PAL launches flight to Saipan
Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - June 15, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino travelers now have a direct link to Saipan as Philippine Airlines (PAL) opens the route beginning June 15.

Saipan, a US territory in the Western Pacific and one of the largest islands in Northern Marianas, is a 23-kilometer long island that is ideal for nature and adventure lovers with its sandy shores, mountainous landscapes, golf courses and World War II battlefields.

Its western and southern coasts have reef-lined beaches that are popular for diving and snorkeling, while its rugged eastern and northern reaches provide trekking opportunities.

 “Over the past decades, our kababayan (countrymen) have to take other routes to Manila via Guam. With this new offering, they now have a direct link to our home country. The high passenger count is proof that this new flight is keenly awaited. We look forward to giving them inflight service that shows the heart of a Filipino,” said PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista in a statement.

Convenient forward connections

Filipinos make up 35.8 percent of Saipan’s total population of 44,220.

 “The new service will also allow Filipinos, Saipan residents and other foreign nationals living in Saipan to fly directly to Manila to seek medical treatment. The early morning arrival in Manila also allows convenient forward connections to Asian countries like China, Thailand and Singapore,” said David Lim, PAL SVP for commercial group.

The twice-weekly SPN-MNL service departs Saipan every Thursday and Monday at 4:35 a.m. local time and arrives in Manila at 6:45 a.m.

PAL flight leaves Manila every Wednesday and Sunday at 9:20 p.m. and touches down in Saipan at 3:35 a.m. local time the following day.

The Airbus A320 aircraft, with 12 business and 144 economy seats, will be utilized for the 4-hour flight.

Saipan is PAL’s 43rd destination in its international network, which includes countries in Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, the United States and Europe.

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