PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) has scored chartered flights from two Russian destinations for the high season beginning October while a third is likely to be on the way.
The national carrier will fly from Vladivostok to Manila every 10 days and from Khabarovsk to Boracay every 14 days, starting next month until April next year.
Bigger aircraft will be used for these charters this year, doubling capacity from a minimum of 130 passengers.
Details of the third charter from Moscow – Russia’s largest and most populous city – is still under wraps but is likely to commence early next year, said Valeri Ishunkin, Department of Tourism’s marketing director for Russia, adding that a Siberian charter service is also underway.
Chartered flights are “extremely important” to Philippine inbound as there are no direct flights from Russia and commercial flights can be long and expensive, he pointed out.
He said that with Russia expected to ban travel to Europe in retaliation for economic sanctions, there is an opportunity for the Philippines to fill the gap. “Russians will look for other destinations and travel more to Asia…They are tired of certain destinations in Asia so they will look for new Asian destinations.”
Consumer marketing in Russia is being intensified, including the rollout of the second Philippine sales manual and media broadcasts from the Philippines in Russia.