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PAL inks purchase agreement for 9 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) said on Tuesday it had signed a purchase agreement for nine Airbus A350-1000 long-range aircraft, which will fly its non-stop services from Manila to North America and potentially Europe.

In a statement, PAL said the purchase agreement was signed by PAL president and chief operating officer Stanley Ng and Airbus chief commercial officer and head of international Christian Schere in the presence of PAL Holdings president and chief operating officer Lucio Tan III in Paris, France.

The airline did not disclose the amount of the deal but said the new order will bring its fleet to 79 from the current 69. It had 98 planes prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This order will see PAL operating one of the youngest and most modern widebody fleets in Asia," Ng, who was appointed as PAL’s new president and chief operating officer following the completion of the company’s restructuring, was quoted as saying.

"We selected the A350-1000 to give PAL the power to closely match capacity to predicted demand on both the very longest routes to the North American East Coast but also on our prime trunk routes to the West Coast and potentially to Europe as well," he added.

The A350 is said to be the most modern and efficient widebody aircraft capable of flying 9,700 nautical miles (or 18,000 kilometers) non-stop.

"These state-of-the-art aircraft will enable us to give them the convenience of non-stop flights on long-range routes in a comfortable passenger cabin where our cabin crew can do what they do best — extend gracious service and world-class Filipino hospitality," Tan said.

"The A350-1000 is our ‘Mission Aircraft’ to connect the world and boost the Philippine economy and society," he added.

PAL earlier this year said that it aims to operate the largest network of multiple routes between mainland China and the Philippines as it prepares to fly to Jinjiang and Beijing. —VBL, GMA Integrated News