PAL makes milestone polar flight
FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines flew its milestone 1st ultra-long polar flight from Toronto, Canada nonstop to Manila — the first-ever crossing of the Polar region by a Filipino airline.
PAL flight PR119 took off from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport at 12:53 a.m. local time December 17, arriving in Manila the next day at 6:10 a.m. December 18, after a 16-hour journey across the Arctic Region.
The historical flight was led by PAL vice president for flight operations Captain Florendo Jose “Chuck” Aquino III, together with Captain Raymond “XP” Casambre, First Officer Paul “Boom” Domingo and Second Officer Jhonathanne “Jo” Hizon.
The state-of-the-art 370-seater Boeing 777-300ER, with registry number RP-C7779, flew 7,200 nautical miles or 13,300 kilometers and traveled over Canada, Greenland, the Arctic Circle, Russia, Mongolia and parts of China. The flight was conducted at cruising altitudes ranging from 29,000 to 37,000 feet.
PAL President and COO Jaime J. Bautista proudly said, “This was the first nonstop direct flight from Toronto to Manila over the polar region (north pole). Kudos to the PAL team which made this flight a reality and most importantly, congratulations to our PAL flight deck crew under the leadership of Capt. Chuck. You make us proud.”
For his part, Capt. Aquino said, “I am truly honored to have been given the privilege to lead this milestone flight. More than that, I was glad to be part of a journey that brought much happiness to passengers on board as they were given a rare treat of the Northern Lights.”
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