Philippine Airlines mounted a special flight to Surakarta, Indonesia, last July 26 to transport The Philippine team participating in the 11th ASEAN Para Games.
PAL flight PR8541 to Surakarta’s Adi Soemarmo Airport, flown with an Airbus A321CEO jetliner, carried the Philippine para-athletes with their coaches, secretariat, and officers of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PHILSPADA).
Composed of 136 differently-abled athletes, the Philippine Team is competing with 10 other Southeast Asian countries in the bi-annual multi-sport event hosted by Indonesia. The Filipino Para Athletes are competing in sports such as Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boccia, Chess, Goal Ball, Judo, Powerlifting, Seating Volleyball, Swimming, Table Tennis, and Wheelchair Basketball. They have won 53 medals so far, bringing honor and recognition to the country and representing the triumph of Filipino talent and skill over adversity. The PH Team has already claimed 19 gold, 20 silver, and 33 bronze medals.
“Thank you so much. The team safely landed,” commented Walter Torres, Chef de Mission 11th ASEAN Para Games, and the Philippine Paralympic Committee Secretary-General as the athletes arrived in Surakarta. “This is indeed a milestone not only for us but for PAL as well.”
The special PAL service is a first-of-its-kind charter utilizing an entire aircraft for such a mission involving specialized care and handling. The task was achieved through the concerted action of various operational, commercial and customer service teams within PAL to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants with their varying needs and concerns.
The two-week competition will run until August 7. The athletes are set to return on another chartered PAL flight.
“It is an honor and a privilege for Philippine Airlines to transport the Filipino athletes who carry the nation’s flag in global competitions.”