Philippine Airlines (PAL) will launch a direct flight to Toronto, Canada from Manila on November 30 to keep up with the demand from the Filipino community in North America. Data collated by PAL show about 250,000 or 4.1 percent of greater Toronto's 6.05 million residents are of Filipino origin. Filipino-Canadians, in turn, account for over 117,400 arrivals to the Philippines last year but that figure may be surpassed since 81,093 shuttled back home for the first eight months of the 2012. Canada's largest city is PAL's first foray to the east coast of North America since halting its service between Manila, Vancouver and Newark, New Jersey in September 1997. "This is an opportune time for PAL to expand and re-establish links with this dynamic region of North America," said PAL president Ramon Ang. "Toronto is just the first step in our long-range network expansion that will see PAL fly back to the US East Coast and to Europe." Toronto becomes PAL's 27th international destination and 46th overall. The 17-hour flight will trigger a revamp of PAL's Canadian operation. From November 30, the current daily service between Manila and Vancouver, British Columbia, on Canada's West Coast, will be revised to four times weekly from Manila to Vancouver alternating with a three-times-weekly non-stop from Manila to Toronto. On the return journey, Vancouver-Manila will have a dedicated product four times weekly along with a shared service from Toronto three times weekly. Thus, Toronto-Manila will be a one-stop service via Vancouver. The Toronto service (PR 118) departs Manila every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 3 p.m. Arrival at Terminal 3 of Toronto Pearson International Airport is at 5 p.m. on the same days. The return flight (PR 119) departs Toronto every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 7:35 p.m., stopping in Vancouver at 9:30 p.m. The service continues on to Manila at 11:30 p.m. and arrives at Terminal 2 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 5:45 a.m. two days later. For the trip, PAL will field its brand-new Boeing 777-300ER, which seats 42 in business class and 328 in economy class. Source: Sun Star, Manilla, Virgil Lopez/Sunnex
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