Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said on Wednesday it is purchasing nine Airbus A350-1000s, which go for around $350 million each.
Under the memorandum of understanding that it signed with French aircraft manufacturer Airbus, PAL will acquire ultra long-haul jumbo jets that it will deploy to its operations in North America, including to the East Coast of the United States and Canada.
“The A350-1000 combines greater range capability with the higher capacity we need to serve future demand. It’s the perfect aircraft to enable PAL to meet its expansion plans in a sustainable way, while offering passengers the highest levels of onboard comfort,” PAL President Stanley Ng said.
“We are committed to offering our passengers the best possible travel experience, and these state-of-the-art aircraft will enable us to do just that as we carry out our mission to connect the world, and grow trade and tourism.”
He said the range of the A350-1000 would enable the airline to fly nonstop transpacific and transpolar routes in both directions all year.
These will include some of the longest commercial flights in the world, such as those linking the Philippines with New York and Toronto.
With an expanded A350 fleet, PAL will have the ability to once again provide a direct link from the Philippines to Europe, Ng added.
The A350-1000 is the latest and largest version of the A350 Family of long-range jetliners. The new aircraft will join two A350-900s already in service with PAL and currently flying to destinations in North America, Asia and Australia.
Ng first bared plans to acquire more long-haul planes in March.
The first of the nine A350-1000s is slated to be delivered to PAL by the fourth quarter of 2025, with deliveries continuing until 2027.
“Flying passengers farther and in greater comfort, the A350 brings a step-change in fuel efficiency and an immediate significant contribution to reduced emissions. These are the attributes that have made the A350 the choice of leading airlines worldwide. We look forward to working closely with our long-standing customer Philippine Airlines as it moves forward with its long haul fleet modernization program,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.
PAL has likewise secured purchase rights on three additional A350-1000s to allow future expansion to new long haul destinations.
The Filipino carrier is beefing up its fleet as it continues its path to recovery.
This year, PAL is “doubling” its capital expenditures from the year prior, as it “focuses” on improving its brand image while increasing the number of operating jets this year.
Earlier, Ng said the company is investing “significantly” in improving its assets, namely the Mabuhay Lounge, a new office, as well as the upgrades and maintenance of its existing fleet.
It is also reactivating 7 of its parked aircraft to end 2023 with a fleet of 75 working jets. This, he said, requires a “huge investment,” but PAL is determined to increase its capacity leveraging the increased demand for travel.