Milestones


MILESTONES IN THE HISTORY OF PAL

   

February 1941
Philippine Airlines is founded by a group of businessmen led by Andres Soriano, one of the country's leading industrialists.

 

March 1941 
A month after being incorporated by a group of Filipino businessmen, Philippine Airlines takes to the skies with a twin-engine, five-seater Beech Model 18 aircraft from Nielsen airfield in Makati to Baguio.

 

September 1941 
The Philippine government invests in PAL, paving the way for the airline's nationalization.

 

September 2, 1941 
PAL begins service to Cebu.

 

February 14, 1946 
PAL resumes post-World War II operations with services to 15 domestic points.  The fleet consists of five Douglas DC-3s.

 

July 31, 1946 
PAL becomes first Asian airline to cross the Pacific when it operated a chartered Douglas DC-4 on the first of several flights to ferry home initially 40 US servicemen. Each crossing took 41 hours with fuelling stops at Guam, Wake, Kwajelein and Honolulu.

 

September 5, 1946 
PAL opens services to Hongkong and Shanghai with DC-3s.  FEATI went to the same cities with DC-4s.  Then President Manuel A. Roxas agreed to invest in both airlines for the purchase of new aircraft provided government representatives sat as chairmen of the board.

 

November 14, 1946 
An air treaty between the Philippines and the US was signed. Among other things, the treaty limited the Philippines to one route across the Pacific which PAL was already operating, while American airlines were allowed two in the exchange of air services. It also gave fifth freedom rights to and beyond Manila while the Philippines was allowed only traffic to and from the US. The Philippines had little choice in the matter as it badly needed American aid for rehabilitation.

 

December 1946 
PAL starts regular service between Manila and San Francisco.

 

May 3, 1947 
PAL starts a DC-4 service to Rome and Madrid, thus earning the distinction of being the first airline in Southeast Asia to fly to Europe. Each flight took two days with stops at Calcutta, Karachi and Cairo. By the end of the year, the service was extended to London.

 

May 29, 1948 
PAL begins flying two newly acquired DC6s across the Pacific. The new aircraft enabled PAL to reduce the trans-Pacific crossing to 30 hours from 41 on the DC-4s, by eliminating Kwajelein and making stops only at Guam, Wake and Honolulu.

 

August 6, 1949 
President Elpidio Quirino flies on one of PAL's DC-6s to the US, becoming the first Chief Executive of the Republic to travel by PAL across the Pacific.

 

November 16, 1951 
Service to Taipei starts with the DC-3. The year ended as the most successful so far for PAL, with a profit of P2.8 million.

 

July 4, 1952 
The first Douglas DC-6B is delivered, bringing Ramon Magsaysay, Sr., then secretary of national defense, home from a visit to the US. The aircraft was used to fly President Elpidio Quirino on a visit to Indonesia and inaugurate service to Zurich and Frankfurt in the same month.

 

October 11, 1957 
Paul I. Gunn, PAL's first pilot, dies in a crash of a C-45 airplane, together with five others, in Batangas.

 

August 15, 1959 
PAL extends its popular "Star" service to Davao. The service operated with DC-3s between sunset and sunrise, offered the lowest fares in the world at P 0.10 per seat mile.

 

June 1962 
PAL enters the jet age with the introduction of DC-8 jetliners.

 

November 1, 1965 
PAL extends international service to Singapore with the DC-8.

 

May 4, 1966 
PAL passengers to Cebu, Davao and Bacolod begin savoring jet speed and comfort when the airline introduced BAC One Elevens Series 400 on the routes.

 

September 12, 1966 
President Ferdinand E. Marcos left for the US on a DC-8 on his first state visit since being elected to office in November the previous year.

 

November 1, 1968 
PAL extends international service to Singapore with the DC-8.

 

November 1, 1968 
PAL starts service to Taipei with the DC-8 and to Saigon with the BAC One Eleven.

 

August 1, 1971 
Frankfurt is added to the European route as PAL continues to expand its international services.

 

September 9, 1971 
Australian operations is extended to Melbourne as international services continue to expand.

 

January 1974 
PAL becomes a monopoly in domestic air travel after President Ferdinand Marcos (by virtue of his powers under Martial Law) ordered the foreclosure of two other airlines – Filipinas Orient Airlines (FOA) and Air Manila Inc. (AMI) – due to the fuel crisis arising from a war in the Middle East. PAL was told to absorb the aircraft and staff of FOA and AMI.

 

May 12, 1974 
PAL carries its 25 millionth revenue passenger on an HS-748 flight from Butuan to Cebu.

 

July 1974 
Arrival of PAL's first McDonnell Douglas DC-10 three-engine jet ushers in the era of the wide-body jet.

 

May 30, 1976 
 Antonio Arnaiz, the last of PAL's first three Filipino pilots to stay in the airline, died at 63. He was manager for commercial relations. One of his fellow 1941 pilots, Oscar Ramos, retired in 1972 while Rodolfo Tirona retired as manager of flight control at age 65 on February 1970 and died in April 1973.

 

November 1, 1976 
PAL begins operating the European routes on its own.

 

October 20, 1977
The GSIS acquires 92% of PAL shares from majority PAL owner Benigno Toda, returning ownership and control back to the government. Capital increased from P25 million to P250 million.

 

April 8, 1978 
The last DC-3 was retired after 32 years of service.

 

July 14, 1979 
PAL becomes first airline to be honored by Les Chaines de Rotisseurs, an ancient order of gourmets, with an award for its inflight cuisine.

 

August 1, 1979
A route to Beijing and Canton is introduced with the first of two B727-200s, making PAL the first Asian carrier to fly into China. On the same day, PAL began carrying Filipino contract workers to the Middle East with the introduction of services to Bahrain.

 

January 4, 1980 
The first Boeing 747-200 – dubbed as Jumbo jet – started flying across the Pacific. As PAL's new flagship aircraft, it featured 16 full-flat bunk beds called Skybeds at the upper deck exclusive for First Class passengers.

 

July 3, 1982 
DC-10 service is introduced to Dhahran in a major breakthrough for PAL in the Middle East Filipino labor market.

 

August 7, 1982
Dubai is added to the Middle East route.

 

November 4, 1982 
Paris becomes a stop in the European service.

 

September 2, 1984
PAL introduces twice daily A300 services between Manila and Cebu.

 

November 17, 1985 
Trans-Pacific service is extended to Chicago.

 

September 1, 1986
PAL starts weekly A300 service between Manila and Ho Chi Minh City. On the same month, President Corazon C. Aquino was flown on state visits to the US.

 

May 1, 1987 
PAL's newly-acquired Shorts SD360s – known as Sunrisers, went into service in the Visayas and Mindanao. They were the first new airplanes to be acquired for PAL's domestic fleet since 1970.

 

August 19, 1988 
PAL takes delivery of its first two Fokker 50s.

 

September 24, 1988 
Two Fokker 50s go into service.

 

August 14, 1989 
PAL's first Boeing 737-300 arrived while the second came one week later as the airline continued to modernize its domestic fleet. Both went into service to four cities before the end of the month.

 

September 1, 1989 
A300 is put on regular  service to Davao.

 

September 18, 1992 
PAL is granted by a consortium of 18 local financial institutions a record-setting US$122million financing package for the purchase of 10 new long-range aircraft.

 

July 6, 1993 
PAL's first female pilot, Ma. Aurora "Aimee" Carandang, flew for the first time as a full-fledged captain on a Fokker 50 flight from Manila to Baguio.

 

July 6, 1993 
PAL flew its first million miler on a flight from Manila to Ho Chi Minh. Businessman Friedrich E. W. Jahns had flown exactly 1,155,538 miles with PAL when he was awarded an 18-karat million-miler pin.

 

August 26, 1993 
Jose Antonio Garcia, PAL consultant and former president and COO of Asia Brewery, and Jose P. Magno, GSIS chairman, are elected to the PAL board of directors while Carlos G. Dominguez retained the chairmanship and presidency of the airline during the annual stockholders meeting.

 

July 27, 1994 
A new twice weekly A300 service from Davao to Hong Kong via Cebu is launched.

 

July 29, 1994 
PAL introduces a new domestic ticket payment system using BPI Express Teller machines in Metro Manila, Davao and Cebu.

 

January 1995 
Lucio C. Tan becomes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

 

September 23, 1998 
PAL suspends operations as the Asian financial crisis takes its toll, aggravated by industrial action by its unions. It pulls out of most routes and drastically reduces its fleet. PAL would resume operations on a limited scale on October 7, 1998.

 

June 4, 1999 
The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission approves a rehabilitation plan designed to return PAL to financial viability, following a capital infusion of US$200 million by chairman Dr. Lucio C. Tan and his associates. PAL would now begin the climb back to full recovery.

 

March 2000 
PAL reports a net income of Php44.2 million for fiscal year 1999-2000, its first year under rehabilitation.  The result snaps six straight years of losses and produces one of the most dramatic turnarounds in Philippine business.

 

March 2001 
PAL reports a profit of 419 million pesos at the end of fiscal year 2000-2001, its second year under rehabilitation. 

 

August 2002 
PAL unveils a revamped and enhanced frequent flyer program, Mabuhay Miles.

 

March 2003 
PAL registers net income of 295 million pesos for fiscal year 2002-2003.

 

May 2003
PAL launches Online Departure & Arrival facility - access to real-time flight info.

 

June 2003 
PAL introduces a new booking engine; adds Okinawa to its worldwide network to a total of 27 international and 20 domestic destinations.

 

October 2003 
PAL returns to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after a 5-year absence.

 

December 2003 
PAL adds fifth B747-400 to its young fleet of 30.

 

February 2004 
PAL hosts biggest Interclub Golf Tournament in 57 years; extends its online booking services to its Japanese website.

 

March 2004
PAL marks 63rd year with Las Vegas service launch.

 

April 2004 
Laoag becomes 21st domestic destination after suspending flights to this region for 6 years.

 

May 2004 
PAL launches E-ticketing where passengers could book, pay and get a seat by phone or thru internet.

 

December 2004 
PAL takes delivery of two virtually brand-new aircraft, both Airbus A320s, as part of continuing drive to rejuvenate its existing fleet.

 

March 2005 
PAL launches a long-awaited service to Nagoya giving the flag carrier its fifth gateway in Japan.

 

November 2005 
PAL starts a regular service between Manila and Beijing giving the flag carrier a direct link to People's Republic of China's capital city.

 

December 2005 
In a deal valued at approximately USD840 million, PAL orders nine brand-new A320 jets and options for five more A320s from Airbus.

 

May 2006 
PAL passes the IATA Operational Safety Audit – a requirement for maintaining IATA membership – making PAL the only Philippine registered airline to be certified safe by IATA.

 

June 2006 
PAL Domestic Flights now 100% ET-enabled with the successful cutover of Naga.

 

May 2007 
PAL completes the implementation of electronic ticketing for all flights throughout its network.

 

June 2007 
Philippine Airlines reports a net income of $140.3 million for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2007 - the largest annual profit in the airline's 66-year history.

 

August 2007 
PAL takes delivery of its eighth Airbus A320-family aircraft - taking it about halfway through an $840-million modernization program for its narrow-body fleet that began in September 2006. PAL has contracted up to 20 brand-new A320-family jets, comprising nine firm orders, six leased units and five option aircraft.

 

November 2007 
PAL is named "Airline Turnaround of the Year 2007" by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation; took delivery of its ninth Airbus A320-family aircraft, part of the 20 brand-new single-aisle jets PAL has ordered from the European aircraft manufacturer and airplane leasing companies.

 

October 2007 
PAL exits from receivership.

 

May 2008 
PAL starts a regular service between Manila and Macau.

 

May 2008 
Fleet of Bombardier Q300 and Q400 mark return of turboprop operations, offering low-fare, inter-island service to match those of competing low-cost carriers. 

PAL's own internet booking engine started offering Calendar Shopping/Pricing for international itineraries. The internet booking engine is available on the websites of Philippine Airlines, philippineairlines.com and palexpressair.com. 

 

October 2008 
PAL hosts 50th Worldwide Airlines Customer Relations Association conference at Cebu.

 

March 2009 
A domestic flight attendant – Pamela Bianca Manalo – is crowned Binibining Pilipinas-Universe. She was also picked as the pageant's Miss PAL.

 

April 2009 
Launch of "Real Deal" marks series of low-fare promos in response against cut-throat competition with low-cost carriers (e.g. Cebu Pacific)

 

May 2009 
PAL launches PAL Mobile, the first in the Philippines

 

August 2009 
Record loss of $301.4 million (later revised to $297.8 million) is reported for Fiscal Year 2008-2009 due to high fuel prices and effects of the global recession. 

August 2009 
BancNet ATM cards now accepted as payment in PAL website. We are the first Philippine-based airline to offer this kind of service to the public. Now more people can shop online for PAL domestic tickets and avoid the queues at ticketing offices.

 

October 2009 
PAL Express operations is taken over by Air Philippines

 

November 2009
PAL takes delivery of the country’s first Boeing 777

 

December 2009 
Cabin reconfiguration of all Airbus A320s to bi-class (Mabuhay and Fiesta) makes PAL the only Philippine carrier to offer Business Class service on all domestic flights.

 

March 2010 
Four times a week service to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, marks the return of PAL to the Middle East after a four-year absence.

 

March 2010 
Countdown to PAL's 70th anniversary in 2011 with year-long series of promos.

 

May 2010 
Philippine Airlines emerges as the most trusted airline brand for Filipino consumers, according to an annual, Asia-wide survey by the respected international publication Reader’s Digest. 

July 2010 
Annual loss for Fiscal Year 2009-2010 reduced to $14.3 million. 

November 2010 
PAL launches the advance seat selection which is available for customers who make online bookings on PR operated services at www.philippineairlines.com.

 

March 2011 
Philippine Airlines celebrates its 70th year by commemorating its storied past while charting a course for the future.

 

October 2011 
Three departments/offices, namely – Airport Services, Catering, Reservations – are outsourced to independent third party service providers (despite opposition from the ground crew union) for the long-term financial viability of PAL." 

March 2012
PAL flies to Bali, re-establishing direct air links between Manila and Indonesia’s prime holiday destination. 

 

April 2012

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) acquires 49% of PAL Holdings for US$500 million and takes management control of PAL and PAL Express. SMC President Ramon S. Ang becomes PAL president and chief operating officer. Lucio Tan remains chairman.

 

June 2012
PAL takes delivery of its 3rd Boeing 777

 

August 2012

PAL signs a firm order for 54 Airbus jets worth over US$7 billion -- the biggest aircraft deal in Philippine aviation history. A month later, PAL orders 10 more Airbus aircraft.

 

September 2012
PAL announces service innovations. Aside from new airplanes, the flag carrier unveiled new destinations, a fresh inflight menu, book-and-buy kiosks and PAL ticket offices inside Petron gas stations and Apple iPads for inflight entertainment.

October 2012
Frontline computer systems are integrated and updated. The new one-stop-shop facility improves book-and-buy capability at various touchpoints – website, call center, ticket offices and travel agents.

October 2012
Full domestic code-sharing between PAL and PAL Express takes effect. PAL flies to nine domestic points while PAL Express' domestic network expands. Both airlines can now market and sell tickets on each others' flights. PAL Express improves passenger amenities while remaining a budget airline. PAL flights continue to operate out of NAIA Terminal 2, PAL Express at Terminal 3.

November 2012
PAL takes delivery of its fourth Boeing B777-300ER.

November 2012
PAL re-establishes direct links to the North American East Coast after 15 years with the launch of its first-ever non-stop flights to Toronto, Canada using the Boeing 777-300ER.