Philippine Airlines (PAL) has placed a firm order with Airbus covering 34 A321ceo, 10 A321neo and 10 A330-300s. The aircraft are being purchased under a major fleet modernisation programme at the airline, with deliveries starting in 2013.
The single aisle A321 aircraft are being purchased to enhance the airline’s product offerings on domestic and regional routes, as well as to support alliances with its partner airlines. The widebody A330s will be operated on higher demand regional routes and longer range services to the Middle East and Australia. PAL will announce engine selections for all the aircraft at a later date.
“The orders we are placing with Airbus will play a key role in revitalising PAL and growing trade and tourism in the country, said PAL Chairman Lucio Tan and PAL President Ramon S. Ang. “With these aircraft we will be able to offer more passengers the best the industry has to offer across our Asia-Pacific network. At the same time, we will benefit from the low operating costs associated with new generation aircraft and the reduced impact on the environment.”
“We are extremely pleased that Philippine Airlines has placed its confidence in our aircraft to meet its future requirements,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus. “This announcement demonstrates once again the popularity of both the A320 Family and the A330, which remain the leaders in their size categories in terms of operating economics, reliability and passenger comfort.”
The A321 is the largest member of the best-selling A320 Family, which offers the lowest operating costs of any single aisle product line today. These costs will be reduced even further with the arrival of the new engine option (NEO), offering additional fuel savings of 15 per cent. To date, over 8,500 A320 Family aircraft have been ordered and more than 5,200 delivered to 365 customers and operators worldwide.
The A330 is one of the most widely-used widebody aircraft in service today. Airbus has recorded over 1,200 orders for the various versions of the aircraft, with some 900 now flying with 90 operators worldwide. In addition to passenger and freighter aircraft, the A330 is also available in VIP and military transport / tanker variants.