Philippine Airlines (PAL) has taken delivery of its first A350 XWB at a special event in Toulouse, France, becoming the 19th airline to operate the world’s most modern and efficient long range airliner.
Altogether, Philippine Airlines has ordered six A350-900s, which will be primarily operated on non-stop services to Europe and North America. These will include the carrier’s longest route to New York, which the A350-900 can operate non-stop in both directions, all year round. Representing a distance of over 8,000 nautical miles, the 17 hour return journey from New York to Manila previously involved a technical stop in Vancouver.
Philippine Airlines has configured its A350-900s with a premium three class layout seating 295 passengers in three classes. This including 30 seats that convert to fully flat beds in Business Class, 24 offering extra space in Premium Economy and 241 18-inch wide seats in the main cabin.
The aircraft features the award-winning Airspace by Airbus cabin, with more personal space and full connectivity throughout. The cabin is the quietest of any twin aisle aircraft and features the latest mood lighting and air conditioning systems. Higher humidity levels and a lower cabin altitude all contribute to added well-being on board, especially for long range flights.
“The arrival of the A350 XWB will see PAL offer new levels of comfort on our long haul flights,” said Jaime J. Bautista, President & COO of Philippine Airlines. “At the same time we will benefit from the A350 XWB’s new generation efficiency, with a significant reduction in fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs. We believe that the A350 XWB will be a game changer for PAL as we compete with the best in the premium long haul market.”
“We are pleased to welcome Philippine Airlines as the latest operator of the A350 XWB,” said Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus. “The A350 XWB has set new standards for long haul flights, combining extra-long range capability with the lowest possible operating costs and the highest standards of comfort. We are confident that the A350 XWB will be a great success with Philippine Airlines and will enable the airline to reinforce its position as one of Asia’s leading international carriers.”
The A350 XWB is an all-new family of mid-size widebody long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption and significantly lower maintenance costs.
At the end of June 2018, Airbus has recorded 882 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 46 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever. 182 A350 XWBs have been delivered to 19 airlines worldwide.
The A350 XWB joins an existing Airbus fleet at Philippine Airlines that currently includes 27 A320 Family aircraft, 15 A330s and four A340s.