PAL may ground two more aircraft
MANILA -Philippine Airlines (PAL) may possibly ground two more aircraft by next year due to supply chain concerns but it is eyeing to lease additional units to prevent flight disruptions.
Stanley Ng, chief operating officer (COO) of the flag carrier, told reporters on Wednesday in Taguig that aircraft maintenance provider Pratt & Whitney (P&W) recalling some aircraft for inspection could reduce its 76-jet fleet.
Currently, four units are parked for maintenance.
P&W is in the process of checking A320neo (new engine option) units after discovering a “rare condition in powdered metal used to manufacture certain engine parts.” Prior to this, the service provider was already dealing with lack of spare parts that resulted in several aircraft queuing up for maintenance.
The two A320neos that could be grounded service flights to Perth and other Australian destinations, Ng said.
If they are out of commission, the COO said they might have to reduce flight frequencies to said destinations. PAL currently offers Manila-Perth flights thrice a week.
But Ng said this was only the “worst case scenario” as they await further updates from P&W.
“But if we’ll get the support from them (P&W), we will be able to lease spare engines and continue to fly,” he said.
“If we can move things around, we can still recover from the situation,” he added.
To beef up its fleet, the flag carrier recently inked a purchase deal for nine A350-1000s with Airbus, which will be used for long haul services from Manila to the East Coast of US and Canada.
It also has 13 units of narrow-body aircraft pending for delivery starting 2026.
The initiative to boost its fleet comes on the heels of resurgence air travel. S&P Global Ratings previously said that passenger traffic in Asia Pacific, including the Philippines, would return to pre-pandemic levels over the next 12 to 18 months.
PAL has also been expanding its routes as the holiday season approaches. It is set to launch Cebu-Laoag flights on Dec. 15, which will be offered twice a week.
“This brand-new service will help us open up a new market for tourist and business travelers by connecting the Ilocos Region via nonstop flights to Cebu, and beyond to other cities in the Visayas and Mindanao,” Ng said earlier.