MANILA -- (UPDATE) Philippine Airlines will fly to Phnom Penh, Hanoi and New Delhi starting early this year, taking advantage of growing demand for air travel, its president, Jaime Bautista said Tuesday.
The new flights will position Manila as hub for those traveling from the US to Southeast Asia and South Asia, Bautista told reporters.
The airline will fly from Manila to the Vietnamese capital starting March 31, to the Cambodian capital starting April 1 and to the Indian capital non-stop in the second week of April, Bautista said.
"In opening this new routes Philippine Airlines is making a strategic decision to go beyond our traditional service of point to point market," Bautista said.
A direct flight to India, an emerging economic power will "improve the Philippines' connectivity with the global economy," he said.
The flag carrier recently took deliver of Airbus A350 and 321neo jets as it narrowed its losses in the third quarter of 2018. It also secured a a 4 star rating from industry group Skytrax the first for a Filipino carrier.
The airline also revamped its business class offering, tapping pioneer caterer Glenda Barretto fo Via Mare and chefs Jessie Sincioco, Fernando Aracama, Myrna Segismundo and Miko Aspiras.
PAL is urging the government to "fast track" the development of Sangley Airport to cater to smaller airplanes and is supportive of the broader push to develop the country's airports, Bautista said.
"We welcome new airports. We support the government in these projects. All these developments, we think, will really support the requirements of the airline industry," Bautista said.
The airline incurred "additional costs" to comply with requirements of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration, he said.