Philippine Airlines Plans A340 Fleet Retirement

Aviation Updates Philippines - National flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, plans to retire its gas-guzzling Airbus A340-300 fleet and also plans to acquire six or more new fuel efficient aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the next generation Airbus A350-900 XWB.
Flying the beautiful Airbus A350-900 XWB.
(PHOTO) Airbus
“If there’s a buyer, we can sell the A340s. The A340s are becoming more expensive to operate because it consumes more fuel,” Philippine Airlines President and Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Bautista told reporters during the sidelines of the annual stockholders’ meeting of aviation support services provider MacroAsia Corp. on Friday.
According to Bautista, he wants the aircraft to be delivered as early as 2018 in order for the company to retire its ageing Airbus A340 fleet as soon as possible. Bautista recently leased two Boeing 777-300ER from Intrepid Aviation to boost its 78 strong fleet and to further expand its U.S. destinations.

The two Boeing 777-300ER are expected to arrive on October and December 2016. Besides the 777, the airline also expects the delivery of five more Airbus A321-200 aircraft fitted with sharklets (bend wingtip to reduce fuel consumption). “Next year, we will take delivery of another five A321s and two B777-300 ER,” he said.

“When we operate the Boeing 777, because it has more seats than an A340, these airplanes will fly to the US next year to replace the A340. Right now we have six A340s,” President Bautista said.

Bautista said that Philippine Airlines will only choose one aircraft type to replace the gas-guzzling aircraft for its long-haul operation. The airline will place an order for six or more aircraft but it is possible to increase depending on the market growth.

“We’re still in the process of evaluation whether we will acquire a 350 or a 787. Hopefully [we close that] within the year, because these airplanes are very in-demand,” Bautista said. “Even if you order now, the earliest you can get it from both manufacturers will be in 2018 or 2019,” he added.