Global aviation rating firm Skytrax has upgraded its rating on flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) to four-star from three-star quality rating, citing improvements in its in-flight and ground services in the last two years.
The four-star airline rating puts the Philippine carrier at par with such airlines as British Airways, Emirates, Air Canada, Air France, Bangkok Airways, Japan Airlines, KLM, Korean Air and Qantas Airways.
The rating upgrade by UK-based Skytrax, the leading international airline and airport rating system, also puts PAL closer to its ultimate goal of attaining a five-star rating as early as 2020.
A four-star rating was described by Skytrax as a mark of “quality distinction that recognizes excellent standards of product and staff service across different assessment categories for both the onboard and airport environment.”
“This recognizes the great improvements that the airline has introduced over the last two years, both in terms of product change and development and enhancement of the front-line staff service. New and retrofitted aircraft have played an important part in the quality improvement process, and this looks set to develop further when Philippine Airlines introduce the A350 into their fleet. We look for consistency of quality in the four-star rating, and we now entrust Philippine Airlines to ensure this is duly delivered to customers,” Skytrax chief executive Edward Plaisted said in a statement.
“This is a big win for the Philippines,” PAL chair and chief executive Lucio Tan said. “We are elated by this recognition, which is a victory for the more than 7,000 members of the [PAL] family. Our achievement is the country’s achievement and we share this with all Filipinos around the globe.”
“Our get-that-star journey began in 2016. Our efforts over the last two years have borne fruit,” said PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime J. Bautista. “Since 2016, we have embarked on a journey of rolling out in-flight and on-ground innovations, opened new routes, increased connectivity across PAL’s route network, added new aircraft to our fleet and importantly, invested in the Buong Pusong Alaga (whole-hearted) training of all our cabin crew, ground crew and service providers domestically and internationally in order to enhance the passenger travel experience and earn a higher Skytrax rating.”
With the four-star rating now certified, PAL aims to intensify efforts to unveil new products and expand routes, including the launch of non-stop services to New York and Brisbane as well as flights to India and additional routes to Japan and China within 2018.
PAL’s ultimate goal is to join the five-star club, which to date includes only 10 airline operators around the world: Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Asiana Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Lufthansa, ANA All Nippon Airways, Garuda Indonesia, EVA Air and Etihad Airways.
“By offering the public a globally competitive airline service, we are empowered to attract more tourists to visit the Philippines, experience our country’s beauty and our people’s warmth and to generate more economic activity for the Philippines,” Bautista said.