The A350 is at it again! Airbus’ fuel-sipping widebody is enabling another airline to turn a one-stop long-haul route into a direct ultra-long-haul one. This time around the carrier is Philippines Airlines (PAL), which currently operates its service from Manila to New York JFK via Vancouver using a 777. Starting in late October, an A350 will take over the route and will fly it direct.

The routing isn’t the only thing getting an update. The 777 currently flying to New York features a stale onboard product, but PAL’s brand new A350s feature a new onboard product that looks to be far better. That’s an especially good thing for passengers because the new direct route clocks in at a whopping 8,520 miles, making it one of the longest in the world.

Source: Great Circle Mapper

There’s already been some good coverage on this news, so here’s some links to our favorites:

  • AusBT features some renderings of the onboard product. The highlight is a much-improved business class seat. It’s based on the Thompson Vantage XL design, which we’ve flown (and loved) most recently on SAS’ refurbished long-haul fleet. The PAL A350 will also benefit from the airline’s brand-new premium economy cabin.
  • Reuters discusses the A350’s fuel efficiency. It also notes that Singapore Airlines is doing the exact same thing with its A350s as PAL is: using them to turn one-stop 777 routes into direct routes (as SQ is doing with its SFO, LAX, and New York services).

Source: Philippines Airlines

It’s great to see airlines put the A350’s (and/or Boeing Dreamliner’s) technological edge to great use. We’re excited to fly this route once it’s airborne!

SENIOR CORRESPONDENT - NEW YORK, NY. Manu got his private pilot license in high school, setting the tone for his interest in all things aviation. He earned his frequent flyer credentials working as a journalist, and is now a medical resident in New York City. He enjoys writing about air travel from a millennial's perspective.

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3 Comments
Peter J Ashford

A note on definitions! An air service MNL JFK via YVR with one flight number is a direct air service, as per IATA; under the definition of what constitutes a direct air service. Operating MNL JFK nonstop is still a direct air service, only this time it won’t have a transit/refuel stop.

Maury Kendall

And when you do fly JFK-MNL, spell-check your destination: the capital of the Philippines is “Manila,” not “Manilla.”

Right you are, Maury. We appreciate you catching that!

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