March 16, 2013
|Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced yesterday that it is acquiring four more long range aircraft as part of its aggressive re-fleeting program.|
PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said the airline is looking at closing a deal with Airbus for the acquisition of four more long range aircraft within the month after ICAO lifted its Significant Safety Concerns (SSC) tag to the Philippines.
“We are looking if we can buy additional four Airbus long range aircraft. If we are able to close the deal this month and the delivery could be as early as next month," says Ang adding that details of the deal are still being finalized but the lease price of each Airbus aircraft is about $230 million.
The airline intends to pull out the long range B777-300ER out of Japan and Australia for services to North America, and is set to retire its aging A340-300 fleet, but the retirement will leave Honolulu without an aircraft as this is serve by an existing A340.
The additional interim fleet will address this problem as they can be made available in two months time, while their existing new A330-300 orders for delivery is already committed to fly Abu Dhabi and Doha in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi and Doha flights requires two aircraft for daily rotation.
Ang said PAL expects delivery of three more Boeing 777-300ER aircraft this year and they intend to fly them all to North America. PAL currently operates a fleet of four Boeing 777-300ER, two of them flying to Canada, one in Australia and Japan, respectively.
The airline said the company expects delivery of 16 new Airbus aircraft starting August as part of the $7-billion contract with Airbus last year covering the the acquisition of 64 aircraft consisting of 34 A321ceo, 10 A321neo, and 10 A330-300s and another $2.5 billion to exercise an option to acquire 10 more A330 aircraft last September.
Half of the arriving aircraft would be used by PAL while the other eight would be used by PAL Express (formerly Airphil Express).
Ang said PAL would likely have 71 new aircraft on orders, including 68 Airbus aircraft from EADS and three 777 from Boeing .