Philippine Airlines (PAL) has won another international award – a four-star major regional airline 2019 rating by the New York-based Airline Passenger Experience Association (Apex), a global non-profit airline customer association.

With the award, the national flag carrier of the Philippines gets affirmation from passengers for the tremendous job of improving its products and services through new airplanes, new destinations, and enhanced in-flight and on ground amenities.

Passengers have been giving PAL high marks on its flights through a network that spans two-thirds of the globe. The new four-star honour bestowed in a special ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts, on Sept 24 is the latest in a string of international victories notched by the Filipino flag carrier.

These include the four-star global airline certification from London-based Skytrax in February 2018 and a Second Most Improved Airline In The World ranking from the annual Skytrax passenger survey released in June 2018.

The Apex award is the result of a fully “certified, validated, verified” rating programme based on passenger feedback on PAL’s overall flight experience in five sub-categories: seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity.

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Philippine Airlines president and COO Jaime J Bautista (with award) with (from left) Apex CEO Dr Joe Leader, PAL VP for marketing Ria C. Domingo, The Points Guy founder and CEO Brian Kelly, and PAL AVP for product research and development Debbie C. Cuyegkeng at the Apex awards ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts, on Sept 24.

PAL president and COO Jaime J. Bautista dedicated the honour to the Filipino people and to PAL’s loyal customers.

“We are humbled by this latest vote of confidence from our valued customers,” said Bautista. “This new four-star Apex award is another victory for the Philippine Airlines team of dedicated professionals, coming after the four-star global rating certified by Skytrax earlier this year.”

Overall ratings were certified by an external audit firmed hired by Apex.  The association processed verified itineraries that were validated by geo-location from over 50 million verified airline generated itineraries.

More than 500,000 flights by passengers from around the world were rated throughout the year ending July 31, 2018.

“We are extremely proud of the results of our passenger driven official airline ratings programme with TripIt,” said Apex CEO Dr Joe Leader. “Of nearly 500 airlines rated worldwide, less than 9% were rated by their passengers at the highest five-star airline level and only the next 14% reached the prestigious four-star airline tier.”

The award will spur the airline to step up its service enhancement programme as PAL introduces new aircraft, routes and product innovations. PAL has begun deploying the sophisticated Airbus A350-900 and Airbus A321neo aircraft on key international routes.

The A350 now operates the non-stop Manila-London route while its inaugural Manila-New York non-stop flights commenced on Oct 29 – marking another milestone (the longest commercial flight ever operated by a Philippine carrier).

The A321neo now serves Brisbane, Sydney and Port Moresby, and will also fly the much-awaited Manila-Sapporo (Japan) route in December.

“This new accolade comes with a fresh challenge: We should never rest on our laurels but must always remain focused on our primary role to provide a pleasant and comfortable travel experience for all our passengers, in the air and on the ground,” said Bautista.

“Thus, this latest award as four-star major regional airline will inspire us to keep getting better and achieve more until we attain the coveted five-star status as a prime player in global aviation.”

The national flag carrier of the Philippines also flies daily from Kuala Lumpur to Manila. Passengers are given the flexibility to choose from any of the daily frequencies of the route:

PR526 departs Kuala Lumpur every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 12.10pm and arrives in Manila at 16.05pm local time. Its return flight PR525 leaves Manila on the same days at 07.35am local time and touches down in Kuala Lumpur at 11.20am.

PR528 leaves Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3.40pm and arrives in Manila at 7.40pm local time. Its return service PR527 departs Manila on the same days at 11.05am local time and touches down in Kuala Lumpur at 2.50pm.

The non-stop service will enable travellers from Kuala Lumpur to enjoy Manila for several days and hop on to the Philippine’s top travel destinations.

Philippine Airlines is Asia’s first airline, having established the standards in airline service for the past 77 years while showcasing the best of the Philippines to the world. PAL currently flies to 43 international and 34 domestic destinations.

Philippine Airlines’s year end sale (Nov 10-25) offers flights to Manila for as low as RM580 round-trip base fare (economy) and RM1,170 round-trip base fare (business). Travel period is from Jan 16 to Sept 30, 2019.