PHILIPPINE AIRLINES RETURNING TO GUAM NEXT MONTH

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By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (May 2, 2002 – Pacific Daily News)---June 21 is the date when the Philippines' flag carrier is scheduled to re-establish an air link between Guam and Manila, said Miriam Capistrano, President of the Guam Society of Travel Agents.

Philippine Airlines has sent a notice to Guam travel agents about its plan to fly to Guam beginning on June 21 and start service from Guam to Manila on June 22, Capistrano said.

The airline plans to provide flights three times a week on the Guam-Manila route, she said.

Philippine Airlines' Guam re-entry gives competition to Continental Airlines, the only commercial carrier providing direct air service between Guam and Manila since Air Nauru stopped serving the route more than a year ago.

Philippine Airlines offers convenience for many of Guam's residents who travel to Philippine provinces and cities that are served by the airline's domestic lights, Capistrano said.

Guam residents traveling to the U.S. mainland also can travel on Philippine Airlines via Manila, Capistrano said.

Philippine Airlines' gateways to North America include Los Angeles and San Francisco, according to the airline's Web site, http://www.philippineair.com

Guam travel agents welcome the return of Philippine Airlines, which pays commissions, Capistrano said. Agents have been financially hit by recent decisions by U.S. carriers Continental and Northwest Airlines to eliminate commission payments to travel agents, including those on Guam.

Philippine Airlines pulled out of its Guam-Saipan-Manila route in September 1993 after suffering huge losses, according to Pacific Daily News files.

In Saipan, the airline filed a lawsuit in federal court to try to recover about $350,000 in ticket sales which, according to court papers, were not remitted by the airline's former general sales agent in Saipan.

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES' GUAM-MANILA SCHEDULE

Departs Guam for Manila at 6:40 a.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Departs Manila for Guam at 10 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

For additional reports from the Pacific Daily News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Pacific Daily News (Guam).

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