Philippine Airlines (PAL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for the purchase of nine A350-1000s.
Under the Philippine carrier’s Ultra Long Haul Fleet project, the A350-1000 will be operated on non-stop services from Manila to North America, including to the East Coast of the US and Canada.
The new aircraft will join two A350-900s already in service at the airline and currently flying to destinations in North America, Asia and Australia.
As with the A350-900, the PAL A350-1000s will be configured in a three-class layout with business class, premium economy and standard economy cabins.
Captain Stanley K. Ng, President and Chief Operating Officer of Philippine Airlines, said that the range of the A350-1000 would enable the airline to fly non-stop transpacific and transpolar routes in both directions all year. These will include some of the longest commercial flights in the world, such as those linking the Philippines with New York and Toronto. With an expanded A350 fleet, PAL will have the ability to once again provide a direct link from the Philippines to Europe.
Pre-pandemic, PAL served London’s Heathrow Airport nonstop from its Manila hub.
The airline, however, lost several of its A350-900 aircraft in its Covid restructuring when it returned them to lessors.
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Flying passengers farther and in greater comfort, the A350 brings a step-change in fuel efficiency and an immediate significant contribution to reduced emissions. These are the attributes that have made the A350 the choice of leading airlines worldwide. We look forward to working closely with our long-standing customer Philippine Airlines as it moves forward with its long haul fleet modernisation programme.”
The A350 is the world’s most modern and efficient widebody aircraft and has set new standards for intercontinental travel. It offers the longest range capability of any commercial airliner in production today and is capable of flying 8,700 nautical miles or 16,100 kilometres non-stop.
At the end of April 2023, the A350-family had won 928 firm orders from 54 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful wide-body aircraft ever. Some 530 aircraft are currently in the fleets of 40 airlines, flying primarily on long haul routes.
Philippine Airlines operates various Airbus types on its full service network. In addition to the A350 on long-haul intercontinental routes, PAL flies A330-300s on services to the Middle East, Australia and various points in Asia.
The Philippine flag carrier also operates a fleet of A320 and A321 neo single aisle aircraft on its extensive domestic and regional network out of hubs in Manila and Cebu.