(MENAFN - Arab News) Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Kingdom have expressed happiness over the resumption of Philippine Airlines (PAL) flights to Saudi Arabia.
"The sight of PAL aircraft taking off and touching down at Saudi airports evokes pride among Filipinos," said Eduard R. Rodriguez, a member of the Eastern Tennis Lawn Association (ELTA) in Alkhobar.
PAL launched non-stop flights from Manila to Dammam and from Dammam to Manila on Tuesday.
Dionisio B. Tabuco Jr., a Filipino community leader in Buraidah in Qassim, said: "I was saddened when PAL ceased operations in Saudi Arabia some years back. I was forced to take other aircraft in going home for my annual vacation."
He said that "flying on your own flag carrier makes you feel at home because most of the crew members are Filipino."
"The flight stewardesses put on a smile when they ask if you need anything. Moreover, most of the passengers are fellow Filipinos," he said.
In Riyadh, Benny M. Quiambao, a community leader, said OFWs are generally happy over the resumption of PAL flights.
"I keep my fingers crossed that it will continue flying to serve hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in Saudi Arabia," he said.
In Jeddah, Ed M. Catimbang, a community leader, said: "I am happy that PAL flies to Saudi Arabia again to serve hundreds of thousands of Filipinos. It makes us feel proud that we have our own flag carrier to serve us."
Some OFWs have however said that while they are happy that PAL is back in operation, "it should improve its services to make Filipinos really feel that they're better off taking the country's official flag carrier."
"PAL's top management should have public service in mind and not only profitability. It should not abruptly stop operations when it starts losing money," they said.
PAL had originally stopped flying to Saudi Arabia because it was allegedly "losing money from flight operations to the Kingdom."