ISTANBUL, TURKEY — Philippine Airlines Commits to "High-Weight Variant Airbus A350-1000s" Amid fleet renewal.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has announced a commitment to acquire nine higher-weight variant Airbus A350-1000s as part of its medium-haul fleet renewal strategy. This variant is similar to those chosen by Qantas for ultra-long-haul flights.

Stanley Ng, President of Philippine Airlines, while speaking at the IATA AGM in Istanbul, mentioned that these new A350s, due to be delivered between 2025 and 2027, wouldn't directly replace its current Boeing 777-300ER fleet.

"Both 777s and A350-1000s will coexist for several years during the transition period, providing us the option to possibly extend some 777 leases, depending on the economic circumstances in the next couple of years," Ng stated.

The carrier signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the nine aircraft in early May, marking its first significant aircraft commitment since emerging from business restructuring. The new A350s will join an existing fleet of two -900s; PAL had previously operated a larger A350 fleet, but reduced its size amid restructuring.

Initially, Ng anticipates deploying the A350-1000s on US routes, which he refers to as the airline's "mainstay."

"Replacing the 777s is one goal, but expanding our network, particularly in Europe, is also crucial," Ng said. Despite exiting the European market due to heavy competition from regional airlines offering one-stop flights during its restructuring phase, Ng believes that with the A350-1000s, PAL could regain an edge by offering non-stop flights to Europe.

Ng also shared that PAL is expected to initiate a medium-haul fleet replacement strategy within the next three to four years, with A350-900s, 787s, or A330neos being considered viable alternatives. The airline's current medium-haul network is operated by A330ceos.

Ng conveyed PAL's aspiration to deploy more wide-body aircraft for regional flights within Southeast Asia and parts of East Asia, considering the limited slot capacity at its main Manila hub.

Headline Suggestions:"Philippine Airlines Commits to High-Weight Variant Airbus A350-1000s Amid Fleet Renewal"
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