Philippine Airlines to double cargo capacity

As part of a massive fleet overhaul plan, Philippine Airlines has inked a $7 billion deal with Airbus to acquire 34 A321ceos, 10 A321neos and 10 A330-300s. The 54 aircraft, which will begin to arrive in 2013, will reportedly more than double the Southeast Asian carrier’s freight and passenger capacity.

Philippine Airlines will operate the wide-body A330s on routes to the Middle East and Australia, as well as high-demand regional routes. The single-aisle A321s, however, will be deployed on domestic and regional routes and fortify PAL’s alliances with other carriers, according to a press release.

In a joint statement, PAL Chairman Lucio Tan and PAL President Ramon Ang said the aircraft will enhance the carrier’s operations tremendously. “The orders we are placing with Airbus will play a key role in revitalizing PAL and growing trade and tourism in the country,” Tan and Ang said.

“With these aircraft, we will be able to offer more passengers the best the industry has to offer across our Asia-Pacific network,” the PAL officials added. “At the same time, we will benefit from the low operating costs associated with new-generation aircraft and the reduced impact on the environment.”

Ang revealed in a press conference that PAL is looking to purchase up to 100 aircraft. The carrier, which is awaiting delivery of three additional Boeing 777-300ERs to supplement its fleet of three 777-300ERs, currently operates five Boeing 747-400s, 15 Airbus A320-200s, eight A330-300s, four A340-300s and four A319s.

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