PAL bags 4-star Skytrax rating
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has graduated to four-star from three-star airline quality, according to global aviation industry rating firm Skytrax, citing improvements in the airline’s in-flight services and ground operations in the last two years.
This four-star airline 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.”
In a statement posted on the aviation rating firm’s website, Skytrax chief executive officer Edward Plaisted said: “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 4-star rating, and we now entrust Philippine Airlines to ensure this is duly delivered to customers.”
“This is a big win for the Philippines,” said PAL chair and chief executive officer Lucio Tan. “We are elated by this recognition which is a victory for the more than seven thousand members of the Philippine Airlines 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,” Bautista added.
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.
As early as 2020, PAL aims to attain the five-star Skytrax rating, putting it at par with the likes of 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,” said Bautista.
Skytrax completed the quality audit evaluation of Philippine Airlines in December 2017, examining in detail all product and service delivery areas across the customer trip experience.
Since 2016, PAL finalized fleet orders of Airbus A350s, A321s, Boeing 777s and Bombardier Q400 next generation planes bringing the fleet count to 88 aircraft, the largest fleet in the Philippines. It also: developed new domestic hubs (Clark, Cebu, Davao); introduced new international routes, launched direct non-stop services between Manila and Auckland and Manila and Toronto in addition to existing direct flights to London, San Francisco, and, Los Angeles; improved on-time performance while maximizing fleet productivity; and, strengthened its passenger care.
Eight of the airline’s 15 Airbus A330s have undergone a total cabin transformation from a single economy to a tri-class cabin to make it more comfortable on all classes. The latest Boeing 777s and the incoming Airbus A350s are expected to further upgrade the PAL fleet for the airline’s long-haul international routes.
On in-flight entertainment, PAL rolled out its myPAL eSuite personal TV service that gives passengers access to a wide selection of movies, music and TV shows via touch screen monitors in all classes of many PAL aircraft, while myPAL Player provides in-flight entertainment using passengers’ owned device. myPAL Wi-fi access allows passengers to surf, browse and stay connected.
To improve on-ground service at airports, PAL renovated the inter-terminal transit lounge at the NAIA Terminal 2, improved its business class check-in product, introduced a more efficient boarding procedure and put up airport terminal signage for passenger convenience. By the second quarter of 2018, it will open a new, bigger and more sophisticated Mabuhay Lounge.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.