Philippine Airlines’ Manila-Bangkok route is set to see an aircraft upgauge this October when the airline begins operating select flights using its new Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

The carrier took delivery of its first of six A350s just last month and has already earmarked the aircraft to take over its non-stop flights to New York and London later this year.

According to Philippine Airlines’ official website, its newest aircraft is due to be rostered on its PR730/PR731 flights between Manila and Bangkok starting October 29.

This is a daily flight – Philippine Airlines offers three fights a day between the two cities – however the A350 only looks as though it will be taking over on Mondays and Fridays, with the A330-300 that currently flies the route continuing to operate on the other five days per week.

What does this mean for travellers?

Philippine Airlines currently flies one of its A330-300s on the PR730/PR731 flights. This is one of Philippine Airline’s recently retrofitted A330 variants, which has 309 seats in three classes as opposed to the older 363-seat variant that has just two. (Philippine Airlines does appear to occasionally fly its A340-300 on these flights as well.)

The retrofitted A330-300s features the same new business class seat that is available on the A350 – Thompson Aero’s Vantage XL – however they offer fewer overall seats. The A350 has 30 seats in the business class cabin while the retrofitted A330-300 has just 18. On both aircraft, these are laid out 1-2-1 in a staggered formation.

However, after October 29 the A330-300 that will operate flights PR730/PR731 alongside the A350 appears to be one of the older 363-seat variants, which offer the airline’s older business class seat product that is laid out 2-2-2.

And while the current 309-seat variant of the A330-300 offers a premium economy cabin – as does the A350 – the older A330-300s do not.

Passengers flying between Manila and Bangkok with Philippine Airlines after October 29 should therefore look to fly PR730/PR731 on Mondays and Fridays to ensure they get the newer seats or the option of premium economy.

The A350 currently looks as though it will operate the route twice per week throughout the winter season, until Friday, March 29 next year.

The schedule for the Manila-Bangkok route from October 29, 2018 until March 29, 2019 is as follows:

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
PR730 Manila (MNL) Bangkok (BKK) 0940 1210 Mon, Fri
PR730 Manila (MNL) Bangkok (BKK) 0940 1210 Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun
PR731 Bangkok (BKK) Manila (MNL) 1350 1820 Mon, Fri
PR731 Bangkok (BKK) Manila (MNL) 1350 1820 Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun