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Philippines welcomes regular PAL charter flights from Russia

January 28, 2014 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

morefuninthephilippinesSince October 2013, Philippine Airlines (PAL) has been running regular charter flights every twelve days between Vladivostok in the Russian Far East and several prime tourist destinations in the country.

The first of these charter flights brought over a hundred tourists on 27 October 2013, which marked the first time a Philippine carrier flew over the friendly Russian skies.

“The fun in the Philippines can now be experienced by more tourists from Fareast Russia. The facilitation of charter programs from this region of Russia, which is only four and a half hours away from Manila, is one of our key strategies to catalyze growth. Russia is a priority opportunity market of the Department of Tourism (DOT) that is envisioned to contribute to the target of 10 million international visitors by 2016,” Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said.

The charter flight is a collaboration of the 60 offices in the Russian Far East Region of the Primorsky Agency of Aviation Companies TM Biletur, the biggest travel company in the region which has been in operation for the past 18 years. From September 2012 to April 2013, Biletur was able to sell 1,500 room nights in the Philippines to their clients. Bulk of the tourists for this maiden flight will be visiting Boracay, a trendy destination for many Russian tourists.  The partner ground handler for this program is Uniorient Travel, Inc.

Visitor arrivals from Russia reached 28,270 in 2012, growing by 40 percent from 2011. It is the fastest growing market for the Philippines out of Europe.  Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, key cities in Fareast Russia, were ranked second and fourth biggest sources of arrivals from Russia, posting growth rates of 37 percent and 83 percent, respectively, from the previous year. For the first eleven months of 2013, Russian arrivals reached 30,217 growing by 27.2 percent over the same period in 2012.

“The charter program is indicative of the steady interest that Russians have for our country.  This may be attributed to our healthy relationships with travel trade counterparts in Russia, our consumer marketing efforts, as well as word-of-mouth marketing from the many satisfied visitors who have come back for either longer or more holiday and business trips.   We enjoin our travel partners and hosts to sustain this interest through our unique brand of fun and service excellence,” the tourism chief added.

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