Philippine Airlines Evaluates Possible New Aircraft to Enter Fleet

Aviation Updates Philippines - National flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, evaluate the possible new aircraft to be ordered in order for the airline to launch more non-stop flights and hopefully, lessen fuel costs. PAL said on Thursday that the airline will possibly order eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners or Airbus A350-900 XWBs and new Q300 and Q400 next generation aircraft to replace the ageing planes.
Bombardier Q400 NextGen (PHOTO) Bombardier
According to Jaime Bautista, President and Chief Operating Officer of Philippine Airlines, these new aircraft will be able to cut expenses as it has a lower maintenance and fuel costs due to its newly developed efficiency. The Boeing 787 or Airbus A350 will be able to fly non-stop to PAL's current United States and European flights from Manila.

“There are proposals from Airbus and Boeing but we are not yet ready to announce which airplane we will choose,” Bautista said. “It will be very efficient if we operate the same types of plane.” he added.

The Boeing 787 reduces fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. Airbus said that "the A350 XWB is setting a new standard of efficiency in its class, with 25 per cent lower fuel consumption compared to its current competitor."

However, an aircraft comparison website shows that the Boeing 787 can fly up to 8,200 nautical miles, longer that the Airbus A350's 7,750 nautical mile range. The 787 cruises at about 510 knots compared to the A350 that cruises at about 487 knots.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines also plans to replace its existing Bombardier Q400 and Q300 with newer ones. PAL said that they expect the new planes will arrive a year after the order was placed.

“We have nine turboprop airplanes right now; we may replace them or add more. We are considering the same aircraft -- maybe a Q300 or Q400, or even a smaller jet that can carry 50-70 passengers,” Mr. Bautista said.

PAL Express, Philippine Airlines' sister air carrier, currently operates four Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 and three Bombardier Dash 8 Q300 that are being operated for interisland flights all around the Philippines.

“We have more than 70 airports in the Philippines and we serve only around 30 of them,” he said. These turboprop aircraft are able to fly to the Philippines' exotic destinations which cannot be reached by aircraft with jet engines.