pandemic, so for Japanese tourists, it's much more expensive to travel abroad. And then the third thing is we do see and it's a problem that we see most of our Japanese airports as we see a shortage in manpower," Gaertner said.

"It's an industry wide problem that manpower in Japan is very constrained to a point that even if we wanted to fly somewhere we would want to use bigger aircraft. We are being told no because there's no because there is no manpower to support these flights," he added.

Gaertner said as of now majority of their network to Japan has been reinstated except from Cebu-Osaka, Cebu-Nagoya and Manila-Sapporo. Robina Asido/DMS