Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 second runner-up Gabrielle Manaloto, who was born in the Philippines, winged her way back to her birthplace tonight on Philippine Airlines’ inaugural flight from Auckland to Manila.
Accompanying her on the journey was Miss Universe New Zealand CEO Nigel Godfrey.
The service sees the 156-seat Airbus A320 stop off in Cairns en route, flies every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
At Auckland Airport earlier tonight, Miss Manaloto had her photograph taken with the captain of the aircraft, who will pilot the A320 on its first leg to Cairns.
A native Tagalog speaker, Miss Manaloto found herself easily conversing with the crew of the A320 prior to their flight out of Auckland.
Flying Philippine Airlines’ very comfortable business class, Miss Manaloto and Mr Godfrey were treated to the friendly welcome that the Philippines are known for, giving them a taste of the hospitality that awaits them when they touch down in Manila.
Philippine Airlines cites the large number of Filipino expatriates as a reason for entering the market-place. It is the most convenient route to the Philippines for the 44,000-plus Filipinos residing in New Zealand.
It is the second time Miss Universe New Zealand has experienced the hospitality and service of Philippine Airlines. During the Miss Universe New Zealand finalists’ retreat in September, Philippine Airlines flew the Top 20 to and from Manila, as they visited Cebu and Bohol.
Miss Manaloto is the second Miss Universe New Zealand 2015 finalist to depart from Auckland Airport this week. On December 2, the winner of this year’s competition. Samantha McClung (below), flew to Las Vegas, Nevada, to compete in Miss Universe 2015. The finals for Miss Universe take place on December 20.
Entries for Miss Universe New Zealand 2016 are now open at www.nextmissnz.com.