Muscat: If all goes well, Philippine Airlines (PAL) will fly directly to Oman by early 2014, social news network Rappler.com quoted PAL as announcing.
The Sultanate and the Philippines signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2010 to operate direct flights between Muscat and Manila.
When the MoU was signed between the civil aviation authorities of the Sultanate and the Republic of the Philippines, it was decided that at least 19 direct flights would operate between Oman and the Philippines.
The aeronautical authorities of the government of the Sultanate had designated Oman Air as the airline of the Sultanate to operate services along these routes, and the Philippines authorities had designated PAL for this purpose.
Direct flights will not only benefit the 40,000-strong Filipino community in Oman, who are eagerly awaiting a more convenient way to fly back home, but they will also help the Philippines export industry. The country is a major exporter of semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruit. A faster and more efficient way of sending goods would be a boon for Filipino exporters.
PAL last week launched 11 new international destinations in Australia, China, Malaysia, and the Middle East, as well as a new domestic service to Northern Luzon as it continues to expand its route network.
The new destinations include Basco in the Batanes province of the Philippines to be launched on May 1; Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on May 2; Darwin, Brisbane, and Perth in Australia on June 1; Guangzhou in China on June 2; Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on October 1; Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on November 1; Doha in Qatar on November 1; and Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam in Saudi Arabia on December 1.