PAL Express extends network, introduces new promo

MANILA, Philippines (Jul. 10, 2008)-- PAL Express undergoes its second major expansion in a fortnight when it begins flying to five provincial points from its secondary hub of Manila next week.

The low-fares, turbo-propeller unit of Philippine Airlines will start daily service to San Jose (Occidental Mindoro); Virac (Catanduanes); and Surigao City (Surigao del Norte) on July 15.

Calbayog (Samar) follows on July 17 with four flights weekly, and then Catarman, (Northern Samar) on August 1 with three flights weekly.

The 76 -seater Bombardier Q400 turbo-prop aircraft will be deployed on four of the new routes except for San Jose, which will be served by the slightly smaller, 50-seater Bombardier Q300.

The current "Buy 1, Take 1" promo fare to all jet and turbo-prop domestic services of PAL will also apply on them. Promo sale, however, is extended until July 21 for these new points from the original deadline on July 15 for others.

The promo offers passengers a free one-way ticket for every one-way ticket bought, with all fees and surcharges waived. The complimentary ticket can be used for the return journey or for another one-way flight. Travel is valid between July 15 and October 15, 2008.

The addition of the five points to PAL Express' Manila-hub network follows on the heels of a similar expansion on July 1, when five routes were launched from the unit's main hub at Mactan International Airport in Cebu.

These were the services between Cebu and Cagayan de Oro, Cebu and Ozamiz, Cebu and Dipolog, Cebu and Zamboanga, and Zamboanga and Davao.

In all, the 10 new routes being added from July 1 to August 1 represent a more-than-doubling of PAL Express' network in the space of one month. The low-fares brand took off May 5 with a service between Manila and Boracay (Caticlan).

Two weeks later, on May 19, its centerpiece Cebu hub opened with flights to Boracay, Bacolod, Butuan, General Santos, Tacloban and Puerto Princesa. Busuanga was added to the Manila hub the same day, for a total of eight PAL Express routes prior to July 1.

PAL is no stranger to the latest island points, which are among the flag carrier's pioneer provincial destinations and are now rejoining the network after a decade's absence.

PAL first operated turbo-prop service to San Jose in 1947, Virac in 1949, Surigao in 1956, and Calbayog and Catarman in 1958. Flights were suspended in 1998 when PAL's rehabilitation plan obligated the airline to focus only on major trunk-line routes. (inquirer.net)

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