Flag carrier Philippine Airlines continues to beef up its service as it announces the return of their flights to Riyadh and Dammam, Saudi Arabia beginning this December.
The Manila-Riyadh flights resume December 1 while the Manila-Dammam flight resumes on December 3rd.
In an announcement posted in its website, PAL revealed that it will service the two Middle Eastern routes with their twin-engine Airbus 330-300 aircrafts.
These crafts are replacing the older A330 models that were acquired from 1997 tom 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," the announcement said.
PAL said both flights will be on a no-stop basis, making it easier and faster for prospective fliers including multitudes of overseas Filipino workers.
Flights to Riyadh (PR654) depart Manila every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 8:15 AM, arriving at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, at1:30 PM of 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.
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.