Philippine Airlines To Launch Nonstop Western Australia Link

Almost 10 years after last serving Perth, the carrier will return to the Australian city from next March.

Credit: Michael Lindner/Airbus

Philippine Airlines will launch flights to a fourth destination in Australia at the start of the northern summer 2023 season as it continues to rebuild its international network.

Perth (PER) will join Brisbane (BNE), Melbourne (MEL) and Sydney (SYD) in the carrier’s schedule from March 27, becoming the first point in Western Australia to be served by the airline.

The nonstop route from Manila (MNL) will operate three times per week on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays using new-generation Airbus A321LR. The flight time will be approximately seven hours.

Philippine Airlines first unveiled plans to enter the market in 2019, with a start date intended for March 2020. However, the onset of the pandemic forced the launch to be shelved.

Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that the carrier offers daily service from Manila to Brisbane and Sydney at the present time, as well as six flights per week between the Philippine capital and Melbourne. Daily service on the latter route will be restored from Dec. 12.

In total, about 11,000 two-way weekly seats between the Philippines and Australia are on offer by the airline—around 16% higher than at this time in 2019. The addition of the Perth route will add a further 1,008 weekly seats to the market.

Philippine Airlines last served Perth almost a decade ago, operating a one-stop service from Manila via Darwin (DRW), the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory. The 4X-weekly route launched in June 2013 but was axed just three months later.

More On Perth

Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown said the Manila-Perth route would inject more than 52,000 seats into the market each year. He expects to attract two-way leisure traffic on the service, as well as Filipino students choosing to study in Perth.

In addition, VFR traffic will also be a factor. According to Census 2021 data, there are more than 400,000 people with Filipino ancestry in Australia, up by 26% from 2016. In Western Australia, there are almost 50,000 people.

Brown added: “The schedule into Manila will maximise the opportunity to connect to some incredible Philippines destinations, including Cebu and Davao, as well as making the most of Philippine Airlines’ extensive network throughout Asia and beyond to the US.”

According to Sabre Market Intelligence data, O&D traffic between Perth and the Philippines was about 55,000 two-way passengers in 2019. In the absence of nonstop service, about 60% of passengers traveled via Singapore (SIN). Kuala Lumpur (KUL) was the second largest one-stop market, followed by Hong Kong (HKG).

Since Australia’s international borders reopened in March 2022, Perth has recovered around 60% of its international traffic. Speaking to Routes in October, Brown said that securing direct connections to the Philippines, India and Vietnam were among the airport’s top priorities.