Philippine link for Heathrow

Philippine Airlines are to begin non-stop flights between Heathrow and Manila in November.

This is the first direct link between the UK and the Philippines, a major emerging market destination, in more than a decade.

Heathrow say Philippine Airlines (PAL) has chosen Heathrow over other UK airports, despite them lower landing charges elsewhere.

Heathrow is PAL’s first European destination since flights to Europe were discontinued in 1998. Speaking in the Philippines where he was meeting PAL executives, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Stephen Green of Hurstpierpoint, said: “I’m delighted to celebrate a very concrete example of the growing ties between our two countries, that being the reestablishment by Philippine Airlines of direct flights between Manila and London for the first time in over a decade. I am confident that these flights will greatly enhance the relationship between the UK and the Philippines.”

PAL will fly direct between Heathrow and Manila five times a week. Heathrow say the airline has expressed a wish to move to daily flights subject to other slots becoming available.

Links with emerging markets are said to be critical to growth – since they themselves are growing much faster than more established markets – over the next ten years, the IMF forecasts that the eight largest emerging markets will account for more than half of global GDP growth – they can offer greater growth for UK Plc.

Heathrow’s Chief Executive, Colin Matthews, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the newest member of Heathrow’s airlines. Because Heathrow is full, it’s difficult to find slots for new arrivals and this has taken years of negotiation. Whilst it’s a success story for Heathrow and the UK, linking British businesses to trading opportunities in a key emerging market, it also shows the challenge of putting these links in place. Without a larger hub airport, the UK can expect to fall behind in the global race for trade, jobs and economic growth.”

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