Although it went through turbulent times with a sullied reputation in the 1980s, the Philippine Airlines is one of the iconic brands of the Philippines being the oldest airline company in Asian that is still in operation.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) was officially founded on February 26, 1941, but its license to operate as an airliner was derived from the merged Philippine Aerial Taxi Company (PATCO) established by mining magnate Emmanuel N. Bachrach in December 3, 1930, making it as Asia’s oldest scheduled carrier still in operation. PAL’s commercial air service started three weeks later from Manila to Baguio, making it Asia’s first airline route. Bachrach’s death in 1937 paved the way for its eventual merger with Philippine Airlines in March 1941 and made it Asia’s oldest airline. It is also the oldest airline in Asia still operating under its current name.
Bachrach’s majority share in PATCO was bought by beer magnate Andres Soriano in 1939 upon the advice of General Douglas McArthur and later merged with newly formed Philippine Airlines with PAL as the surviving entity. PAL restarted service on March 15, 1941 with a single Beech Model 18 NPC-54 aircraft, which started its daily services between Manila (from Nielson Field) and Baguio.
On July 31, 1946, 64 years ago to this day, chartered PAL DC-4 ferried 40 American servicemen to Oakland, California from Nielson Airport in Makati City with stops in Guam, Wake Island, Johnston Atoll and Honolulu, Hawaii, making PAL the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific Ocean. A regular service between Manila and San Francisco was started in December 1946, the same year that the airline was designated as the flag carrier of Philippines. (From: Wikipedia).
Mabuhay ang Philippine Airlines!