China Eastern Airlines is the last of China’s big three state-owned airlines to enter the Philippines.
The SkyTeam-member airline commenced a daily Shanghai-Manila-Shanghai service on October 19 using an A320 aircraft with 146 seats. It joined state-owned Air China and China Southern Airlines in a bid to get a slice of the growing Chinese and Filipino tourism pie.
China is among the volume markets that countries including the Philippines want to draw in. Outbound and domestic travel hit 80 million and three billion, respectively, last year. However, the much-pronounced territorial dispute and volatile diplomatic relationship of both countries are believed to be limiting the supposed growth of both markets. Chinese inbound to the Philippines remain to be the fastest growing market source in the period of January-September 2013.
The Manila office is led by Channe Chen, general manager.
From Shanghai, China Eastern has built a large network of flights to key European, North American, and Asia-Pacific destinations. It carried about 73 million international and domestic passengers last year.