PAL Upgrades A330 Cabin

25 January 2017


Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will introduce new business class and economy seats on its Airbus fleet currently bound for the Middle East beginning July of this year.

The eight A330-300's originally designed to fit 404 passengers has started reconfiguration program at cost of $6 million over a period of seven months and from June 2017 will feature three classes layout, business, premium economy and economy cabins consisting of only 309 seats when refurbishment is completed. It will be 54 seats fewer than the existing tri-class A330-300 product and 105 fewer than the existing variant it replaces.

The new cabin will feature 18 business class seats with full aisle access and full-flat recline. It will also sport “pneumatic comfort system”, which allows the passenger to adjust the seat’s firmness, a first in Asia.

The economy class section will feature the old 2-4-2 layout from the existing 3-3-3 which boast 24 premium seats that are 19 inches wider and have 39 inches of legroom, while the 267 economy class seats are 17in wider and have 32in of legroom as compared to the present 16.5" seat width and 31" pitch. 

The airline has selected the Thompson Vantage XL for its 18 Business Class seats, the Zodiac 5810 for the 24 Premium Economy class seats and Zodiac’s economy product for the 267 Economy Class seats.

Likewise, passengers in all cabins will have access to USB ports and in-seat power outlets, touch-screen backseat in-flight entertainment systems, and on board Wi-Fi connectivity.

PAL has selected the backseat RAVE in-flight entertainment (IFE) system for the eight refurbished aircraft. Passengers will have 18.5 inch screens in Business Class, 13.3 inch in Premium Economy and 10.1 inch in economy. Passengers will be able to download the IFE content to their own tablets or smartphones using the myPAL Player app.

The re-configured A330 will first be deployed on longer routes to Honolulu and Melbourne beginning July, followed by Sydney the next month after. It will also be doing rotations to Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka from Manila while the denser A330-300 variant is scheduled to fly to the Middle East beginning with Doha, Dammam and Riyadh scheduled on July, August and September, respectively. followed by Jeddah in October.

22 comments:

  1. This upgrade should also be done to the 7 other A330-300. And do not forget the 8 Boeing 777-300ER's! These new seats would be great for long haul routes

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  2. We would like to think that the other A330 variant is already enough for the middle east market considering that it too has three classes and has wifi connectivity already as well as IFE's through the issued Ipads. But we could be seeing a different picture two years from now. We will keep you posted when details for that undertaking is available.

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  3. I don't know how could I explain about this but those 414 seater A330 is only 235 tonnes. Should these can fly into Honolulu and back?

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  4. Of course. At the present seat configuration however they can't so there need to be some block seats to make it through. More like between 350-380 seats depending on the cargo load and of course head wind going back to MNL.

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  5. From what I can understand PAL will first Update the 8 mono class first while the remaining 7 will be either next year or 2019 respectively. As for the 6 older 77W i'm curious when will PAL update their cabin and will it feature either the same seats as in RP-C7778/9 or the same seats with the A330s as the Thomson Vanatage XL will be more ideal for Long-hul flights.

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  6. Thomson Vanatage XL is the best for long haul.. i was expecting this product with A350 and B777. but with 777, I was a little bit dis appointed.. hmmmp.. but its ok!

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    1. Yaah I was also dis-appointed with the biz seat on thier 777s but eventually I think they will also get the seats! I'm wondering if PAL were to fit primeium economy on their 777s how many seats will thier be ?

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    2. the reason why they didn't choose Thompson Vantage XL for the two new 777s is because of its inefficient space utilization. But in the A330, it has optimal utilization in a staggered 1-2-1 layout because of the narrower cabin of A330 compared to 777. For the wider 777, the Thompson Vantage is more ideal and optimal, just like in Austrian and Swiss Airlines, but in an alternate 1-2-2 and 2-2-1 layout, a few window seats won't have direct aisle access. Another reason for retaining the 2-3-2 layout is because of strong lobbying from cabin crew, they are much used to it, and the new Zodiac Aura seat is optimal for the 777 and they use the same amount of space as the Recaro seats of the six older 777s. The loading of catering and the revenue/sales operations will also get complicated with a differing layout and differing number of seats. This has happened before in their five 747-400s, with three different configurations: RP-C7471 to 3 has 42 business class, RP-C7475 (ex-Kuwait Airways) has 56 business class, and RP-C8168 (ex-Air Canada) aka 'otso-otso' has 44 business class seats. It was a logistical nightmare for them. But in retaining the original seating configuration of their 777s, the only downside here would be the inconsistency of the hard product. The 777 is used on their long-haul flights but business class seats have no all-direct aisle access, while in their reconfigured A330 which are intended for regional Asian, Australian and Honolulu routes, business class will feature all-direct aisle access and additional storage, personal side console and privacy.

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    3. So the 6 older 777s when they will be re-fitted they will retain the old 2-3-2 layout for the time being. how about the A350s since the A330s will have 1-2-1 layout i think they will have the same layout as with the A330s !

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    4. If PAL wants to retain the 2-3-2 layout but feature direct aisle access I recommend the B/E Aerospace Apex which is being use by JAL, KAL and Oman Air. Also note that two of the airlines I mention use it and fitted on their B77W so it would be an ideal seat as PAL new business class seats on thier B77W !

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  7. PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna has confirmed today that the seven remaining bi-class A330-300 of the airline will be re-configured beginning next year after completion of the first eight set. This will be followed by the cabin upgrade of the old triple seven to conform to the two new ones tentatively scheduled upon delivery of the first two A350. It is understood that the 777 rotation to JFK will be covered by the A350 while they undergo cabin refit.

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    1. do the two new 77W have these new seats already? I saw one on theflightline in Everett last October and I thought it was ready for delivery that at time.

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    2. Ahh ok Thanks The Philippine Aerospace for the information !

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    3. The reconfiguration of the six older 777-300ERs will also be an opportunity for them to add a premium economy cabin, to standardize the cabin service with their A350. The two aircraft will both be their flagships. I'm curious which seats will they reduce for premium economy, the business class cabin or economy cabin? will there be just 35 seats or still 42 seats in business class? Revenue-wise, they can just reduce economy seats for the premium economy because they can charge higher fares for premium economy. or they can reduce both if business class is never fully-occupied. but this can affect award availability for mabuhay miles frequent fliers.

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    4. Mike Tan yes the 2 recently delivired 77W do feature a new cabin
      With full-lie flat business class seat and new economy seats. hHwever do retain the old 2-3-2 layout in business class and have yet to be fitted with primeium economy cabin.

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    5. Correction its "However" sorry for the wrong spelling !

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  8. As soon as Philippine Airlines' Airbus A330-300 refurbishment was done, it can also able to fly Europe such as Paris (France), Frankfurt (Germany), Rome and Milan (Italy), and others.

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    1. A330-300 cannot fly to Europe nonstop, unless there is refueling stop in Middle East.

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    2. Depends upon your definition of Europe. The current bi-class configuration can fly as far as Moscow and all of eastern Europe. The longest regular 235t A330-300 commercial flight with only 271Y seats was between Madrid and Lima, Peru, a 12 hour flight of some 5200nm by Air Europa. With the same block seats, PAL can potentially open Stockholm's Arlanda airport which is in Western Europe.

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  9. PAL has actually 2 versions of the A330-300 the first 8 are the standard 235t while the remaining 7 are the 240t. Originally PAL ordered 10 with option for 10 additional aircraft which PAL as eventually taken so in total 20 of which 12 were to be the 240t which has a range of 5,920nm (11,020 km) with 300 passengers. However in 2014 PAL reduced its order from 20 to 15 due to the risk of over capacity. The 240t could actually fly as far as Rome which is 10,384km or London which is 10,728km which is within the range of the 240t. so theoretically PAL could actually acquire additional A330s the current version that Airbus is offering is the 242t which has range of 6,350nm (11,750km) and is cheaper then the A350-900 which is $311.2 million compare to the A330-300 which has a price tag of $259 million i would recommend that they could also option to convert it to the A330-900neo which is $290 million slightly more expensive but is still cheaper then the A350XWB !

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    1. At 300 passengers, even the 242t A333 is good only for Moscow. It doesn't have the leg to fly Rome at 5600nm.

      At 250px however, it can fly FCO. But then again, its 50+ block seats off the revenue. At 40t of passengers and cargo weight, I'm not sure if that is economical payload from a gross of 54t. That is a whooping 14t of cargo off the 242t plane. From London it can only carry 100pax to Manila. Definitely not good.

      The A330-900 could do Rome at 300pax but not beyond.

      Perhaps this could make sense to everything about range issue
      http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/PR332333233tOEMvsmodel242tversions.jpg

      A comparative actual airline range from SAS can be found here
      https://imagr.eu/up/5iYt7_sas-a350-range.jpg

      Note the longest 242t A333 @315 pax route is only about 4900nm against the Airbus marketing range of 6350nm.

      For Manila-Rome at almost the same distance as the SAS A333 plane that is 20% off the Airbus range charts.

      Still not convinced, you can always compute ESAD for its way back home on the link below and the range suddenly isn't exactly what Airbus tells you.

      http://www.airportcitycodes.com/calchadid.aspx

      Cheers

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  10. Speeking of new business class seats what will PAL use for thier up-comeing A321neo and A350-900 those any one have
    an idea ?

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