- Direct flights between Manila and Perth take off from today (27 March)
- Strengthens Perth's reputation as Australia's Western Gateway
The first non-stop flight between Manila and Perth took to the skies today, strengthening our State's position as Australia's Western Gateway.
The service is the result of a partnership between the McGowan Government, Philippine Airlines and Perth Airport.
Philippine Airlines will operate three flights a week on an Airbus A321 neo, which has 12 business class seats and 156 economy seats.
The service will depart Manila at 12.05am local time/AWST and arrive in Perth at 7.15am local time/AWST, before leaving Perth at 8.30am and landing in Manila at 3.50pm.
There is no time difference between Perth and Manila.
The new route will inject more than 52,000 seats into the market each year.
Pre-COVID, 67 per cent of visitor arrivals to Western Australia from the Philippines were visiting friends and relatives, while 11 per cent visited for business, and 14 per cent for a holiday.
The new non-stop route opens up the potential for increasing the number of Filipino students in WA, which now accounts for about seven per cent of visitor numbers.
Department of Home Affairs figures show Filipino arrivals to WA have recovered to around 72 per cent of pre-COVID levels, making the Philippines the 10th largest international market for WA arrivals since the State's border reopened.
The flights are expected to be a major boost for the growing Filipino community in WA, as well as for businesses that trade across the two regions.
The new flight path had been scheduled to begin operating in March 2020 but was disrupted due to COVID-19.
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Roger Cook:
"The McGowan Government is proud to support this new direct flight and work with Philippine Airlines and Perth Airport as the airline launches its first new international destination since the pandemic.
"This new connection between the Philippines and WA provides an important route to attract visitors and international students into our State, while supporting the development of trade between our two regions.
"We extend a warm welcome to all those arriving on the first flight from Manila to Perth and encourage visitors to experience all WA has to offer, including the many tourism attractions in Perth and in our State's regions."
Minister's office - 6500 6500