Philippine Airlines has started a pioneering special commercial service between Puerto Princesa and Seoul, opening a new gateway for Korean tourists to the Philippines and notching an aviation milestone in the process.
At 8:50 p.m. on July 23rd, flight PR 4870 from Seoul landed at Puerto Princesa International Airport, marking the first time an international flight of a major carrier touches down in the Palawan capital.
The maiden flight, utilizing an Airbus A320-200 aircraft, carried a full load of 150 Korean passengers.Ê They were to be welcomed at the airport by city mayor Edward S. Hagedorn, PAL branch head Rey Salvatierra and leaders of the local tourism community.
The service operates twice weekly, with departures from Seoul every Tuesday and Friday at 5:10 p.m.Ê Arrival in Puerto Princesa is at 8:50 p.m.
The return flight, PR 4860, departs Puerto Princesa on the same days at 10:45 a.m. and arrives in Seoul at 4:10 p.m. PAL has deployed the A320-200, which seats 12 in Mabuhay (business) class and 138 in economy, on the four-hour-and-20-minute flight.Ê
The service is designed to cater to the booming tourist traffic from Korea, the country’s third largest source of visitors, by providing them an alternative to the traditional destinations of Manila and Cebu.
Palawan, a major island province located in western Philippines, is a heretofore untapped area for international tourism but brimming with potential.Ê The rugged island chain is famed for its unspoiled natural beauty, highlighted by hidden lagoons, dramatic limestone cliffs and unique wildlife.
Puerto Princesa, the provincial capital, is the regional center of commerce, education and political administration, and hosts the area’s only international airport.
The service is PAL’s fourth link between the Philippines and Korea.Ê The flag carrier already flies daily between Manila and Seoul, four times weekly between Manila and Busan, and four times weekly between Cebu and Seoul.
It is part of PAL’s thrust to boost tourist inflows to the country by developing international services out of secondary points. Ê