Philippine Airlines axes Darwin flights, but Brisbane to go non-stop

Philippine Airlines axes Darwin flights, but Brisbane to go non-stop

Philippine Airlines will pull out of Darwin in March 2018 but plans to upgrade its Brisbane-Manila route to a non-stop service.

Darwin currently serves as a stopover on the Brisbane-Manila flights, which run four times each week, but airline CEO James Batista has confirmed in an email that the Darwin-Manila services will be axed from March 24, 2018.

Batista cited "modest passenger loads" which "coupled with no yield, make the service to Darwin economically unsustainable."

The move comes as PAL shifts to direct flights between Brisbane and Manila on its new Airbus A321neo jets, which are expected to join the fleet from the end of March.

"PAL will commence non-stop MNL-BNE services as soon as our A321neos are delivered and ready for operation, as has been forecast for some time now," a spokesman for Philippine Airlines told Australian Business Traveller. "End March is our target date."

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Jason


    29 Dec, 2017 09:23 pm

    Great news. Has PR said what kind of seating it will have in J class on these new jets yet?
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  • David Flynn


    29 Dec, 2017 09:36 pm

    No but I expect it'll be conventional business class recliners more akin to what SilkAir has rather than FlyDubai's flatbed model.
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  • paxsider05


    30 Dec, 2017 09:12 pm

    Bautista said that it will have 12 business and 160 economy seats (less dense config. compared to typical A321s). So we can expect that the business class seats will not be a recliner.
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  • Bernoulli


    31 Dec, 2017 04:43 pm

    Yes, I have seen several reports that the new Aus bound a321neos will have a lie flat product. IMO, the a321neo offers PAL a real opportunity to take Aus-MNL business away from SQ and CX pax who are currently loyal (despite having to connect) because of the superior product, better frequencies and broader Asian network. A strong J and Y product will be critical for this. A pity though I think that PAL is not also including on the 321 some of the PEY seats they have recently installed on the 330.
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    29 Dec, 2017 09:43 pm

    Not great news for the people of Darwin and the top end.
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  • afloskar


    30 Dec, 2017 07:09 am

    Darwin has been smashed this year with airlines leaving. This is the 3rd this year and the 2nd this month!
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  • Sonja2161


    30 Dec, 2017 01:42 pm

    Terrible news for Darwin and top end. We need our tourism gurus to promote all the wonderful things Darwin and top end have to offer.
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  • Traveller14


    30 Dec, 2017 04:35 pm

    I used it ex Darwin once. About 15 got on there (northbound). Figures have since improved but majority of seats sold on these one stop flights are ex or to Brisbane. Probably can't be helped because Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have more than 10 times Darwin's population, even though there's a growing Filipino community in the NT.
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  • TheFreqFlyer


    29 Apr, 2018 08:16 pm

    Doesn't surprise me in the least bit that Philippine Airlines pulled out of Darwin. The fact they even flew to such a small outpost to begin with is surprising. Darwin is a nice city, but it's never going to attract any interest for international services apart from Dili, Bali and Singapore. The local market and tourist demand is too small.
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16 Jul, 2019 04:44 pm


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