Philippine Airlines to lease two additional wide-body jets

National flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) wants to expand its fleet with two additional wide-body jets to support its long-haul operations. Previously, PAL has stated that the availability of planes limits its ability to expand to more markets.

A Philippine Airlines Boeing 777-300ER taxiing for departure to Manila's Runway 06. Photo by Jasper Cedy Pascual, AviationUpdatesPH.com.

According to a report by GMA Integrated News, PAL president and chief operating officer Stanley Ng confirmed the airline's intention to secure temporary lease agreements for two wide-body aircraft.

While the specific aircraft type remains undisclosed, speculation leans towards additional Boeing 777-300ERs. This aligns with PAL's existing fleet composition, which has not featured any other Boeing models since the retirement of its Boeing 747-400s in 2014.

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In a news report from GMA Integrated News, the airline chief has been quoted on the sidelines of The Business Manual CEO Awards, saying:

May lease, temporary leases, dalawa—wide body also, Boeing ata to supplement, because we’re returning one plane eh, so we’ll get two more.

The report stated that Ng did not disclose more details on the lease agreements. He, however, indicated that it would come by June or July this year.

PAL is set to return an aircraft, the lease for which is due to expire within the year. According to information obtained by AUP, the aircraft, identified as RP-C7776, is slated for return to its lessor.

After successfully emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed in 2021, the flag carrier has reported net profits in succeeding quarters. PAL has been eager to expand since then, but its current fleet number, especially wide-bodies, has limited the airline's growth.

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However, a consequence of the bankruptcy filing was the cancellation of the leases of four of its six Airbus A350-900 aircraft. This greatly impacted PAL, especially in its long-haul operations, since it could no longer serve the frequencies and destinations it flew pre-bankruptcy.

This prompted PAL to reevaluate its fleet, placing a firm order for nine Airbus A350-1000 jets with three additional options. These aircraft would not be replacements but would be used to supplement the current fleet for expansion.

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Based on data from Planespotters.net, PAL and PAL Express are operating a combined fleet of 13 Airbus A320-200, 22 Airbus A321-200, 8 Airbus A321neo, 11 Airbus A330-300, two Airbus A350-900, nine Boeing 777-300ER, and 11 De Havilland Canada DHC-8-400.