Tourism and international student numbers from the Philippines to Australia are set to be boosted by the announcement of a new direct Perth-Manila service by Philippine Airlines.
The non-stop service will commence in March 2020 with four flights each week.
Perth Airport Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brown said the new service between Perth and Manila was a win for WA business, tourism and exports, and would inject an additional 70,000 seats into the market.
The Philippine Airlines service adds to the momentum of new services over the last year.
“We had already been able to add around 400,000 seats of capacity into Perth over the past 12 months from our key Asian markets.
“We think the direct service has the potential to tip the numbers even more in favour of in-bound passengers which will be great for tourism and hospitality and the international education market, said Mr Brown.
“With more than 7,000 islands and amazing beaches on offer, the Philippines is also an attractive holiday destination for West Australians, with 20,000 people visiting last year.”
Philippine Airlines will operate four flights a week on an new Airbus A321neo, which has 12 business class seats and 156 economy seats, departing Manila at 12.05am and arriving in Perth at 7.20am. The flight will then leave Perth at 8.40am and land in Manila at 3.50pm.
According to the latest International Visitor Survey, the number of Philippines visitors travelling to WA grew by 34.7 per cent in the year ending June 2019.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said “the Philippines is a growing market for Western Australia, with the latest visitor statistics showing more than 40 per cent growth.
“These direct Philippine Airlines flights will provide an easier option for Filipinos to visit WA, whether it be to work, study, visit friends and relatives or have a holiday.”
“International education is important for the tourism industry because each international student attracts 1.5 visiting friends and relatives from overseas annually. The flights have the potential to increase the attraction of WA as a study destination for Filipino students, said Mr Papalia.
“Direct flights such as this help to position WA as Australia’s western gateway, whereby visitors can start their Australian adventure in Perth and go on to explore our many wonderful regions.”
Tickets will go on sale later this month.