MANILA — Filipinos in New York eagerly await the return of Philippine Airlines to the Big Apple, after PAL recently introduced low fares on the new service that will start on March 15.

According to the Philippine Star, the four-times-a-week flights, via Vancouver, provides the most direct and fastest link (approximately 18.5 hours) from the U.S. East Coast to Manila, fueling much anticipation from New York’s Filipino community.

Lizette Cancio, who has lived in New Jersey for the last 18 years, said, “It’s so nice to hear that PAL is finally flying back to the New York/New Jersey area. Flying PAL is as close to feeling at home. The service and professionalism of PAL staff is truly amazing!”

Lizette’s husband Adrian, who works for an IT company in Union, N.J., adds: “I cannot believe that after 18 years, PAL is finally landing in New York! Only PAL can give you that experience of being close to home. Congratulations!”

Viola Binua, who manages a Filipino-staffed auditing firm in Queens, N.Y., said: “We got excited upon learning PAL is flying here in New York. We look forward to flying with a crew who understands us. We feel proud PAL is back in New York.”

PAL executives, including chairman Lucio C. Tan and president Jaime J. Bautista, are leading a high-level delegation of government officials and local media on the March 15 inaugural flight.

U.S. ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg will be on hand during the send-off ceremony before the flight departs Manila.

Send-off ceremonies at Vancouver International Airport and Terminal 1 of JFK airport will also mark the first Vancouver-New York and New York-Vancouver legs of the flight.

In the evening of the inaugural flight’s arrival, the New York Hilton Midtown hotel will be the venue of a formal dinner reception where New York local officials, Philippine Embassy officials led by Philippine ambassador to the U.S. Jose Cuisia, Jr., Philippine Tourism and Civil Aviation officials, as well as Filipino community leaders have been invited.

The dinner reception will be preceded by a press conference for Filipino and U.S. media also at the Hilton hotel.

PAL will utilize its flagship aircraft, the luxurious 370-seater Boeing 777-300ER on the inaugural flight, equipped with state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system and spacious seats both in Business Class and Economy.

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