Philippine Airlines (PAL) has placed a firm order with Airbus covering 34 A321s, 10 A321neo jets and 10 A330-300 widebodies.
According to Airbus, Philippine Airlines is purchasing the aircraft under a major fleet-modernization program and deliveries of its new Airbus aircraft are due to start in 2013.
PAL is ordering the single-aisle Airbus A321 aircraft to enhance its product offerings on domestic and regional routes, as well as to support alliances with its partner airlines.
The airline will operate the Airbus A330-300 widebodiess on higher-demand regional routes and longer-range services to the Middle East and Australia. PAL will announce engine selections for all the aircraft at a later date.
“The orders we are placing with Airbus will play a key role in revitalizing PAL and growing trade and tourism in the country, say PAL Chairman Lucio Tan and PAL President Ramon Ang. “With these aircraft we will be able to offer more passengers the best the industry has to offer across our Asia-Pacific network. At the same time, we will benefit from the low operating costs associated with new-generation aircraft and the reduced impact on the environment.”
PAL already operates a largely Airbus fleet. The carrier has in service eight A330-300s; four A319s; and 15 Airbus A320s, with three more on order.
The A321 is the largest member of the Airbus A320 family. The new engine option (NEO) will offer additional fuel savings of 15 per cent, according to Airbus. To date, more 8,500 A320-family aircraft have been ordered and more than 5,200 delivered to 365 customers and operators worldwide.
Available in two passenger models and a freighter version in airline service, the A330 is one of the most widely used widebody aircraft in service today.
Airbus has recorded orders for more than 1,200 of the various versions of the Airbus A330 family, with some 900 now flying with 90 operators worldwide. In addition to passenger and freighter aircraft, the A330 is also available in VIP and military transport/tanker variants.
The manufacturer is now calling the existing A320 family the “A320ceo family”, with the “ceo” standing for “current engine option”. No doubt the widespread use of the abbreviation “ceo” for “chief executive officer” also was in Airbus marketers’ minds when choosing to adopt the revised name for the current A320 family.