MILESTONES IN THE HISTORY OF PAL
Philippine Airlines is founded by a group of businessmen led by Andres Soriano, one of the country's leading industrialists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PAL reports a profit of 419 million pesos at the end of fiscal year 2000-2001, its second year under rehabilitation.
PAL unveils a revamped and enhanced frequent flyer program, Mabuhay Miles.
PAL registers net income of 295 million pesos for fiscal year 2002-2003.
PAL launches Online Departure & Arrival facility - access to real-time flight info.
PAL introduces a new booking engine; adds Okinawa to its worldwide network to a total of 27 international and 20 domestic destinations.
PAL returns to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after a 5-year absence.
PAL adds fifth B747-400 to its young fleet of 30.
PAL hosts biggest Interclub Golf Tournament in 57 years; extends its online booking services to its Japanese website.
PAL marks 63rd year with Las Vegas service launch.
Laoag becomes 21st domestic destination after suspending flights to this region for 6 years.
PAL launches E-ticketing where passengers could book, pay and get a seat by phone or thru internet.
PAL takes delivery of two virtually brand-new aircraft, both Airbus A320s, as part of continuing drive to rejuvenate its existing fleet.
PAL launches a long-awaited service to Nagoya giving the flag carrier its fifth gateway in Japan.
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.
In a deal valued at approximately USD840 million, PAL orders nine brand-new A320 jets and options for five more A320s from Airbus.
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.
PAL Domestic Flights now 100% ET-enabled with the successful cutover of Naga.
PAL completes the implementation of electronic ticketing for all flights throughout its network.
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.
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.
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.
PAL exits from receivership.
PAL starts a regular service between Manila and Macau.
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.
PAL hosts 50th Worldwide Airlines Customer Relations Association conference at Cebu.
A domestic flight attendant – Pamela Bianca Manalo – is crowned Binibining Pilipinas-Universe. She was also picked as the pageant's Miss PAL.
Launch of "Real Deal" marks series of low-fare promos in response against cut-throat competition with low-cost carriers (e.g. Cebu Pacific)
PAL launches PAL Mobile, the first in the Philippines
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.
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.
PAL Express operations is taken over by Air Philippines
PAL takes delivery of the country’s first Boeing 777
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.
Four times a week service to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, marks the return of PAL to the Middle East after a four-year absence.
Countdown to PAL's 70th anniversary in 2011 with year-long series of promos.
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.
Annual loss for Fiscal Year 2009-2010 reduced to $14.3 million.
PAL launches the advance seat selection which is available for customers who make online bookings on PR operated services at www.philippineairlines.com.
Philippine Airlines celebrates its 70th year by commemorating its storied past while charting a course for the future.
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."
PAL flies to Bali, re-establishing direct air links between Manila and Indonesia’s prime holiday destination.
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.
PAL takes delivery of its 3rd Boeing 777
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.
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.
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.
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.
PAL takes delivery of its fourth Boeing B777-300ER.
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.