PAL New Fleet Announced

Orders New Fleet of Bombardier Turboprops

28 August 2015

Range, efficiency for new mid-sized wide body
Philippine Airlines Inc. (PAL) announced yesterday that it will be adding up to eight wide-bodied aircraft to its fleet with new orders to be sealed this year after securing approval from PAL Board.

The company did not elaborate on the new aircraft type to be ordered but said they were choosing between Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner or Airbus A350-900 aircraft as their new fleet sub-type to replace the Airbus A340 which will be delivered to them as early as 2017.

"The Dreamliner and XWB will be contributing to savings in fuel, savings in maintenance and will allow us to improve our product because we can fly non-stop to more destinations," says PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime J. Bautista after the PAL Holdings, Inc.’s annual stockholders’ meeting at the Century Park Hotel in Manila.

Mr. Bautista however gave a hint on what airplane is closer to their hearts without saying further.

“Range is very important especially for non-stop flights. We want to be sure that these airlines will fly the destination that we’d like to reach. Secondly, we need to know the efficiency in terms of fuel,” Bautista said.

“There are good proposals from Airbus and Boeing but we are not yet ready to announce which airplane we will choose,” Mr. Bautista said.

The mid sized long haul fleet will service Europe, Canada, and the United States.

“The new jets would help the airline cut fuel and maintenance costs, its key expense item, while boosting its non-stop flights to the US and Europe from Manila” says Mr. Bautista.

According to the airline new destinations would be added to their route network and capacity expanded to existing ones after orders start arriving as early as 2017.

PAL earlier secured operating lease deals from Intrepid Aviation for two Boeing 777-300ERs to bolster its long-haul operations to the United States with delivery expected before the end of next year. Bautista did not disclosed delivery schedules.

“It will be very efficient if we operate the same types of plane.” he adds.

PAL also secured a concession from Airbus in 2014 relating to the non-delivery of five remaining 242t variant A330-300s which it cancels from the manufacturer's order book for something better and deferral of some of its A321 orders to a later date than previously signed.

Next Generation Q400's
PAL said it will replace five of its nine turboprop planes, leases of which are expiring next year, with more efficient next generation Q400s in 2016 to prop up its domestic operations.

“We are considering the same aircraft,” Mr. Bautista said.

PAL said it expects to take delivery of the new Bombardier turboprops one year after the order was placed by the aircraft lessor in 2014.

The airline currently operates a fleet of 5 DHC8-400s which are 15 years old, let from a Scandinavian lessor Nordic Aviation. It also operates 4 DHC8-300's, 3 of which were bought by the airline brand new in 2007, while the fourth was also let from the lessor firm.

“We have nine turboprop airplanes right now,” Mr. Bautista adds.

PAL intends to secure more orders from Bombardier for the next generation plane, either Q300's or Q400's, which caters 50-78 passengers this year.

The smaller planes will address the demand for flights servicing the country’s regional airports.

“We have more than 70 airports in the Philippines and we serve only around 30 of them,” he said.


  1. PAL can operate both the 787 & A350 just like Air France/KLM.

    1. CAAP rules and policies restricts local airlines to operate more that 4 types of aircraft family. For PAL currently it has A319/320/321 Family, A330/340 Family and B777 Family so if their retiring the A340s they can only add one aircraft family.

    2. The A330/340/350 belongs to the same family according to EASA and FAA certifications.

    3. Ok. That's good news! They can get both! And I hope they will!

  2. I really like the 787-900 Dreamliner but I think the A350-900 meets PAL's requirements more, and JB has indicated PAL's preference for the A350-900 in past interviews. In the end, may be best aircraft win!

  3. PAL always mums about expansion yet no real orders were made. They say the 2 b777 are to be used to expand to US but the retirement of the 340s is timely with the delivery, i dont see another city adding to pals destination in US.

    1. Actually they already said they will add another destination in the US after New York. We just don't know where? We reckon it to be Chicago, having flown there before, but its anyone's guess.

  4. Pls add Houston as PAL's destination in the Midwest US just like Korean Air, Singapore Air, Eva Air.

  5. After a year of delay, flag carrier Philippine airlines has finally signed a letter of intent to acquire up to 12 of its Q400 Next Generation aircraft in a two-class seating design, the Canadian OEM announced Oct. 14.

    The turboprop planes, which are built at Toronto’s Downsview facility, would have an extra six seats for a total of 86, without changing the size of the plane.

    The aircraft will be the first in Bombardier’s new two-class, high-density 86-seat configuration to enter service. The aircraft will have 10 “premium service” seats.

    Bombardier previously announced an 86-seat variant, but with a single-class cabin.

    “We look forward to working with Philippine Airlines to reach a firm purchase agreement for Q400 aircraft,” said Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

    Delivery is expected to commence in 2017.