Four Star carrier Philippine Airlines has accepted delivery of its first of six Airbus A350 aircraft orders in special ceremonies held at the Airbus Delivery Center in Toulouse, France.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) President and Chief Operations Officer Jaime J. Bautista accepted the A350 - the new flagship of the airline's long-haul operations - with airline and media guests in attendance.
A delivery dinner was hosted by Airbus earlier at the Toulouse Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Mr.Bautista said, "I am proud and happy to welcome the Airbus A350 fleet to the PAL family. The aircraft is a game changer in the industry with their greater range, lower fuel burn emissions and lower operating costs.
This aircraft utilizes advanced technology and top-notch design for improved operational performance and will be assigned to premium routes and will thus address the need for comfort, convenience and efficiency."
Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz cited "the strong working partnership between Philippine Airlines and Airbus through the years" as he emphasized "the all - new efficient design which includes the latest technologies improving operational performance burning 25%less fuel and generating 25% less CO2 emissions."
Airbus A350-900 XWB ("Extra Wide Body")
PAL's A350 will set a new standard by allowing the flag carrier to fly nonstop almost halfway around the world on the longest routes ever to be served by a Philippine carrier.
The A350's range and efficiency are the result of its all-new design and state of the art technology, starting with the aircraft's advanced Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine. The A350 can fly up to 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 km) and boasts a quieter cabin up to 4 times less noise, making it the quietest twin-aisle aircraft to date.
The A350 XWB structure, 70% of which is made of advanced material including 53% composites, is not only light weight and very strong but also costs significantly less to maintain.
PAL's A350 features a Business class cabin with 30 seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, so that every single passenger has direct access to the aisle. Thus there will be no need to jump over other passengers just to get to the aisle. Seat pitch is at 44 inches and seat width is up to 24 inches. The seat – which reclines to a full-flat bed measuring 78 inches in length – has an adjustable air cushion to adjust seat firmness, lumbar massage feature, additional storage for personal items, power ports and augmented reading lights.
The Premium Economy class has 24 seats on a 2-4-2 configuration in an exclusive cabin. Seat pitch is at 38 inches and seat width is at 19 inches. Premium Economy seats – which have a recline of up to 8 inches – are equipped with legrest and footrest, additional front pockets for personal items, bottle holders, reading lights and power ports.
The Economy class cabin seats total 241 on a roomy 3-3-3 configuration. Seat pitch is at 33 inches, seat width at 18 inches and a recline of up to 6 inches. Features include a 4-way headrest and USB power ports.
All seats on the PAL Airbus A350 have personal TV screens with dual screen functionality, which means that passengers can pair their screens with their mobile device via the myPAL Player app to select content to be displayed on the screen or track the flight’s progress through the Flight Map.
Wi-Fi service is offered free for all passengers (subject to time and volume caps), with affordable renewal plans.
PAL's A350 XWB also features special LED mood lighting, providing passengers for a more intimate in-flight experience that helps passengers adjust to time zone and day vs. night changes.
Philippine Airlines flights to the U.S. and Europe will get a major boost, as the A350 will be deployed on the nonstop Manila-New York JFK and Manila-London Heathrow routes by the end of October 2018. Services to other points in North America and/or Europe are expected to follow as more aircraft join the fleet over the next 12 months, including possible routes to Seattle, Chicago and a point in Western Europe.
PAL has placed six firm orders for Airbus A350-900s, and options for an additional six A350s. Four are to be delivered in 2018, and the other two are slated for delivery in mid-2019.
PAL's new A321neo gives PAL the ability to match the right kind of aircraft to mid-size markets, and thus to better pioneer new routes and develop new sources of passenger traffic.
"We are proud and excited to operate the new A321neos – a more advanced version of the A321ceos with extended flight range but with cabins specially tailored to serve longer routes with greater comfort. We can better tap new long-haul markets that were not viably accessible with the older generation of single-aisle aircraft,” Mr. Bautista explains.
The NEOs generate reduced noise inside and out, contributing to the aircraft's eco-friendliness and sustainability. The aircraft interiors showcase modern innovations in cabin layout and seat design that enable more efficient use of cabin space that maximizes passenger comfort.
The 168-seater Airbus A321neo has 12 seats in business class and 156 seats in economy class. The business class cabin with a 2-2 configuration offers generous seat pitch of 60 inches and a seat width of up to 23 inches. This Business class seat also turns into a full-flat bed with a length measuring 78 inches. The Economy cabins, on the other hand, have a 3-3 configuration with a pitch of up to 32 inches, thus ensuring better legroom; the seat width is 18 inches, with a recline of up to 5 inches.
The Inflight Entertainment aboard the A321neo is provided by personal TV screens embedded on all seats in both economy and business classes, as well as inflight Wi-Fi that is offered for free for all passengers (subject to time and volume caps) with affordable renewal plans.
The brand new planes are now flying the nonstop routes between Manila and Brisbane, with the Brisbane Airport Corporation hailing the July 2nd launch of PAL's A321neo flights as "a tremendous day for Brisbane Airport" that "opens up a world of opportunity" for growing travel markets.
The A321neo will also pioneer PAL's new Manila-Sapporo (Japan) route in September, marking another historic first for Philippine and Japanese aviation, with Sydney (Australia) and other destinations to follow in the Asia-Pacific region.