Three years ago, Philippine Airlines was in great difficulty and forced to file for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It emerged from that four months later in December 2021 as a smaller airline and reported strong results in 2022. Now, PAL is ready for expansion again and has placed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for the A350-1000. Philippine Airlines goes for expansion with MoU for the Airbus A350-1000.
The announcement today reflects the significant change in fortunes of Philippine Airlines since the pandemic. The carrier wished to order nine A350-1000s plus three options for delivery from Q4 2025 through 2027. The aircraft will be configured with a three-class cabin that includes Business Class, Premium Economy, and Economy.
The order is part of Philippine’s Ultra Long Haul Fleet plan that sees it operate the A350-1000 to Canada and the US, including East Coast destinations New York and Toronto, thanks to the 16.100-kilometer range of the aircraft. This also allows it to operate to Europe.
“The A350-1000 combines greater range capability with the higher capacity we need to serve future demand. It’s the perfect aircraft to enable PAL to meet its expansion plans in a sustainable way, while offering passengers the highest levels of onboard comfort,” the airline’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Stanley K. Ng, said in a media statement. “We are committed to offering our passengers the best possible travel experience, and these state-of-the-art aircraft will enable us to do just that as we carry out our mission to connect the world, and grow trade and tourism.”
Two A350-900s left the fleet
Before the 2021 restructuring and fleet reduction, Philippine Airlines used to operate four A350-900s. It retained two of them and operates the type on routes to Australia, North America, and Asia. The other two aircraft were returned to lessor Avolon, which subsequently placed them with Lufthansa. Originally, PAL also planned to reduce the number of Boeing 777-300ERs from ten to six, but it currently still operates six of them.
PAL also operates eight Airbus A321neo’s out of 21 on order. The eight was delivered on lease in February 2020, so just before the start of the Covid-crisis. As part of the restructuring, the airline announced in September 2020 that it had rescheduled the delivery of thirteen A321neo’s from 2026 to 2030.
Philippine Airlines reported a $196.9 million comprehensive net income for 2022 and an operating profit of $297.2 million, the first full-year profit since 2019. The comprehensive net income in 2021 of $1.21 billion included a $1.44 billion net gain from debt restructuring. Consolidated revenues were $2.6 billion, up 112 percent from 2021. The airline carried 9.3 million passengers as large parts of Asia reopened again for travel. Earlier this year, it inaugurated services to Perth. The airline already reported strong results for Q3.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.