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

By David Flynn, December 29 2017
 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 is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 191

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

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2540

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

30 Dec 2017

Total posts 2

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.

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 50

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 316

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

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 125

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

30 Dec 2017

Total posts 1

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.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 388

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.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 517

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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