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PAL seals $3.7-b deal to buy 12 Airbus jets

Philippine Airlines said it finalized a purchase agreement with Airbus covering the firm order for six A350-900s, plus six options for a total of $3.66 billion.

“We are pleased to finalize this important order and are now defining the final layout for the aircraft,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said.

“With the A350 we will introduce a whole new level of comfort for long-haul flights, with more personal space in all classes, a quieter cabin and the very latest on-board amenities. At the same time we will benefit from the A350’s enhanced efficiency and ability to fly non-stop on even our longest sector from New York to Manila, all year round,” he said.

PAL signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus in February for the order of six A350-900s for $1.83 billion, with six purchase options, worth another $1.83 billion, or for a total of $3.66 billion at the sidelines of Singapore Airshow.

The list price for each A350-900 aircraft was $304.8 million. 

Airbus chief operating officer John Leahy said the order from PAL underscored A350 XWB’s position as the aircraft of choice in the larger twin aisle category.

“The A350 XWB has set new standards, combining extra-long range capability with the lowest operating costs of any aircraft in its class. It will be the perfect aircraft for Philippine Airlines to reinforce its position as one of Asia’s leading premium carriers, especially on its longest intercontinental routes,” Leahy said.

A350-900, which will have a three-class configuration (business class, premium economy and regular economy) is capable of flying non-stop from Manila to New York on a full load.

PAL plans to deploy the A350 XWB (extra wide body), which seats more than 300, on new routes to North America and Europe. The first A350 is scheduled to be delivered in 2018.

PAL also signed a $600-million order with Rolls-Royce for Trent XWB engines to power the six A350.

Trent XWB is the world’s most efficient engine flying today and the fastest-selling wide-body engine with more than 1,500 engines sold to 41 customers. PAL currently uses Trent 700 engines for its fleet of 15 A330 aircraft.

PAL, now wholly-owned by tycoon Lucio Tan after he bought back a 49-percent stake that San Miguel Corp. purchased from him in 2012, posted a comprehensive income of P6.55 billion in the first nine months of 2015, up from  P169.1 million in 2014. 

PAL Holdings attributed the sharp increase in comprehensive income during the period to strong revenues, which rose 10.8 percent to P81.98 billion from P73.98 billion in 2014. 

PAL’s passenger revenues rose 12.5 percent to P68.37 billion in the first nine months of  2015 from P60.78 billion a year earlier.

Topics: Philippine Airlines , PAL , Airbus A350-900
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