Biggest aircraft deal in RP history
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has placed a firm order with Airbus covering more than 50 aircraft consisting of single aisle A321s and widebody A330-300s, the latest HGW (High Gross Weight) models. The first batch of aircraft is being ordered under a major fleet modernization program at the airline with deliveries starting in 2013.The single aisle A321 aircraft are being purchased to enhance the airline’s product offerings on domestic and regional routes, as well as support alliances with partner airlines. The A330s will be operated on higher demand regional routes and longer range services to the Middle East and Australia. PAL will announce engine selections for all the aircraft at a later date.
PAL’s refleeting program is in line with management’s efforts to strengthen the flag carrier and help boost the Philippine economy.
“The orders we are placing with Airbus will play a key role in revitalizing PAL and growing trade and tourism in the country,” said PAL Chairman Lucio Tan and PAL president Ramon S. Ang. “With these aircraft we will be able to offer more passengers the best the industry has to offer across our Asia-Pacific network. At the same time, we will benefit from the low operating costs associated with new generation aircraft and the reduced impact on the environment.”
“We are extremely pleased that PAL has placed its confidence in our aircraft to meet its future requirements,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus. “This announcement demonstrates once again the popularity of both the A320 Family and the A330, which remain leaders in their size categories in terms of operating economics, reliability and passenger comfort.”
The A321 is the largest member of the best-selling A320 Family, which offers the lowest operating costs of any single aisle product line today. These costs will be reduced even further with the arrival of the new engine option (NEO) in 2015, delivering additional fuel savings of up to 15 percent. To date, over 8,500 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and more than 5,200 delivered to 365 customers and operators worldwide.
The twin engine A330 is one of the most widely-used widebody aircraft in service today. To date, Airbus has recorded more than 1,200 orders for the various versions of the aircraft, with around 900 now flying with some 90 operators worldwide. In addition to passenger and freighter aircraft, the A330 is also available in VIP and military transport / tanker variants.