Philippine Airlines, also known as PAL, is the national airline of the Philippines. It was the first airline in Asia and the oldest of those currently in operation. With its corporate headquarters in Makati City, Philippine Airlines flies both domestic (like flights to Manila) and international flights (like to the North of America). As of 2005, it claims to serve twenty-one domestic airports and thirty-one foreign cities. Its main hub is Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the capital city of Manila. Its principal Asian competitors are China Airlines and Japan Airlines.
Philippine Airlines was founded in February of 1941, making it Asia's oldest carrier still operating under its current name. The airline was started by a group of businessmen led by Andres Soriano, hailed as one of the Philippines' leading industrialists at the time. Government investment in September of the same year paved the way for its nationalization.
It started its operations in March 1941 with a single Beech Model 18 aircraft making one flight daily between Manila (from Nielson Field) and Baguio. PAL services were interrupted during World War II, which lasted in the Philippines from 1942 until 1945. In February 1946, after the war, Philippine Airlines resumed operations with services to 15 domestic points. In December of the same year, it started regular service between Manila and San Francisco.In 1982 Philippine Airlines, would start services to Paris via Zurich.
PAL would be privatized in January of 1992, when the government would sell its share of PAL to a holding company called PR Holdings. However, a conflict as to who would lead PAL led to a compromise in 1993, when former Education Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez was elected PAL president by the airline's board of directors. However, PAL suffered heavy losses in the mid- to late 1990s. Service was drastically cut during the Asian financial crisis, which lasted from 1997 until 2001. Service to Europe and many other international destinations was eliminated and PAL eliminated most of its domestic destinations as its domestic fleet was scrapped to keep PAL afloat during the crisis.
In 2000, PAL finally returned to profitability, making some 44.2 million pesos in its first year of rehabilitation, breaking some six years of heavy losses. Later that year, PAL would sell its maintenance and engineering units to Lufthansa Technik AG. PAL opens an e-mail booking facility. The system allows passengers to book their flights and receive a reply within 24 hours. In 2001, PAL continued to gain a net profit of 419 million pesos in its second year of rehabilitation. In this year alone, PAL restored services to Sydney, Busan, Taipei , Jakarta, Vancouver, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok, while launching new services to Shanghai and Melbourne. A year later, PAL restored services to Tagbilaran and Guam. During 2002, the PAL website was relaunched, and its frequent flyer program, called Mabuhay Miles, was launched. After that PAL launches a lot of programms, facilitites and purchased few airbuses for making flights of the passengers more easier.