December 2, 2013
PAL expands Mid-East network, returns to Riyadh, Dammam
Philippine Airlines' route expansion to the Middle East continues with the re-introduction of regular service to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia– Riyadhon December 1st and Dammam on December 3.
PAL will deploy its brand new twin-engine Airbus 330-300 aircraft on the non-stop flights to Riyadh and Dammam, offering overseas Filipino workers and other travelers the fastest and most convenient travel between Manila and the Saudi kingdom.
Flights to Riyadh (PR654) departManilaevery Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at8:15 AM, arriving at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, at1:30 PMof the same day.
Flights to Dammam (PR682) leave Manila every Monday, Tuesday and Saturday at1:35 PM, arriving at King Fahd International Airport, Dammam, at 6:00 PMof the same day.
Described as the most cost-efficient wide-body aircraft in operation today, the A330-300 is PAL's new flagship for medium-range routes, to replace the older A330 models that were acquired from 1997 to 1998.
The new A330-300 is especially designed for the cost-conscious Filipino market in the Middle East, but without sacrificing the comfort level. It accommodates 414 passengers, configured into two classes – Premium Economy, with 39 seats, and Economy, with 375 seats.
PAL ordered twenty A330-300 from Airbus, the first arrived last September 26, 2013.
PAL first flew to Riyadhon March 1st, 1987. When the service was suspended two years ago (March 2011), PAL used the B747-400 aircraft.
Meanwhile, flights to Dammam started onJuly 3, 1982, landing at Dhahran International Airport. The service moved to King Fahd International Airport in November 1999. The service was suspended in August 2001.
PAL flights to the region has been welcomed by Filipino expatriates, who number over 1.8 million in the Saudi Kingdom alone. PAL has been traditionally favored by Filipinos in the Middle East because its direct service to Manila means that they get home faster compared to other carriers, whose flights can involve up to two stops before landing in Manila.