P.A.L. beefing up long-haul fleet with two new B777S

Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will take delivery of two new Boeing 777–300ERs in December 2017 and January 2018, increasing the airline’s B777 for long-haul flights to 10.

Jaime J. Bautista, PAL president and COO, is set to announce the acquisition at today’s (March 24), celebration of the launch of coffee-table book on ordinary employees doing ordinary jobs with a heart at the Bonifacio High Street Central Amphitheater.

The 120-page book was launched during PAL’s 76th anniversary celebration on March 15, 2015. In the gathering, top PAL officials also revealed the airline’s new brand equity, plans and programs.

Bautista took the occasion to announce that PAL aims to become a five-star airline in five years, with service innovations, route-network expansion and fleet modernization as its flagship initiatives, guided by a new brand philosophy—“Heart of the Filipino”.

In unveiling its brand promise, PAL asserted its role as the nation’s flag carrier, representing the best of the Philippines to the world. “The country’s national flag carrier aims to continue its legacy of service to the nation and the rest of the world, leveraging on the strengths of the brand. We take pride in the fact that PAL is the only Filipino legacy carrier offering the distinct brand of service marked by heartfelt warmth and hospitality. We take pride in the overall safety and service competence of the team,” Bautista said.

He added, “Our goal is to make PAL the airline of choice in all the markets we serve, one that exceeds passenger expectation. We want PAL to be a source of pride for Filipinos.”

Meanwhile, Intrepid Aviation has confirmed the PAL acquisition in Twitter, saying it has concluded an agreement with the airline for the long-term lease of two new B777-300ER aircraft, “as a result placing the remaining two B777’s under its 2014 purchase agreement with Boeing.”  “Intrepid and Philippine Airlines have enjoyed a strong partnership dating back to 2013,” said Doug Winter, Intrepid  president and chief commercial officer.

“The Philippines is currently one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, and the airline has been enjoying a strong, profitable growth trajectory over the past few years,” Winter added.

“We truly value the cooperation and support of Intrepid, as we continue our mission to fulfill the potential of Philippine Airlines. With its proven, superior performance, the B777 will be core to our long-haul fleet for many years to come,” Bautista  said. “These new aircraft will help extend our presence into North America, and will be introduced on our London route, as well.”

He also announced that starting March 26, all PAL flights to the Middle East will be nonstop.

These flights are: Manila-Abu Dhabi-Doha will be Manila-Doha; Manila-Dubai-Jeddah will be Manila-Jeddah; and Manila-Dubai-Kuwait will be Manila-Kuwait. Other Middle East flights that will continue to be nonstop are Manila-Dammam and Manila-Riyadh.

On the other hand, Bautista said new domestic routes would also be opened on March 26: Cebu-Puerto Princesa; Cebu-Busuanga; Cebu-Surigao; and Cebu-General Santos.

Meanwhile, Dr. Lucio Tan, PAL chairman and COO, revealed that PAL’s net income for 2016 was lower compared to 2015, due to “stiff competition, airport limitations and other market forces.” In 2015 PAL registered a comprehensive net income that was five times bigger than the previous year.

Stories from the Heart is a compilation of more than 50 heartwarming tales of employees who displayed five service attributes that are expected of PAL staff when engaging the customers—maalaga (caring and hospitable), magaling (efficient and skillful); malambing (warm and friendly); magalang (polite). The book was edited by renowned Palanca awardee Butch Dalisay, which banks on PAL’s brand philosophy “Heart of the Filipino” that was launched last year.

During the celebration, the book was presented by Bautista to Tan, who, in turn, thanked the employees for their hard work that enabled the airline to remain profitable since 2014.

“I want to personally thank each and every PAL employee. Your hard work has made PAL strong and growing. PAL’s profitability has been sustained,” Tan said.



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