PAL to revive PAL Express, to drop AirPhil express brand
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines is rebranding AirPhil Express to PAL Express, PAL’s previous low-cost regional airline brand. The revived PAL Express will focus on regional and domestic flights while PAL would be aggressively pursuing long-haul flights.
PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said Thursday that the plan to rebrand Airphil Express to PAL Express has been submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
PAL Express had previously ceased operations in March of 2010 and transferred all service to Airphil Express.
It used to operate from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu City, with smaller operations from PAL's main hub in Manila. PAL Express primarily flew intra-regional routes in the Visayas and Mindanao, as well as secondary routes to smaller airports in island provinces that were not able to accommodate mainline PAL jet aircraft.
Currently, AirPhil Express operates a fleet of Airbus A320s as well as Bombardier Q300 and the 70-seater Bombardier Q400.
This fleet will be augmented as PAL plans to transfer its old aircraft to AirPhil Express once the acquisition of PAL’s new aircraft is completed.
PAL currently maintains and operates 39 aircraft comprising of five Boeing B747-400s and three B777-300ERs as well as four Airbus A340-300s, eight A330-300s, 15 A320-200s, and four A319-100s.
Ang pointed out that some of the new aircraft being acquired by PAL would be used by its sister firm.
The flag carrier is undertaking a major fleet modernization program where it intends to acquire 100 new aircraft. It entered into a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 54 aircraft comprising single-aisle A321s and widebody A330-300s. The first batch will be delivered early next year.
PAL is in discussions with aircraft manufacturers to seal a deal for the purchase of the remaining 46 aircraft to complete its modernization program. — DVM, GMA News
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