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Philippine flag carrier to acquire 10 more Airbus jets

Publication Date : 29-09-2012

 

The Philippines' flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has exercised an option to acquire 10 more wide-body, long-haul Airbus planes from European manufacturer EADS as the company slowly phases out its old gas guzzlers in favour of more efficient aircraft.

The new planes would be on top of a previous batch of 10 Airbus A330 jets, which are part of an original order to buy 54 planes from EADS worth US$7 billion.

PAL president Ramon S. Ang said the new planes would bring the worth of the company’s new orders to a total of $10 billion if published list prices were followed.

“The new planes will bring our unit costs down tremendously,” Ang told reporters at the sidelines of the PAL Holdings stockholders’ meeting Friday.

“We can save as much as 20 percent per passenger with the new planes.”

PAL Holdings is the flag carrier’s parent company.

Ang described the company’s current fleet of older planes as “gas guzzlers,” especially when compared with the new orders that have newer, more fuel efficient engines.

Ang said the option to acquire the new planes, which was included in the airline’s original deal to buy the first batch of planes, was exercised two weeks ago.

He said the airline was also nearing a deal to acquire an additional 36 long-haul, wide-body planes either from EADS or its American plane-making rival, Boeing Co.

The new planes would likely be used for flights to the Middle East in the absence of an upgrade for the Philippines to “category 1” status with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The country’s current “category 2” grade prevents local airlines from expanding operations in the United States.

Meantime, San Miguel and the Lucio Tan group are in talks to form a joint venture for plans to build a new international airport that both groups hope would serve as the country’s premiere gateway.

 

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