United Airlines set to boost US tourist arrivals with new Manila-San Francisco route

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Aerial view of United Airlines Boeing 777-200 airplane

United Airlines is all set to inaugurate its daily flights between Manila and San Francisco starting October 30, 2023. This marks them as the sole American airline offering a direct connection between the Philippines and the United States. The airline is optimistic that this move will significantly assist in the recovery of US tourist arrivals to the Philippines.

Walter Dias, the Regional Sales Director for Greater China, Korea, and Southeast Asia at United Airlines, voiced his anticipation of an uptick in visitors from the US thanks to this new route. “We’ve observed a compelling surge in demand in both directions when we’ve introduced new flights to Asia and the Pacific. We are confident the Philippines will mirror this trend,” said Dias.

The decision to introduce this route was influenced by the rapidly escalating travel demand in the US. “At present, the travel appetite in the US is burgeoning. The accelerated growth in international traffic prompted us to meticulously evaluate potential markets in the Asia-Pacific region,” Dias elaborated.

The airline’s proposed flight UA190 is scheduled to leave the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 9:55 a.m. daily, touching down at the San Francisco International Airport at 6:20 a.m. on the same day. Conversely, flight UA191 will embark from San Francisco around midnight, reaching Manila at 6:50 a.m. two days thereafter.

A Boeing 777-300ER, fitted with a total of 350 seats – 60 business class, 24 premium plus, and 266 economy seats – will fly this new route. But the airline’s expansion doesn’t halt there. New routes spanning Asia and the Pacific, encompassing nations like Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan are also on the horizon.

Statistical data reveals that as of July 19, 2023, the Philippines had welcomed 550,569 visitors from the US. In a pre-pandemic world, specifically 2019, the US was responsible for sending a staggering 1.06 million tourists to the Philippines. This impressive figure secured the US’s position as the third largest tourist source, trailing only South Korea and China.

In addition to boosting tourism, Dias highlighted the opportunity for Filipinos to leverage the United Airlines’ extensive network from San Francisco. With over 70 destinations across the US, Canada, and Latin America, the connectivity is unparalleled.

United Airlines isn’t new to the Filipino market. The airline consistently operates flights from Manila to Guam daily and bi-weekly flights to Palau.

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