PAL Express receives last Q400 NextGen

Aviation Updates Philippines – Instead of attending the Singapore Air Show, the flight crew of RP-C5917, the last De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400 bound for PAL Express, delivered the airframe safely in Manila, Philippines, last Saturday, February 8th.
SUCCESSFUL DELIVERY. On Saturday evening, PAL Express' final Q400 NextGen has been delivered safely in Manila. Photo from Cielo Villaluna - Philippine Airlines.
From Toronto, the delivery crew had its first stop in Gander, Canada, followed by another stop in Reykjavik, Iceland. RP-C5917 then headed to Paris, France; Gudja, Malta; Luxor, Egypt; Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; Ahmedabad, India; Kurmitola, Bangladesh; and Rayong, Thailand before finally setting foot in the Philippines.

PAL Express President Bonifacio Sam and Philippine Airlines President Gilbert Sta. Maria, among other airline executives, welcomed the state-of-the-art addition to PAL's growing fleet of 98 aircraft on Monday. Fr. Herbert Camacho attended for the aircraft's traditional blessing.

In a Facebook post, Philippine Airlines Corporate Communications Head Cielo Villaluna said that the aircraft is now "[r]eady to serve PAL's flourishing domestic route network."

In March this year, PAL Express is set to launch two new international flights onboard the Dash 8-400. From Zamboanga, the regional airline will now fly to Kota Kinabalu; and from Davao, PAL Express will commence flights to Manado.

PAL Express' latest aircraft has ten seats in premium economy and 76 seats in economy class. The Q400 NextGen fleet offers higher fuel efficiency, an enhanced cabin environment with the introduction of LED lighting, new ceiling panels, dished window sidewalls, and larger overhead luggage bins.

RP-C5917 was scheduled to fly to Singapore to attend the Singapore Airshow 2020 in behalf of De Havilland Canada. From February 11th to February 16th, the aircraft was supposed to be one of the static aircraft displays to further market the turbojet to prospective airlines. However, in light of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, De Havilland has canceled its appearance.

De Havilland said: "Based on this recommendation, and out of an abundance of caution for the well-being of our employees, De Havilland Canada and Viking will not be in attendance at the 2020 Singapore Airshow as previously planned. In addition, De Havilland Canada media briefings scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 11th and 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 12th are cancelled."