Rendering of A350-900 in Philippine Airlines’ livery.
Philippine Airlines (PAL), which expects the first of six Airbus A350-900s to be delivered by the second half of June, plans to deploy the new aircraft on long-haul routes later this year.
The initial A350 will likely be flown on some routes around the Southeast Asia region initially, a PAL spokesman told ATW’s sister publication Aviation Daily.
The aircraft will then be used for nonstop flights from Manila to New York JFK, replacing PAL’s one-stop service. PAL is tentatively looking at the last week of October for the New York A350 flight, which would be the start of the winter schedule season.
PAL, which placed the order for six of the type in 2016, expects to receive four by the end of this year and the other two in 2019, the spokesman said. Other early A350 destinations will be London and Toronto.
The A350 arrivals will allow PAL to phase out its remaining five A340-300s. This will not necessarily occur as one-for-one replacement when each A350 is delivered, and the retirement schedule is still being worked out, the spokesman said.
PAL currently serves JFK with 4X-weekly flights using Boeing 777-300ERs, with Vancouver as the stopover point. The Toronto flight is nonstop 4X-weekly with -300ERs, and PAL serves London Heathrow nonstop daily with the same aircraft type.
The carrier is also preparing for the initial deliveries of its Airbus A321neo orders this year. PAL is one of the many customers of the A321neos affected by delivery delays because of issues with the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engine option. The carrier now expects its first A321neo delivery in June, although late May is a possibility, the spokesman said. PAL has 21 of these aircraft on order, although no update is available as to how many are scheduled to arrive this year.
(Adrian Schofield - ATWOnline News)