Philippine Airlines Flying Nonstop From Manila To Miami Today!

Filed Under: Other Airlines

I live right under the approach path to Miami International Airport, and I love keeping an eye on some of the interesting traffic we get. Unfortunately there aren’t many flights nowadays to keep track of, and it seems like a majority of flights are cargo planes, ranging from Qatar Airways 777s to Cathay Pacific 747-8s.

We get a lot of interesting traffic that still catches me off guard, ranging from 64 year old cargo planes coming from Honduras, to Ethiopian Airlines 777s, to Swift Air 737s returning to Miami after deportation flights.

Well, it looks like we’re going to have an especially interesting flight arriving this afternoon…

Philippine Airlines flying to Miami

Philippine Airlines flight 5112 is currently inbound nonstop from Manila to Miami. This flight covers a distance of 9,314 miles, making it well beyond the normal range of the 777-300ER. However, between tailwinds and (presumably) virtually no passengers, the flight is able to operate nonstop.

It looks like the flight is due to land here shortly before 4PM local time, after a journey of “only” about 15hr20min. I believe this may just be the furthest ever nonstop flight to Miami.

Why is this flight being operated?

While I don’t have any inside knowledge, I’m 99% sure I know the reason for this flight. A ton of cruise ship workers are from the Philippines, and many of them are still stuck on ships in Miami. I have a view of the port from where I live, and ships have been coming and going every day (not with passengers, but with crews).

There have even been stories about how cruise ships have been consolidating crews and then sailing all the way to the Philippines, due to a lack of other options for getting crews home.

Cruise ship companies have had huge issues transporting workers back home, and that’s a reason that Ethiopian Airlines has been operating all kinds of charters from the US to Addis Ababa, with connecting flights to Manila.

Ethiopian Airlines has been operating many US charter flights

In a way it seems more efficient for Philippine Airlines to just be operating these charters directly. Personally I’m curious to see when and how this plane leaves Miami:

  • Will the Philippine Airlines crew lay over in Miami and return tomorrow, or did the airline somehow double crew this flight so that they can turn right around?
  • A Boeing 777-300ER can’t fly 9,300+ miles with headwinds and a full load, so where will the plane refuel?

Bottom line

You can bet I’ll be looking overhead this afternoon to see this Philippine Airlines 777 approach. Presumably this is a repatriation flight for cruise ship crews. I’m curious to see when the flight leaves, and where it stops enroute to Manila.

I’m also happy to see that more crews trapped at sea will soon be reunited with their families.

Comments
  1. Lucky, question for you. Do you live right under the flight path to Miami International Airport?

  2. On Friday 15th May Vietnam Airlines flight VN1 using a B787-10 (VN-A879) flew from Hanoi to Washington (IAD) and then Washington (IAD) to Hanoi via Anchorage (see http://www.flightradar24.com).

    Maybe Philippine Airlines will do something similar.

  3. “ I live right under the approach path to Miami International Airport…”

    Color me jealous! I envy you that, seriously.

  4. DL, I believe, used to fly from CPT to MIA some years ago. Probably a touch longer than this flight.

  5. I cannot imagine the pressure those responsible for organising the departure of foreign crew during the pandemic. I wonder if they travelled with 2 sets of crew (with I believe Qantas did for their repatriation flights in Chile / India) or rest in Miami and then return.

  6. There is an awesome plane spotting location in Doral where you can watch The planes landing at MIA from a hundred yards away. Nobody around and plenty of parking. If I lived closer to MIA, I would definitely head there today

  7. Nathan, It was South African Airways and they flew CPT-FLL. It was only Westbound they stopped in FLL on the way to ATL.

  8. Reason and where to Re-fuel on this PAL flight . . . if anybody will doubt, that you’ll find out . . . . sorry, you don’t know Lucky!
    Wait till tomorrow night (MIA time) and you’ll get that details, probably ALL of them! 😉
    Crew rest time and duty time . . . would be interesting to know.

  9. Thanks for the heads up Lucky, as a regular MIA-MNL traveler (usually 2 stops, DFW-NRT/HKG) great to know that this route can indeed be flown non-stop. There is hope for a possible but surely not in the near future, a commercial non stop flight between MIA-Asia 2.
    See u guys at the plane spotting site by El Dorado on SW runway.

    Mabuhay and a safe journey home to the hardworking pinoy seafarers.

  10. And landing from the East so far today! Fingers crossed the winds don’t change and the storms hold off this afternoon. I’ll be watching from Brickell.

  11. I heard it’s leaving to LAX at 6PM today (PR 8113). 100% capacity pax. Interesting if they had multiple crews onboard or if they are going to end up delaying the return.

  12. Technical in LAX or SFO where they already have landing rights and fuel contracts, and ground handling if necessary.

  13. Please don’t get into the landing gear well just to find out where the plane refuels. You probably can see this on Flightaware.

  14. Just pulled it up on Flight Aware, it is flying over Texas at the moment. You guys have it good over there @ MIA!!!

  15. PIA got approved to fly from the U.S. to Pakistan non-stop up to 12 times a month during the pandemic, making it their first non-stop U.S. flights!

  16. Arriving now, just over the Everglades now. Wish I could be there to see it land.
    Lucky will not see it sadly, either.

  17. Thanks for this Lucky! I got a kick out of watching PAL5112 come in just a few minutes ago from my balcony!

  18. @Rob in Miami – Lucky did get to see it I’m sure – he turned around over the ocean to come in westbound. We’re having some weather here. Usually afternoon arrivals land eastbound.

  19. My guess it is to pick up their OFWs who are jobless. There was a charter flight on PAL a few weeks ago to Australia, to pick up the staff from the ill fated Ruby Princess. I feel really sad for these people are often the people providing financial support back to their family (usually extended family too) in the PH.

    I live in Melbourne and all of a sudden planes are flying over the city coming in from the east – lived here for 12 months and never seen them before. I sadly got very excited over an Air NZ flight the other day.

  20. I’m glad for those that can afford the break to make it home.. Shipboard work can be very hard. I’ve spoken to crew on various lines and they put in 14 hour days. The smiling face greeting you at breakfast is the same waiter serving dinner. Most never look tired and always have a smile.

  21. And also some of their Boeing 777-300ER are flying from MNL-JFK-MNL nonstop.

  22. Too bad I was hoping to watch it land tonight in Anchorage. We have been getting some weird flights lately. On one recent day we were the busiest cargo airport in the world.

  23. No. The crew wont have a layover in MIA. There are deadheading crew who will serve the passengers on return flight. They will be making technical stop at LAX on return to MNL.

  24. It’s a double crew, and nobody is going down in MIA. They are flying back to MNL via LAX.

  25. A few years ago China Airlines flew a 777 nonstop from Taipei to Miami on a charter flight carrying the Taiwanese president, which was the first ever nonstop flight between Asia and Miami. I’m not aware of any nonstop Asia flights since.

    The China Airlines flight was rumored to be a precursor to a regular commercial route, but that never panned out. Miami airport officials has been trying hard for many years to lure an airline to launch a nonstop service to Asia.

  26. I’m so jealous of where you live! I used to live in the approach path of IAD and my office overlooked their runway. Now, I’m in Melbourne, FL and only see a couple of flights out of MCO.

    Anyhow, this whole cruise ship crew fiasco seems to have been managed horribly. Couldn’t they have let the crew off at the port with reasonable confidence that they are “clean” being that they have been in a controlled environment for the last two months?

  27. “PAL flies to Miami amid COVID to fetch 347 Filipino seafarers and bring them home” according to ABSCBN News website a news conglomerate based in the Philippine

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