PAL to set new standard with A350 fleet

To fly nonstop almost halfway around world on longest routes ever to be served by PH carrier.

TOULOUSE, FRANCE -- Four-star carrier Philippine Airlines has accepted delivery of its first of six Airbus A350 aircraft orders in special ceremonies held at the Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse, France.

PAL President and Chief Operations Officer Jaime Bautista accepted the A350 - the new flagship of the airline’s long-haul operations - in ceremonies held at the Airbus Delivery Center with airline and media guests in attendance.

A delivery dinner was hosted by Airbus earlier at the Toulouse Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Bautista said, “I am proud and happy to welcome the Airbus A350 fleet to the PAL family. The aircraft is a game changer in the industry with their greater range, lower fuel burn emissions and lower operating costs.

This aircraft utilizes advanced technology and top-notch design for improved operational performance and will be assigned to premium routes and will thus address the need for comfort, convenience and efficiency, he added.

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz cited “the strong working partnership between Philippine Airlines and Airbus through the years” as he emphasized “the all - new efficient design which includes the latest technologies improving operational performance burning 25%less fuel and generating 25% less CO2 emissions.”

PAL spokesperson Ma. Cielo Villaluna said. PAL’s A350 will set a new standard by allowing the flag carrier to fly nonstop almost halfway around the world on the longest routes ever to be served by a Philippine carrier.

According to her, the A350’s range and efficiency are the result of its all-new design and state of the art technology, starting with the aircraft’s advanced Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine. The A350 can fly up to 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 km) and boasts a quieter cabin up to 4 times less noise, making it the quietest twin-aisle aircraft to date.

The A350 XWB structure, 70% of which is made of advanced material including 53% composites, is not only light weight and very strong but also costs significantly less to maintain.

PAL flights to the U.S. and Europe will get a major boost, as the A350 will be deployed on the nonstop Manila-New York JFK and Manila-London Heathrow routes by the end of October 2018. Services to other points in North America and/or Europe are expected to follow as more aircraft join the fleet over the next 12 months, including possible routes to Seattle, Chicago and a point in Western Europe.

PAL has placed six firm orders for Airbus A350-900s, and options for an additional six A350s. Four are to be delivered in 2018, and the other two are slated for delivery in mid-2019.

PAL’s new A321neo gives PAL the ability to match the right kind of aircraft to mid-size markets, and thus to better pioneer new routes and develop new sources of passenger traffic.

“We are proud and excited to operate the new A321neos -- a more advanced version of the A321ceos with extended flight range but with cabins specially tailored to serve longer routes with greater comfort. We can better tap new long-haul markets that were not viably accessible with the older generation of single-aisle aircraft,” Bautista explained.

The brand new planes are now flying the nonstop routes between Manila and Brisbane, with the Brisbane Airport Corporation hailing the July 2nd launch of PAL’s A321neo flights as “a tremendous day for Brisbane Airport” that “opens up a world of opportunity” for growing travel markets.

Villaluna said the A321neo will also pioneer PAL’s new Manila-Sapporo (Japan) route in September, marking another historic first for Philippine and Japanese aviation, with Sydney (Australia) and other destinations to follow in the Asia-Pacific region.