Asian carrier Philippine Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus at the recent Singapore Airshow for six A350-900s with purchase options for an additional six aircraft. The aircraft will be used to boost the airline’s long-haul network, efficiently using the aircraft’s range to support growth in both Europe and North America.
Philippine Airlines will configure its A350-900s with a premium three class layout and plans to operate the aircraft on non-stop flights from Manila to the US west coast and New York, as well as on services to new destinations in Europe. The aircraft will enable the carrier to operate non-stop service on the 8,000 nautical mile Manila – New York route all year round with a full passenger load.
“After a thorough commercial and technical evaluation, the A350 came out on top in meeting our demanding requirements,” said Jaime J. Bautista, President and Chief Operating Officer, Philippine Airlines.
“With the A350 we will be flying the world‘s most modern airliner, bringing greatly enhanced efficiency and superior passenger comfort. The A350’s range capability has been an important factor in our decision, enabling us to offer non-stop service on all our premium long haul routes,” he added.
Alongside eliminating the current stop on the Manila – New York route, Philippine Airlines is likely to use the A350 to likewise introduce non-stop flights to Toronto in Canada and is known to be exploring the introduction of another mainland US destination.
The airline is further expanding its international operation as it grows its fleet and alongside the Airbus jets a couple of additional Boeing 777-300ERs will arrive later this year. In the space of three years Philippine Airlines has grown its international network from around 25 destinations to over 40, including new flights into the Middle East and from this month the introduction of a Cebu – Los Angeles link, its first widebody international route from Mactan–Cebu International Airport.