UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – The Arabian Gulf welcomed the resumption of fights of Philippine flag carrier Philippine Airlines Wednesday evening with the arrival of PAL Express (PALex) flight 2P658 at the Dubai International Airport.
The maiden voyage left Manila at 1 p.m., Wednesday, utilizing a brand new Airbus Industrie A330-300 wide-body jet which was specially configured to carry 325 passengers on “economy” and “premium economy” seats.
The inaugural flight signals the return of PAL to the UAE after the service was discontinued in the late 1990’s during the Asian financial crisis.
PAL began its regular service to Dubai back in 1982. It was the first commercial flight between Dubai and Manila with thrice a week services using McDonnel Douglas DC-10s. Later on, Dubai became a regular stopover for Europe-bound PAL flights using Boeing 747 jumbo jets and the DC-10 tri-jets.
Initially, the PALex service between Dubai and Manila will be five times a week, progressing to daily flight service in the very near future.
Leading the flight crew on the maiden voyage was Capt. Jesus Garcia aided by First Officer Edward Chan and SO Elbert Celis, who made sure that the flight was smooth as possible from take off at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport until its arrival at the Dubai International Airport nine hours later.
However long the flight was, all 237 passengers onboard were pampered by the excellent service provided by the PALex cabin crew headed by flight purser Roberto Rilloraza.
The other crew members who made sure that everyone was comfortable as can be included Mark Pasana, Karlo Samala, Sherlock Santos, Arielle Ong, Kristine Arteza, Edna Engcong, Christine Reyes and Mary Catherine Villanueva. Adding assurance to the safety of the passengers was flight mechanic Custodio Penaranda.
Although the Dubai-Manila service is an all-economy flight, that didn’t stop the PALex cabin crew from pampering the passengers serving them with gourmet cuisine prepared by a team of Filipino and international chefs.
Other amenities that welcomed the passengers onboard the A330 jet includes wi-fi capability that enables internet browsing while in-flight and rentable mini-iPads pre-loaded with entertainment options like movies, music and games. (Anjo Perez)