PAL to start nonstop Cebu-LA flights in March 2016 (Philippines Daily Inquirer)

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines will launch direct flights between Cebu and Los Angeles, USA, on March 15 next year, a move that increases connectivity while helping ease congestion in Metro Manila.

The announcement was made months after PAL revived flights between Manila and New York as it sought to expand in the US. The expansion started after the US Federal Aviation Administration in 2014 restored the Philippines’ Category 1 safety rating after a downgrade six years before.

Our customers in Visayas and Mindanao have long clamored for direct flights between Cebu and the US due to the travel convenience this will bring, PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime J. Bautista said in a statement.

One can simply take a short hop to Cebu from any point in the Visayas and Mindanao and connect to Los Angeles, instead of flying all the way to Manila, he added. Foreign tourists and our kababayans in the United States will benefit from the flexibility of choice in terms of flights to and from the Philippines.

PAL said the new service would start on its 75th founding anniversary. The thrice-weekly service will use the 254-seater bi-class Airbus A340 with 36 lie-flat seats on business class and 218 seats on regular economy.

The flag carrier operates 35 weekly flights to mainland US and two US territories combined.

From Manila, PAL operates 11 weekly flights to Los Angeles, 10 weekly flights to San Francisco and four weekly flights to New York. PAL has five weekly flights each to Guam and Honolulu. The new US service from Cebu will bring to 38 the total number of frequencies to the US per week.