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Airlines to the Philippines: Book the Cheapest Ticket to the Islands

Traveling to and from the Philippines is not difficult, as many of the world’s major airlines include the country in their routes and destinations. The flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, serves43 international and 30 domestic destinations.

The Philippines has 12 international airports, as well as 33 domestic and 40 community airports. The biggest and busiest airport is the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, which serves as the main hub for nearly all flights to and from the country.

The country’s other international airports are considerably smaller in size than NAIA, and thus have limited hosting capabilities. They mostly serve as hubs for smaller, budget airlines.

If you’re looking for lower travel costs, these budget airlines are your best options. Arriving at international airports closer to your final destination can also give you considerable time and cost savings.

Here’s a look at the airlines with the cheapest fare to the Philippines.

Philippine Airlines

As the country’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL) has the most flights to Manila from around the world. Though not classified as a low-cost airline, it offers some of the cheapest airfares to the country.

PAL’s sister airline, Philippine Airlines Express, or PALexpress, offers low-cost flights to various destinations around the country.

Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific started as a domestic airline offering lower fares than Philippine Airlines. It launched its budget international flights in 2011, with what were then innovations in the Philippines, such as e-ticketing, and prepaid excess baggage and seat choices. The airline has steadily expanded its coverage over the years, and now operates in several Asian and Australian cities.

Cebu Pacific’s subsidiary, CEBgo, offers low-cost domestic flights to various destinationsin the Philippines. CEBgo is the latest rebranding of SEAir and Tigerair Philippines.

Air Asia

Air Asia is one of the leading low-cost airlines operating across Asia and Australia. It does not offer many flights to the Philippines, but it does fly to the country out of major markets like Seoul, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

This Malaysian-based airline acquired Zest Airways in the Philippines, and offers domestic flights under the brand Philippines AirAsia ZEST.

Jet Star

Singapore-based Jet Star Asia Airways is the latest low-cost airline to fly to the Philippines from various Asian countries. Early in 2016, Jet Star Japan offered direct flights to the Philippines from three Japanese cities, citing the large number of Japanese travelers to the Philippines.

Nearly half-owned by Qantas Airways, Jet Star also offers low-cost flights to Manila from several cities in Australia, connecting through Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

Tips for low-cost travel to the Philippines

If you’re looking to travel to the Philippines on a budget, the airlines mentioned above are your best bets. These airlines also offer promo fares or seat sales to various destinations in the country several times a year.

Here are some tips on how to find the lowest airfare to the Philippines:

  • Learn about the routes and airports served by each airline to narrow down your search.

  • Avoid peak seasons, such as Christmas and New Year holidays, Holy Week, and other major national holidays

  • Subscribe to the airlines’ promo announcements and be quick to book your flights, as these can easily sell out

  • Know which fees are included in an advertised fare. “All-in fares”would include all required fees, such as fuel surcharge, airport fees and others, but not optional services like meals and check-in baggage. “Base fares” only include the ticket price.