MANILA, Philippines – After returning to profitability, Philippine Airlines, Incorporated (PAL) is now beefing up its US and London services with the lease of two new Boeing 777-300ERs.
The country’s flag carrier said on Friday, June 19, that it will lease an additional two Boeing 777-300ER jets to further strengthen its long-haul operations.
“The planes will be used for our flights to the US and London,” PAL Spokesperson Cielo Villaluna replied in a text message when asked for the deployment routes of the two new jets.
The two new Boeing planes bring to 78 the total number of PAL’s fleet. These jets will be acquired by way of an agreement between leasing firm Intrepid Aviation and PAL.
Currently, PAL has 6 Boeing 777-300ERs, currently serving the Manila-San Francisco and Manila-Los Angeles routes.
“These additional 777-300ERs will help us continue to expand our long-haul markets efficiently and economically, while enabling us to provide passengers our trademark Filipino service in the modern, state-of-the-art 777,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said in a statement.
Intrepid Aviation and aircraft manufacturer the Boeing Company welcomed the lease of both planes by PAL.
“We are very pleased to expand our relationship with PAL and to work with Boeing to provide PAL with such an outstanding airplane,” Intrepid Aviation president and chief executive officer Franklin Pray said.
“Boeing has a long relationship with Philippine Airlines and we are delighted to partner with Intrepid Aviation to provide additional 777-300ERs for PAL’s growing fleet,” Boeing senior vice-president for Global Sales & Marketing John Wojick said.
The 777-300ER is considered a fuel- and cost-efficient airplane in its class today with 99.5% reliability, and is one of the most reliable twin-aisle aircraft in the world.
This announcement came on the heels of a Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) report that PAL is “looking to acquire” 4 to 6 new-generation wide-body aircraft for delivery between 2017 and 2018. (READ: Clipping PAL’s too many wings)
International aviation think-tank CAPA said this would enable PAL to expand its network in North America and Europe, as well as operate additional frequencies to its 6 existing long-haul destinations. PAL currently serves long-haul destinations in Europe and North America.
Its interest to augment its long-haul network comes as its parent company PAL Holdings, Incorporated returned to profitability last year, with a profit of P127 million ($3 million). It reported 3 years of losses before 2014.
In the 3 months ending March, PAL reported an $85-million net income, a reversal of the $20.7-million net loss it booked during the same period last year. (READ: PAL sustains profitability, nets P3.79B in Q1 2015) – Rappler.com