PAL to Order Airbus 350-900 Soon!

6 April 2014

Philippine Airlines (PAL) cancelled five A330-300HGW orders last month due to range issues with the plane after the airline failed to come to Aeroflot's terms on using Russia's Siberian Airspace.

The remaining five orders for the 242t A330-300 variant is unaffected and will begin delivery on the last quarter of this year. 

The airline however is preparing to replace the cancelled orders with the next first set of wide body orders either from Boeing or Airbus for long haul operations. Unconfirmed report from inside sources disclose it to be four initial orders for the Airbus A350-900 which will be presented to the Board for approval and scheduled for delivery in 2018.

The Airbus A350-900 which is scheduled to enter service this September has range of 7,750nm which, like the Boeing 777-300ER, can fly to as far as London using the current flightpath which range is impossible to be achieve by the latest 242t A330-300 variant that can manage only 13 hours of flight time equivalent to 6,100nm.  The newest A330 can fly to London overflying Russia but not the current route PAL is using to Europe.

The airline has been forced to use a longer flightplan to Europe using Bangkok, India and Iran as waypoints because of the impasse. It is expected to be using the same route towards Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt. The current flightpath to London from Manila is more than 13 hours or two hours longer than from overflying Russia. 

The A350-900 has smaller capacity than Boeing 777-300ER but bigger than Boeing 787-800 which according to the airline fits better for its pan-European operations.

PAL is scheduled to fly more points in Europe this year using the leased A340-300 aircraft from Airbus Financial Services (AFS).

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