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PAL expands fleet with additional aircraft

Aviation Updates Philippines – In response to the increasing demand for air travel, national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is set to receive another Airbus A321ceo aircraft this week, bolstering its fleet and enhancing network reliability.

Photo from Patrick Dariagan

The newly acquired A321 aircraft, RP-C9925, will accommodate 199 passengers in a dual-class configuration and will be deployed on PAL's domestic and regional routes, providing passengers with more travel options and greater convenience.

RP-C9925 is a familiar aircraft to PAL, having been in the airline's fleet before. However, the aircraft was returned to the lessor during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and was stored in Clark from June 2020 until July 2023, according to Planespotters.net.

This single-aisle jet marks the beginning of PAL's plan to acquire or reactivate several more aircraft in the coming months. Among the anticipated additions are one Airbus A330-300 widebody aircraft with a capacity of 363 seats, intended for medium-haul routes, and one De Havilland Dash 8-400NG aircraft capable of seating 86 passengers, to serve PAL's inter-island operations.

The reactivated Airbus A330 and Q400 aircraft are registered RP-C8765 and RP-C5912, respectively.

Furthermore, PAL says it is actively engaged in negotiations to secure additional aircraft to further strengthen its fleet.

The global airline industry has faced challenges due to delays in the supply chain, leading to extended periods of parking for certain aircraft. In response, PAL says it is coordinating with suppliers and service partners to reactivate these aircraft by obtaining necessary replacement engines and parts.

Christoph Gaertner, PAL Vice President for Network Planning, emphasized the airline's commitment to ensuring passenger satisfaction and minimizing disruptions. He stated, "We are taking various actions to boost our fleet count and enable us to meet the continuing surge in travel demand while minimizing delays and cancellations. We have also pro-actively reduced some frequencies on a number of routes as part of a rationalization of our schedules, so that we can ensure high reliability going forward. This is our obligation to our passengers, who expect a pleasant flying experience when traveling on our global network."

READ: PAL firms order for A350-1000 jets

In addition to the recent acquisition of the Airbus A321ceo, PAL also confirmed its purchase of nine brand-new Airbus A350-1000 long haul aircraft at the 2023 Paris Air Show. These state-of-the-art 380-seater jets are scheduled for delivery starting in 2025 and will serve PAL's signature routes to North America and potentially Europe. With the A350-1000 acquisition, PAL is poised to operate one of the youngest and most modern widebody fleets in Asia.

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