UNITED Airlines will be flying a daily service from Manila to San Francisco starting Oct. 30 eastbound, the US carrier said on Wednesday.
Although still subject to government approval, the new flight will be United Airlines’ first trans-Pacific service from Manila since it started its Manila operation in 1982.
“We are excited to launch the new nonstop service from Manila to San Francisco to meet strong requests from our customers on both sides of the Pacific,” said Wally Dias, regional director of sales for Greater China, Korea, and Southeast Asia.
“We have more than 40 years of a long and rich history in the Manila market and the launch of our first trans-Pacific service truly shows our continued strong commitment to the Philippine market,” he added.
Mr. Dias said the new nonstop flight will not only give customers from Manila daily service to San Francisco but also open more than 70 destinations in the mainland US, Canada, and Latin America through the airline’s San Francisco hub.
San Francisco International Airport is United Airlines’ largest airport on the US west coast, which also serves as a gateway to Asia-Pacific.
The airline operates more than 200 daily departures from the San Francisco airport to more than 100 destinations around the globe.
The newly launched flights between Manila and San Francisco are among the Asia-Pacific direct flights the airline will offer this coming winter, which are flights to Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand; Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney in Australia; Haneda, Narita, and Osaka in Japan; Seoul in South Korea; as well as Papeete, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Taipei.
Before the newly launched service, the airline has been operating nonstop service to Guam and Palau from Manila.
Meanwhile, the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said on Wednesday that it “welcomes additional competition” on the routes, calling it “a sign of the strength and vitality of the air travel market between the Philippines and the United States.”
“PAL has always embraced healthy competition among different players across our network,” it said in a statement.
PAL said it operates 37 weekly flights on US routes, including double daily flights to Los Angeles, daily flights each to San Francisco and Guam, and several weekly flights to New York and Honolulu.
The Civil Aviation Board (CAB) also welcomed the entry of United Airlines.
“We are also excited to welcome more American travelers as the present administration opens more avenues for foreign investment and tourism,” CAB said in a statement, adding that the US is home to millions of Filipinos and a “vital partner” in nation-building.
“Once the additional route is operated, travelers will have more options, which is very timely since we are riding a wave of increasing demand post-pandemic. While we all know that airline operations are extremely complex and especially at the birthing of a new route, we are hoping for the success of this route, and stand ready to provide the appropriate regulatory atmosphere,” it added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile