Philippine Airlines will begin non-stop flights between Manila and Brisbane from March 27, axing the current Darwin stopover – and by default, the Darwin-Manila route – in the process.
The direct route will trim flying time from a little overt nine hours due to the Darwin detour (which will cease on March 24) to around seven hours.
PAL will initially use an Airbus A340 between Brisbane and Manila, with four flights a week, but plans to switch to the brand-new Airbus A321neo by mid-year.
This is also when the Philippine flag-carrier expects to take delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 jets, which will be used to launch non-stop flights between Manila and New York.
As to the resumption of Darwin-Manila as a direct route, PAL said in a statement that "the airline will revisit this decision in the near future as market conditions improve."