Philippine Airlines said Friday it is adding more aircraft to augment its fleet and boost network reliability.
The airline unit of tycoon Lucio Tan said it is set to receive an Airbus A321CEO aircraft in the coming days to accommodate 199 passengers in a dual-class configuration. It will be used for PAL’s domestic and regional routes.
The single-aisle jet is the first of several aircraft that PAL plans to acquire or reactivate this year. Others expected to join the fleet in the near term include an Airbus A330-300 widebody aircraft with a capacity of 363 seats for medium haul routes and a De Havilland a Dash 8-400NG aircraft with a capacity of 86 seats to be used for inter-island operations.
PAL also said negotiations were under way to secure additional aircraft this year.
The flag carrier said it was actively engaged in coordinating with suppliers and service partners to re-activate more aircraft that have been parked for extended periods, while awaiting replacement engines and parts, as a consequence of delays in the global supply chain that afflict the worldwide airline industry.
PAL is among the airlines affected by the engine maintenance issue caused by delayed shipments of engine parts. This resulted in flight cancellations that affected the travel plans of local and international passengers, forcing Congress to hold a legislative inquiry.
“We are taking various actions to boost our fleet count and enable us to meet the continuing surge in travel demand, while minimizing delays and cancellations,” said PAL vice president for network planning Christoph Gaertner.
Gaertner said the airline pro-actively reduced some frequencies on a number of routes as part of a rationalization of its schedules to ensure high reliability.
“We are working with our suppliers as well as aircraft and engine manufacturers on initiatives to increase efficiency without compromising safety, which is our absolute top priority. This is our obligation to our passengers, who expect a pleasant flying experience when traveling on our global network,” he said.
PAL recently announced that it firmed up the purchase of nine brand-new Airbus A350-1000 long-haul aircraft for its signature routes to North America and potentially to Europe.
The 380-seater new-generation jets to be delivered starting 2025 will be the most advanced to fly the Philippine skies.
The A350-1000 acquisition will put PAL firmly on the road towards operating one of the youngest and most modern widebody fleets in Asia, it said.