By Russel P. Loreto@RusselLoretoINQ
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) witnessed a surge in daily flight operations, surpassing 800 flights on Nov. 1 with an on-time performance rating of 88 percent.
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) terminals processed a total of 732,573 travelers during the initial six days of the long All Souls’ Day holiday, keeping the airport on track to achieving its goal of accommodating 1.2 million passengers over the 10-day period.
Meanwhile, the first-ever direct flight of United States carrier United Airlines between San Francisco, California and Manila, Philippines, touched down at Naia Terminal 3 on Monday. The maiden flight of a United Airlines Boeing 777-300ER aircraft marked a significant milestone in the bilateral relations between the United States and the Philippines.
“This is the new nonstop trans-Pacific flight. It is a testament to the strong bilateral relations,” said Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Roberto Cecilio Lim hailed the event as “historic” and emphasized its symbolic significance.
The Department of Transportation enthusiastically shared news of the inaugural flight on social media, reporting that a grand water cannon salute welcomed the United Airlines aircraft, creating a memorable moment for the passengers and onlookers alike.
The flight arrived at 5:50 a.m. on Monday, ferrying 325 passengers across the Pacific Ocean in a 15-hour journey. Aside from Lim, US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson was also present at the welcoming ceremony.
United Airlines, recognizing the overwhelming demand for the route, revealed that the San Francisco to Manila and Manila to San Francisco flights had become one of the most requested routes in the carrier’s history.
To meet this demand, United Airlines has initiated daily direct flights, offering passengers 60 seats in the United Polaris business cabin, 24 seats in the United Premium Plus cabin and 266 seats in the United Economy cabin. INQ