PAL firms order for A350-1000 jets

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has confirmed its acquisition of nine A350-1000 long-range aircraft from Airbus, solidifying the purchase agreement during the Paris Air Show.

The deal was officially signed by Captain Stanley K. Ng, President and Chief Operating Officer of Philippine Airlines, and Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, in the presence of Lucio C. Tan III, President & Chief Operating Officer of PAL Holdings Inc.

PAL’s decision to invest in the A350-1000 is driven by the airline’s need for new-generation aircraft to meet the rising travel demand and expand its operations. The carrier aims to restore pre-pandemic route frequencies and enhance its competitiveness in the market.

Having expressed interest in the A350-1000 since 2018, PAL revisited its commitment to the aircraft this year, signing a memorandum of agreement with Airbus for the purchase of nine A350-1000s, along with three additional options for future expansion.

These A350-1000s will join PAL’s ultra long-haul fleet program, enabling the airline to operate non-stop services from Manila to North America, including the East Coast of the US and Canada. With the expanded A350 fleet, the airline is eyeing to offer a direct link from the Philippines to Europe, facilitating trade and tourism growth.

To address fleet limitations and cater to future growth, the delivery of the new A350-1000s will commence in the fourth quarter of 2025 and continue until 2027. The addition of these aircraft will complement PAL’s existing fleet, which already includes two A350-900s used for flights to destinations in North America and Asia.

Capt. Ng emphasized the range capabilities of the A350-1000, stating that it will enable PAL to operate non-stop transpacific and transpolar routes year-round.

“This order will see PAL operating one of the youngest and most modern widebody fleets in Asia. We selected the A350-1000 to give PAL the power to match capacity closely to predicted demand on both the very longest routes to the North American East Coast but also on our prime trunk routes to the West Coast and potentially to Europe as well. At the same time the aircraft will use significantly less fuel than older aircraft of a similar size, which also brings an important reduction in carbon emissions,” he said. 

Moreover, Mr. Tan said: “At Philippine Airlines, we are committed to offering our passengers the best possible travel experience. These state-of-the-art aircraft will enable us to give them the convenience of non-stop flights on long range routes in a comfortable passenger cabin where our cabin crew can do what they do best – extend gracious service and world-class Filipino hospitality. The A350-1000 is our “Mission Aircraft” to connect the world and boost the Philippine economy and society.” 

With a seating capacity of 380 passengers, PAL’s A350-1000s will feature separate cabins for Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy Class, designed to provide passengers with the highest levels of onboard comfort. The cabins are expected to showcase state-of-the-art seats and in-flight entertainment systems, catering to the needs of long-haul travelers.

The introduction of the A350-1000s will not only enhance passenger experience but also contribute to sustainability efforts. Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, highlighted the fuel efficiency and reduced emissions of the A350, making it the preferred choice for leading airlines worldwide.

Mr. Scherer said: “This order is another strong endorsement of the A350 as the world’s long-range leader. In terms of non-stop flying capability, efficiency and passenger comfort, it is proven to be best in class. It also brings significant reduction in emissions and an immediate contribution to industry sustainability goals. And in the larger widebody category, the A350-1000 has set a standard of its own, with the lowest operating costs and emissions for intercontinental service. We thank Philippine Airlines for its ongoing confidence in Airbus and look forward to working with the airline as the A350 becomes the flagship of its widebody fleet.”  

As PAL introduces these newer and more fuel-efficient aircraft, the gradual retirement of its Boeing 777-300ER fleet is anticipated. The A350-1000s will eventually replace the 777s, ensuring PAL’s fleet remains modern and environmentally conscious. However, AUP understands that the new A350s will operate side-by-side with the 777s before they exit the fleet.

The airline’s investment in the A350-1000 represents a significant step toward fulfilling its expansion plans and connecting the world while supporting the growth of trade and tourism. The addition of these state-of-the-art aircraft will strengthen PAL’s position as a leading airline and contribute to the Philippines’ global connectivity.

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