MANILA - Further strengthening its alliance with Philippine Airlines (PAL), low-cost carrier Airphil Express is aligning its service standards and product offerings with the flag carrier. Effective March 15, Airphil Express has rebranded as “PAL Express” and will use the familiar “sunriser” PAL livery and logo on the tail and fuselage of its aircraft. PAL Express passengers will now be offered the same inflight amenities (including complimentary snacks, drinks and reading material) available on full- service, and can earn miles through their membership in Mabuhay Miles.
SEOUL - Korean Air has launched direct services from Sri Lanka and the Maldives to Seoul Incheon, expanding its network to countries in the Indian Ocean. The new services (three weekly) is direct from Male in the Maldives to Colombo, Sri Lanka, then on to Seoul/Incheon. The flights operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. www.koreanair.com (ATI).
MANILA - Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is to launch flights to six new destinations in Australia, China and the Middle East - Kuala Lumpur (from May 1); Brisbane, Darwin and Perth in Australia and Guangzhou, China (from June 1); and Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates (from October 1). Tickets for Kuala Lumpur and the new Australian routes are now on sale, while tickets for Guangzhou and Abu Dhabi will be sold starting March 15. PAL is offering special promotional rates for early birds.
LONDON - Virgin Atlantic’s first UK domestic flight service, to be known as Little Red, will launch on March 31 in Manchester, April 5 in Edinburgh and April 9 in Aberdeen. There will be 26 daily flights between London Heathrow and Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Virgin Atlantic Little Red will be offering a taste of the customer service of Virgin Atlantic, with free 23kg luggage check-ins, pre-assigned seats, complimentary snacks and drinks and even hot breakfasts on early morning flights. www.virgin-atlantic.com.au
DUBAI - Emirates has committed its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to its Dubai - Moscow route, offering 360 seats in each direction, an increase of 40%. The upgraded capacity closely follows Emirates’ recent deployment of a daily A380 to Moscow. Emirates has been operating in Russia since 2003 and now flies to both Moscow and St. Petersburg, offering a total of 21 flights per week. www.emirates.com (ATI).