SAPPORO ROUTE. Executives of flag carrier Philippine Airlines and Hokkaido government officials pose for a photo after their meeting in PAL's Manila office on Wednesday (Nov. 21, 2018). The Japanese visitors gave their support for PAL's upcoming Sapporo route, aimed to attract more tourists from Japan. (Photo courtesy of Cielo Villaluna)

MANILA -- Some officials from the Hokkaido Prefecture went to the Philippine Airlines' (PAL) office in Manila on Wednesday to show their support to the carrier's upcoming Sapporo route.

PAL will launch the Manila-Sapporo route on Dec. 7, which aims to attract more tourists from Japan.

PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said Hokkaido government officials, led by Vice Governor Hitoshi Kubota, met with PAL officials on Wednesday.

"He (Kubota) said the region has already recovered from the 6.7-magnitude quake that hit Hokkaido last September. Kubota also stressed that the tourist spots in Hokkaido are now open and 'business as usual' for both the domestic and international tourists," Villaluna said.

Villaluna said the Hokkaido officials shared that they are currently in the midst of organizing tourism campaigns to attract more travelers to the region.

While PAL president Jaime Bautista earlier said that there is a growing demand for the Sapporo route, he also said that as of now, PAL will only offer the Sapporo route to and from Manila.

"Offering this to and from the other airports in the country will not happen anytime soon," he added.

PAL will be using its new Airbus A321neo aircraft for this route. The airline's executives earlier said the A31neo will provide passengers with in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, and more comfortable seat features.

Currently, PAL flies to Osaka (Kansai), Tokyo (Narita and Haneda), Fukuoka, and Nagoya in Japan. (PNA)