Philippine Airlines Nears 787/A350 Choice
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Airlines (PAL) is on track to make a decision by the end of 2015 regarding whether it will order Boeing 787s or Airbus A350s to replace its A340 fleet.
The airline has received proposals from both manufacturers and is still conducting its evaluation. The management team hopes to make a recommendation to the board within the next few months, and then the board will make the final decision.
PAL may order eight aircraft, said PAL president Jaime Bautista. These would replace the six A340-300s in the fleet and also provide for some fleet growth. The new aircraft would provide the carrier with the opportunity to fly new nonstop sectors, such as Manila-New York.
The versions being considered by the carrier are the Boeing 787-9 and the Airbus A350-900. Whichever aircraft type is selected will be configured with less than 300 seats, including economy, premium economy and business class. The A340s currently have a 254-seat, two-class layout.
PAL is due to receive two more leased Boeing 777-300ERs next year, in October and December. However, the carrier will not phase out any of its A340s at that time, according to Bautista. Retirement of those aircraft will probably wait until the 787s or A350s begin arriving.