Philippine Airlines (PAL) is the international airline of the Philippines. It also serves many domestic destinations.
Philippine Airlines was began in February 1941 by a group of businessmen led by Andres Soriano. Government investment in September of the same year paved the way for its nationalization.
It started operations with a single Beech Model 18 aircraft making one flight daily between Manila and Baguio. In 1946, after the war, PAL resumed operations with services to 15 domestic points. Its fleet consisted of five Douglas DC-3ss. In the same year, a chartered DC-4 ferries 40 American servicemen to California, making PAL the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific. In the same year, it started regular service between Manila and San Francisco. Philippine Airlines nowadays uses a fleet of all GE-powered Boeing 737-300's and 737-400's, 747-400's and Airbus A320, A330-300's, A340-300's.
PAL has 21 crash records, the last one being in 1999 and most of them being in its earlier years.
Now at 61, it has a modern fleet of aircraft and a route network that spans 22 foreign cities (Amsterdam, Bangkok, Busan, Cairo, Doha, Dubai, Fukuoka, Guam, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Okinawa, Osaka, Riyadh, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo and Vancouver) and 19 domestic points (Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu City, Cotabato City, Davao City, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos City, Iloilo City, Kalibo, Legazpi, Naga, Puerto Princesa, Roxas City, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga City).
On December 11, 1994, a small bomb exploded below the seat of a Japanese businessman on Philippine Airlines Flight 434. The businessman perished, but none of the other 293 passengers were killed. The Boeing 747-200 landed safely. Investigators later found that Ramzi Yousef, an Al-Qaeda terrorist, planted the bomb there to test it out for a terrorist attack he was planning, Project Bojinka. The plan was foiled after an apartment fire in Manila led investigators to the laptop computer and disks containing the plan.