Philippine Airlines (PAL) confirms it will double its capital expenditure in ongoing 2023 vis-à-vis the previous year as it brings back stored aircraft into service.

Other investments this year will include upgrades to its lounge offerings and new office spaces.

PAL this month celebrated its 82nd anniversary. The Filipino flag carrier is one of the longest-standing airlines in the world.

This year the Manila-based carrier will reactivate seven additional parked aircraft. This will see its operating fleet increase to 75 units.

At a recent media event, PAL president Stanley Ng said this would require a “huge investment” but PAL is determined to increase its capacity, leveraging increased demand for travel.

“Capital expenditure might be almost double because of the all the improvements that we want to invest in, including system upgrades, customer relationship management systems,” Ng said.

PAL hopes to restore profitability this year, too, Ng added.

In terms of capacity, however, this might only return to pre-pandemic levels by 2027 or 2028, the airline chief said.

PAL has 13 additional Airbus A321neo aircraft due directly from Airbus. These had been deferred during the pandemic.

The airline is also considering inducting large A350-1000 widebody aircraft to complement its current A350-900s, Ng said.

He said a decision might be reached “within the month or next month”.

PAL currently flies just two A350-900s after returning several of the new-technology long-haul aircraft to leasing companies during its Chapter 11-style Covid restructuring.

Some of the former PAL A350s have since entered service with Lufthansa.

The airline used to serve London’s Heathrow with the A350 pre-pandemic. Its current long-haul destinations include New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.