The airline seeks to increase capacity on well-traveled long-distance routes.
Philippine Airlines has chosen the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft as a progressive step in its fleet expansion program. The airline already uses the -900 model of the aircraft, and the addition of the A350-1000s will allow it to expand its capacity to well-traveled areas like the US and Canada.
With Airbus, Philippine Airlines has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to purchase nine A350-1000 aircraft. The new plane will complement the carrier’s existing fleet of two A350-900s, which fly to locations in Australia, Asia, and the US.Similar to the -900s, the new aircraft will have premium cabins that are divided into business class, premium economy, and economy class cabins. Christian Scherer, the chief commercial officer of Airbus, said:
“The A350 provides a step-change in fuel efficiency and an immediate major contribution to lower emissions, carrying passengers farther and in more luxury. Leading airlines throughout the world have chosen the A350 due of these qualities. As Philippine Airlines continues with its long-haul fleet modernization initiative, we look forward to working closely with them.
Philippine Airlines would be able to fly nonstop transpacific and transpolar routes in both directions all year long thanks to the A350-1000. These would also include some of the world’s longest commercial flights, such those that connect the Philippines with the US and Canada’s East Coast and destinations like New York and Toronto.
The airline already travels to these locations, but the additional aircraft will enable it to increase capacity in light of the rising demand.Additionally, an increased A350 fleet would allow Philippine Airlines to resume offering a direct flight from the Philippines to Europe. Philippine Airlines’ President and Chief Operating Officer, Captain Stanley K. Ng, said,
“The A350-1000 combines a longer range with the increased capacity we require to meet future demand. It’s the ideal aircraft to allow PAL to sustainably accomplish its expansion ambitions while providing customers with the highest standards of onboard comfort.
With the huge increase in travel demand, Philippine Airlines anticipates a successful 2023. The carrier’s situation has changed significantly since the COVID years, when it was forced to ground six of its A350-900 planes because of a cash shortage.However, the airline is currently dealing with a new problem. It needs to immediately grow its widebody fleet but is having trouble locating Airbus A350 or Boeing 777 planes that are available.
The carrier has 21 widebody aircraft in its fleet, including 10 Airbus A330s, nine Boeing 777-300ERs, and two Airbus A350-900s, according to ch-aviation.com.But with so many travelers coming back, Philippine Airlines is eager to buy widebody aircraft as soon as possible. While the extension of its long-haul fleet will be handled by the present MoU with Airbus, it is unclear when the airline will be able to acquire these new planes.