Philippine Airlines places $7bn Airbus order

Philippine Airlines places $7bn Airbus order

Philippine Airlines has placed a firm order with Airbus covering more than 50 aircraft consisting of single aisle A321s and widebody A330-300s, the latest High Gross Weight models.

The first batch of aircraft is being ordered under a major fleet modernisation program at the airline with deliveries starting in 2013.

The deal is valued at US$7 billion at list prices.

The single aisle A321 aircraft are being purchased to enhance the airline’s product offerings on domestic and regional routes, as well as support alliances with partner airlines.

The A330s will be operated on higher demand regional routes and longer range services to the Middle East and Australia. PAL will announce engine selections for all the aircraft at a later date.

PAL’s refleeting program is in line with management’s efforts to strengthen the flag carrier and help boost the Philippine economy.

“The orders we are placing with Airbus will play a key role in revitalizing PAL and growing trade and tourism in the country,” said PAL chairman Lucio Tan and PAL president Ramon Ang.

“With these aircraft we will be able to offer more passengers the best the industry has to offer across our Asia-Pacific network.

“At the same time, we will benefit from the low operating costs associated with new generation aircraft and the reduced impact on the environment.”

The A321 is the largest member of the best-selling A320 Family, which offers the lowest operating costs of any single aisle product line today.

These costs will be reduced even further with the arrival of the new engine option (NEO) in 2015, delivering additional fuel savings of up to 15 per cent.

To date, over 8,500 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and more than 5,200 delivered to 365 customers and operators worldwide.

The twin engine A330 is one of the most widely-used widebody aircraft in service today.