Philippine Airlines today commenced air services to Perth from Manila via Darwin using Airbus A320 aircraft, with the inaugural service arriving at Terminal 1 early this morning.
The service operates four times per week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings – flight PR219 arrives from Manila via Darwin at 07:50 and departs as PR220 to Darwin and Manila at 08:50. The A320s are configured with 12 business class and 144 economy class seats.
RP-C8612 Airbus A320-214 (cn 3553) of Philippine Airlines operated the first service, landing on runway 03 at 07:52. It had departed Manila at 22:56 on Sunday 2 June 2013, arriving at Darwin at 04:25 (CST) on Monday 3 June, after a flight time of 3 hours 59 minutes. It departed Darwin at 05:45 (CST), and after a flight time of 3 hours 37 minutes, landed at Perth at 07:52 (WST), and parked at Bay 53.
The aircraft pushed back Bay 53 at 08:59 on the return flight PR220, taking off from runway 06 at 09:12. It arrived in Darwin at 14:07 (CST) after a 3h 24m flight, and departed Darwin at 16:12 (CST) to Manila, arriving at 18:29hrs (PHT) after a flight of 3hr 47min.
This aircraft was built in 2008, making its first flight on 25 June 2008 as F-WWIZ, and was delivered to Philippine Airlines on 11 July 2008. It previously had the airline’s 70th anniversary decals on the fuselage, saying “70 Asia’s first, shining through”, but now only the glue marks remain.
The first service was supposed to be operated by the newer and cleaner A320 RP-C8618, but that aircraft went unserviceable and RP-C8612 was substituted.
Philippine Airlines becomes the 18th airline to operate international services from Perth Airport.
The new service provides the quickest route between Perth and the Philippines, with total flight time of around 8 hours 25 minutes, plus one hour on the ground at Darwin.
Perth Airport reported that passengers to and from the Philippines have grown by more than 15% each year for the past five years, and that the Philippines is now the 12th most popular international destination to and from Perth. More than 36,000 Philippine nationals visited Western Australia in 2012. Resorts such as Boracay in the Philippines are becoming popular with Australian tourists, and Philippine Airlines is promoting Western Australia as an attractive tourist and business destination for Filipinos.