PAL reactivates older aircraft to augment reduced fleet
MANILA -Philippine Airlines (PAL) is taking delivery of an aircraft this week to increase its fleet, which has been reduced in size as some units are under maintenance, resulting in a string of flight disruptions recently.
In a disclosure on Friday, the flag carrier said the Airbus A321ceo (current engine option), a reactivated single-aisle jet with 199-passenger capacity, will service domestic and regional routes.
Two aircraft, an Airbus A330-300 with 363 seats and a De Havilland Dash 8-400NG with capacity of 86 passengers, are also expected to arrive this fourth quarter.
“We are taking various actions to boost our fleet count and enable us to meet the continuing surge in travel demand while minimizing delays and cancellations,” said Christoph Gaertner, vice president for network planning of PAL.
The Lucio Tan-led airline, along with Cebu Pacific, recently had to cancel or suspend several flights as some of their aircraft were parked for maintenance. The US-based engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney is unable to provide required aircraft maintenance immediately due to supply chain issues.
“We are working with our suppliers as well as aircraft and engine manufacturers on initiatives to increase efficiency without compromising safety, which is our absolute top priority,” he said.
Prior to this, the carrier sealed the deal to acquire nine A350-1000s, long-range widebody aircraft, with Airbus to beef up its fleet.
The A350-1000s, which will be used for long haul services from Manila to the East Coast of the United States and Canada, are expected to arrive in two years.
This model has separate cabins for business class, premium economy and economy class and can accommodate 380 passengers. It can fly for 18,000 kilometers nonstop.
PAL currently operates a 69-jet fleet.
In the first quarter, parent company PAL Holdings Inc. reported that its net income attributable to equity holders of the parent company grew by more than four times to P4.65 billion for the period from P1.08 billion a year ago. The bottom line was lifted by passenger revenues, which surged by 119 percent to P37.62 billion in the first quarter.
It serviced 3.4 million passengers in the first three months, showing 156.2-percent growth from the same period last year.