PAL orders six Airbus A350s in $1.8-B deal
SINGAPORE—Philippine Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding with European plane maker Airbus for an order of six A350-900 aircraft, with another six purchase options.
This was announced yesterday at the Singapore Airshow by PAL president and COO Jaime Bautista and Airbus president and CEO Fabrice Bregier, who said that the value of the deal at “list prices”—or before discounts were applied—stood at $1.8 billion.
PAL will configure its A350-900s with a premium three-class layout and will 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.
Bautista said the flag carrier would take delivery of its first A350 in two years and would mark the first step in PAL’s quest “to become a five-star, full service airline in five years.”
The aircraft will enable the carrier to operate non-stop service on the 8,000-nautical-mile New York-Manila route all year round with a full passenger load of more than 300 per flight.
For passengers, the aircraft offers more personal space in all classes, including 18-inch wide seats as standard in economy class.
To date, Airbus has recorded 777 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 41 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful wide body aircraft in history.
“After thorough commercial and technical evaluation, the A350 came out on top in meeting out demanding requirements,” Bautista said in a statement released by Airbus. “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 explained.
Bautista said the new aircraft would replace PAL’s older long haul planes like the Airbus A340. Apart from trans-Pacific routes, PAL will also use the A350s for new non-stop flights that it plans to launch between Manila and Paris, Rome and Frankfurt, he added.
For his part, Bregier said he was pleased to welcome PAL as the latest airline to select the A350 XWB (extra wide body).
“The A350 XWB has set new standards, combining extra-long range capability with the lowest operating costs of any aircraft in the larger twin aisle category,” the Airbus chief said. “Passengers flying with PAL can look forward to the new levels of comfort offered by the aircraft, with a wider and quieter cabin, and more personal space for all.”
The A350 XWB is the world’s latest generation airliner and the newest member of the Airbus wide body family. Featuring the most modern aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus fuel-efficient Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, the A350 brings a 25-percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.
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