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PAL suspends flights to Jeddah starting Sept 2018

By Louella Desiderio | The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will temporarily suspend services to and from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia starting September as part of the periodic review of routes.

The carrier said flights to and from Jeddah would be suspended starting Sept.19.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said in a text message yesterday the move is in line with the carrier’s review of destinations being served.

“Commercial viability was a primary consideration. This is just a temporary situation.  PAL carries out periodic reviews of route performance,” she said.

Passengers with confirmed bookings on flights PR 662 or 663 (Manila-Jeddah-Manila) dated Sept. 19, onwards can either rebook, reroute, or refund their tickets within 30 days from original flight date without penalties.

While PAL is suspending flights to Jeddah, it will continue flying to other points in the Middle East.

In particular, PAL will continue to operate daily flights to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, daily flights to Dubai in United Arab Emirates, four times weekly flights to Doha in Qatar, thrice weekly service to Abu Dhabi and five times weekly service to Dammam.

Earlier, PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said the carrier is reviewing destinations being served to ensure their profitability.

Last month, PAL discontinued the Manila to Kuwait service due to weak demand for the route and amid competition from other carriers.

While the carrier is hopeful it could make modest profit this year, Bautista said the continued increase in fuel prices may lead to the airline ending the year with a loss again.

PAL had a comprehensive net loss of $129 million last year, reversing the $86 million profit made in 2016.

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