Philippine Airlines (PAL) is further expanding its international operation as it grows its fleet and improves utilization of its existing widebody aircraft.
PAL’s international network will exceed 40 destinations in Jan/2016 compared to only 25 in Jan/2013.
The expected acquisition of a new higher gross weight version of the A350-900 will be used to upgrade New York to non-stops in 2017 and potentially be deployed to upgrade Toronto to non-stop and launch a 4th mainland US destination, probably Chicago.
The A340-300s are now slated to be phased out as new generation widebody aircraft are delivered.
PAL is close to committing to at least 6 A350-900s for delivery from 2017.
A formal announcement is expected by the end of 2015 according to CAPA.
Airbus has informed Philippine Airlines that it does not need the recently launched A350-900ULR, which will be available from 2018 and has been ordered by Singapore Airlines for non-stops to the US.
Trans-Pacific flights from Manila are about 3 hours shorter than flights from Singapore.
But flights from eastern North America to Manila are still slightly too long for the current version of the A350-900 or the 777-300ER.
A fleet of 8 777-300ERs and 6 A350-900s will enable modest growth of the long haul network with a focus on North America.
Even if PAL ultimately opts for a few more A350s the long haul growth should be manageable.