SINGAPORE (3rd UPDATE) – Philippine Airlines, Incorporated (PAL) went shopping for new long-haul jets at the Singapore Airshow, placing an order of 6 Airbus A350-900 planes in a $1.85 billion deal with the European plane maker.
The deal also covers an option to buy 6 more planes of the same model, the two companies announced on Wednesday, February 17.
PAL President Jaime Bautista said the planes will be used for its non-stop, long-haul flights from Manila to the United States, Canada, and Europe.
“The A350s range capability has been an important factor in our decision, enabling us to offer non-stop service on all our premium long-haul routes,” Bautista said.
The order is worth $1.85 billion at list prices, although airlines usually get discounts on their purchases.
The A350-900 jets will have a three-class configuration: Business Class, Premium Economy, and Regular Economy.
These planes are capable of flying non-stop from Manila to New York on a full load.
PAL plans to deploy the A350 extra wide body (XWB) – which seats more than 300 – on new routes to North America and Europe.
“After a thorough commercial and technical evaluation, we decided the A350 will best meet the requirements of our expanding operations,” Bautista said in a statement.
“With the A350, we will be able to offer superior passenger comfort with spacious cabin while flying non-stop on long-haul routes,” the PAL chief added.
According to Airbus, passengers flying with PAL can look forward to new levels of comfort offered by the A350’s “wider and quieter cabin, and more personal space.”
Powered with Rolls-Royce engines
During the Singapore Airshow, PAL said it also signed a $600-million order with Rolls-Royce for Trent XWB engines to power the 6 A350.
The Trent XWB is the world’s most efficient engine flying today and the fastest-selling wide body engine with more than 1,500 engines sold to 41 customers, the flag carrier said.
PAL currently uses Trent 700 engines for its fleet of 15 A330 aircraft.
The A350 is the world’s latest generation airliner, featuring the most modern aero-dynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage, and wings.
With the Trent XWB engines, the A350 operates at 25% less fuel burn and emissions, significantly lowering maintenance costs.
The first A350 is scheduled to be delivered in 2018. – with reports from Chrisee Dela Paz in Manila/Rappler.com