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PHILIP­PINE Air­lines (PAL) has won an­other in­ter­na­tional award – a four-star ma­jor re­gional air­line 2019 rat­ing by the New York­based Air­line Pas­sen­ger Ex­pe­ri­ence As­so­ci­a­tion (Apex), a global non-profit air­line cus­tomer as­so­ci­a­tion.

With the award, the na­tional flag car­rier of the Philip­pines gets af­fir­ma­tion from pas­sen­gers for the tremen­dous job of im­prov­ing its prod­ucts and ser­vices through new air­planes, new des­ti­na­tions and en­hanced in­flight and on ground ameni­ties.

Pas­sen­gers have been giv­ing PAL high marks on its flights through a net­work that spans two-thirds of the globe.

The new four-star hon­our be­stowed in a spe­cial cer­e­mony in Bos­ton, Mas­sachusetts, on Sept 24 is the lat­est in a string of in­ter­na­tional vic­to­ries notched by the Filipino flag car­rier.

Th­ese in­clude the four-star global air­line cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from Lon­don-based Sky­trax in Fe­bru­ary 2018 and a Sec­ond Most Im­proved Air­line In The World rank­ing from the an­nual Sky­trax pas­sen­ger sur­vey re­leased in June 2018.

The Apex award is the re­sult of a fully “cer­ti­fied, val­i­dated, ver­i­fied” rat­ing pro­gramme based on pas­sen­ger feed­back on PAL’s over­all flight ex­pe­ri­ence in five sub-cat­e­gories: seat com­fort, cabin ser­vice, food and bev­er­age, en­ter­tain­ment and Wi-Fi con­nec­tiv­ity.

PAL pres­i­dent and COO Jaime J. Bautista ded­i­cated the hon­our to the Filipino peo­ple and to PAL’s loyal cus­tomers.

“We are hum­bled by this lat­est vote of con­fi­dence from our val­ued cus­tomers,” said Bautista.

“This new four-star Apex award is an­other vic­tory for the Philip­pine Air­lines team of ded­i­cated pro­fes­sion­als, com­ing af­ter the four-star global rat­ing cer­ti­fied by Sky­trax ear­lier this year.”

Over­all rat­ings were cer­ti­fied by an ex­ter­nal au­dit firmed hired by Apex.

The as­so­ci­a­tion pro­cessed ver­i­fied itin­er­ar­ies that were val­i­dated by geo-lo­ca­tion from over 50 mil­lion ver­i­fied air­line gen­er­ated itin­er­ar­ies. More than 500,000 flights by pas­sen­gers from around the world were rated through­out the year end­ing July 31, 2018.

“We are extremely proud of the results of our pas­sen­ger driven official air­line rat­ings pro­gramme with TripIt,” said Apex CEO Dr Joe Leader.

“Of nearly 500 air­lines rated world­wide, less than 9% were rated by their pas­sen­gers at the high­est five-star air­line level and only the next 14% reached the pres­ti­gious four-star air­line tier.”

The award will spur the air­line to step up its ser­vice en­hance­ment pro­gramme as PAL in­tro­duces new air­craft, routes and prod­uct in­no­va­tions.

PAL has be­gun de­ploy­ing the so­phis­ti­cated Air­bus A350-900 and Air­bus A321­neo air­craft on key in­ter­na­tional routes.

The A350 now op­er­ates the non-stop Manila-Lon­don route while its in­au­gu­ral Manila-New York non-stop flights com­menced on Oct 29 – mark­ing an­other mile­stone (the long­est com­mer­cial flight ever op­er­ated by a Philip­pine car­rier).

The A321­neo now serves Bris­bane, Syd­ney and Port Moresby, and will also fly the much-awaited Manila-Sap­poro (Ja­pan) route in December.

“This new ac­co­lade comes with a fresh chal­lenge: We should never rest on our lau­rels but must al­ways re­main fo­cused on our pri­mary role to pro­vide a pleas­ant and com­fort­able travel ex­pe­ri­ence for all our pas­sen­gers, in the air and on the ground,” said Bautista.

“Thus, this lat­est award as fourstar ma­jor re­gional air­line will in­spire us to keep get­ting bet­ter and achieve more un­til we at­tain the cov­eted five-star sta­tus as a prime player in global avi­a­tion.”

The na­tional flag car­rier of the Philip­pines also flies daily from Kuala Lumpur to Manila. Pas­sen­gers are given the flex­i­bil­ity to choose from any of the daily fre­quen­cies of the route:

> PR526 de­parts Kuala Lumpur every Mon­day, Wed­nes­day, Fri­day and Sun­day at 12.10pm and ar­rives in Manila at 16.05pm lo­cal time. Its re­turn flight PR525 leaves Manila on the same days at 07.35am lo­cal time and touches down in Kuala Lumpur at 11.20am.

> PR528 leaves Kuala Lumpur on Tues­day, Thurs­day and Satur­day at 3.40pm and ar­rives in Manila at 7.40pm lo­cal time. Its re­turn ser­vice PR527 de­parts Manila on the same days at 11.05am lo­cal time and touches down in Kuala Lumpur at 2.50pm.

The non-stop ser­vice will en­able trav­ellers from Kuala Lumpur to en­joy Manila for sev­eral days and hop on to the Philip­pine’s top travel des­ti­na­tions.

Philip­pine Air­lines is Asia’s first air­line, hav­ing es­tab­lished the stan­dards in air­line ser­vice for the past 77 years while show­cas­ing the best of the Philip­pines to the world. PAL cur­rently flies to 43 in­ter­na­tional and 34 do­mes­tic des­ti­na­tions.

Philip­pine Air­lines’ year end sale (Nov 10-25) of­fers flights to Manila for as low as RM580 round-trip base fare (econ­omy) and RM1,170 roundtrip base fare (busi­ness). Travel pe­riod is from Jan 16 to Sept 30, 2019.

Philip­pine Air­lines pres­i­dent and COO Jaime J. Bautista (with award) with (from left) Apex CEO Dr Joe Leader, PAL VP for mar­ket­ing Ria C. Domingo, The Points Guy founder and CEO Brian Kelly, and PAL AVP for prod­uct re­search and de­vel­op­ment Deb­bie C. Cuyegkeng at the Apex awards cer­e­mony in Bos­ton, Mas­sachusetts, on Sept 24.

Philip­pine Air­lines A321­neo now serves Bris­bane, Syd­ney and Port Moresby, and will also fly the much-awaited Manila-Sap­poro (Ja­pan) route in December.

Plan­ning a visit to the Philip­pines? Try this tra­di­tional Filipino del­i­cacy – the ba­lut.

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