Our afternoon visiting the Royal Suite at Heathrow for the inaugural flight of Philippine Airlines Manila to London route
Our afternoon visiting the Royal Suite at Heathrow for the inaugural flight of Philippine Airlines Manila to London route.
We arrived at Heathrow terminal 4 at 14:10 to meet a coach which took us to the Royal Suite which was airside. We had to show our passports and go through various security checks to enter. We were greeted by 2 of Her Majesty's Royal guards. We were served English tea and scones whilst we waited for the arrival of PR 720 from Manila.
This was the first scheduled PAL flight to land in the UK for 15 years. This new service, will be departing from Manila to London 5 times a week and vica versa. This flight left Manila at around midnight on Nov 4th Philippine time, arriving at approximately 15:30 in London.
The flight left slightly late from Manila as I am sure being the inaguaral flight, they needed to wait for various dignitaries to arrive, so totally understandable.
When the Boeing 777-300ER touched down in London, there was much excitement and anticipation from all of us. The plane taxied past the Royal Suite, quite close to us, so we had time to take photos and videos. As the plane approached the stand, it was met by an airport fire engine, which sprayed it with a water cannon, this is traditional for all new flights arriving at the airport.
We waited a few minutes and then the VIP guests started to arrive, firstly the president of PAL, Ramon S.Tang and British Ambassador to the Philippines, Asif Ahmad. They were met by Philippine Ambassador to the Court of St James, Enrique Manalo. Other guests on board included Mr Danny Buenafe, chief correspondent of Balitang Europe, ABS-CBN, various senior government officials from the Philippines and Philippine media.
We attended a press conference where Mr Ang made a short speech, followed by both Ambassadors and the operations manager from Heathrow, all congratulating Philippine Airlines on this great achievement, then there was cutting of the cake and then a toast was given.
This is a time for much celebration, marking this important day for the Philippines and the United Kingdom. The first direct non stop flight from London to Manila took off later in the afternoon and is bound for Manila as we speak.
Mabuhay Philippine Airlines, wishing those bound for Manila a safe and pleasant journey.