By Ricardo Meier
Phillipine Airlines (PAL), recovered from a financial restructuring, decided to choose the A350-1000 to compose its ultra long range fleet. The carrier has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for nine jets with an option for an additional three aircraft.
The new A350-1000s will be delivered between 2025 and 2027 and are expected to replace Phillipine’s older Boeing 777-300ERs. The deal is yet another setback for the US manufacturer, which has the 777-9 and 777-8 as official replacements for the first-generation 777.
Phillipine Airlines has nine 777-300ERs, with an average age of almost ten years, in addition to two A350-900s and ten A330-300s. The airline, however, already had a larger fleet of A350s, reduced after financial problems.
PAL said it will configure its A350-1000s with Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class cabins. The aircraft is expected to perform flights such as Manila-New York and Manila-Toronto on transpolar and transpacific routes.
“The A350-1000 combines greater range capability with the higher capacity we need to serve future demand. It’s the perfect aircraft to enable PAL to meet its expansion plans in a sustainable way, while offering passengers the highest levels of onboard comfort,” said Captain Stanley K. Ng, President and Chief Operating Officer of Philippine Airlines.
The A350 family approaches 1,000 units ordered. By the end of April, the widebody had 928 firm orders from 54 customers worldwide.