PAL projects stronger Guam-Manila market amid post-pandemic recovery
Updated: 7 days ago
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Air traffic between Guam and Manila has fully emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic slump and Philippine Airlines is anticipating the market’s further growth.
"Guam has developed into an important part of the United States defense plans," said Gigi Tan Yu, president and managing director of PAL and Goodwind Development Corp.
While the bulk of current passenger traffic comprises tourists, the flag carrier's executives said they anticipate to fly a growing number of H-2B workers to Guam amid the defense-related construction boom.
PAL's optimism is reflected in its move to open a bigger office for Goodwind Travel & Tours, its general sales agent on Guam, on the second floor of Micronesia Mall.
“In these many years Goodwind Travel has assisted our fellow Guamanian residents to get to the Philippines for important life events, medical missions and more recently help with the movement of workers coming to Guam to build and rebuild Guam,” Tan-Yu said.
Since the lifting of pandemic-triggered travel restrictions, PAL’s daily flights have hit the pre-pandemic levels, according to Bud Britanico, vice president for sales.
“It’s good that the (flight) schedule has stabilized,” he said.
PAL carries a daily average of between 160 and 170 passengers, totaling more than a thousand a week, Britanico said.
“We are very optimistic about this market— not just passengers from Guam going to the Philippines, but passengers from the Philippines coming to Guam,” he added. “We’re keeping track of this market, that’s why we opened the new office to better serve the needs of this market.”
Britanico said PAL is also hoping for the U.S. government's favorable response to Guam's request for visa-free entry for Filipino travelers.
Tan-Yu said PAL has flown over 1 million passengers between Guam and the Philippines since Goodwind Travel opened on island in 2002.
“Goodwind Travel and Philippine Airlines has been a stable and steady partner of Guam,” Tan-Yu said. “With the new office, our aim is to make it more accessible, visible and keeping in line with Philippine Airlines' modernization program."
She said the new office was designed to provide customers with convenience.
“We have installed new queueing systems that will allow our customers to roam the mall and an SMS received when it’s close to one’s turn to be helped by our agents,” Tan-Yu said.
“We are making plans to even be of greater service to the Guam community and I look forward to introducing more Philippine Airlines benefits to the Guam market,” she added.