DALLAS – European planemaker Airbus and Philippine Airlines (PR) announced today an agreement to purchase nine Airbus A350-1000 Ultra-Long Range (ULR) aircraft. The order was announced during a press conference on the second day of the Paris Air Show.
This firm order comes approximately one month after the airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus concerning the same aircraft. This new A350-1000 ULR variant was first ordered by Qantas (QF) for its project Sunrise, linking Australia with Europe.
The new ULR aircraft will allow PR to fly directly from its hub in Manila (MNL) to North America, including East Coast destinations in the US or Canada. The aircraft will transport 380 passengers in a three-class layout, including Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.
These new aircraft will join the two A350-900s already in operation and could progressively replace the nine Boeing 777-300ERs in service. PR flies an all-Airbus A320 family fleet for its medium-haul routes, with A320 and A321 ceos being replaced by modern A321neos.
Comments from the Airline, Airbus
Captain Stanley K. Ng, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at PR, signed the agreement, saying, “This order will see PAL operating one of the youngest and most modern widebody fleets in Asia. We selected the A350-1000 to give PAL the power to match capacity closely 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 also highlighted the fuel efficiency of these new aircraft, “At the same time the aircraft will use significantly less fuel than older aircraft of a similar size, which also brings an important reduction in carbon emissions.”
Christian Scherer, Airbus’ Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), also present at the press conference, added, “This order is another strong endorsement of the A350 as the world’s long-range leader. In terms of non-stop flying capability, efficiency and passenger comfort it is proven to be best in class. It also brings significant reduction in emissions and an immediate contribution to industry sustainability goals.”
He also mentioned the airline’s fleet renewal, saying, “We thank Philippine Airlines for its ongoing confidence in Airbus and look forward to working with the airline as the A350 becomes the flagship of its widebody fleet.”
Firming up this order, PR puts its trust in Airbus’ new ULR version of the A350-1000, which will allow the airline to develop its network with longer non-stop flights. At the same time, Airbus keeps filling its backlog at the Paris Air Show after a historic first day.
Featured Image: PR already operates two A350-900s on long-haul routes. Photo: Michael Mendyk/Airways