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Boeing courts PAL for 777X series

Aviation Updates Philippines – The national flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, is in discussions with the American multinational aircraft maker The Boeing Company for the possible acquisition of state-of-the-art Boeing 777X series to replace its ageing Boeing 777 fleet.
FIRST PROTOTYPE. Boeing silently revealed the first Boeing 777-9 prototype to its employees on March 13. A public reveal was planned, but it was cancelled due to the Boeing 737 MAX crisis. Photo by Sam Chui.
PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime J. Bautista revealed that the company is in constant talks with the airline to sell at least two Boeing 777X jets to allegedly replace its first two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in the next few years.

“We don’t have plans yet [to buy Boeing 777X], but we are in discussion. Also, Boeing wants to sell the airplane,” Bautista told The Manila Standard among other reporters in a roundtable discussion.

The airline executive said Boeing has shown him the features and specifications of the 777X in a bid to spark interest to buy these airliners.

RP-C7777 and RP-C7776 were delivered to PAL in November 2009 and January 2010 respectively. These aircraft are configured with 42 seats in business class and 328 seats in economy class, similar to the rest. PAL operates the Boeing 777-300ER mainly on long-haul routes to North America and Europe.

“We have 10 777 now. The first two we acquired them in 2008, so by 2020 these will [become] 12 year-old airplanes,” he added.

Although they do not have plans yet to retire the newer Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on their fleet, there are rumors that they are eyeing to retire the first two. These rumors, in any way, have not been confirmed.

The Boeing 777X series has two types available: the 777-8 and 777-9 variants. Both variants boast significantly longer range, more passenger capacity, larger windows and cabin—promising a more comfortable flight for travelers and flyers on-board.

The new aircraft will use the latest GE9X high-bypass turbofan engines with a thrust of 105,000 lbf (470 kN). Compared to its predecessor, the GE90, the new engines are 10 percent more fuel-efficient.

Whilst there are still no word on Boeing's proposal to PAL, the airline is also eyeing to exercise its six options to order more Airbus A350-900 aircraft and is open to possibilities in upgrading it to the larger Airbus A350-1000 variant.

We are still trying to learn more about PAL's next move, and we will post updates when information are available.

With reports from The Manila Times, BusinessMirror, The Manila Standard, and The Philippine Star

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