AIRCRAFT manufacturer Airbus said on Thursday that its activities in the Philippines were expected to generate an asset value of $300 million annually by end-2018 from the current $60 million.
The growth is attributed to the increasing orders from airlines in the country, particularly Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and AirAsia Philippines.
PAL has finalized an order of six A350-900 aircraft, while Cebu Pacific has placed a recent order of seven A321ceo aircraft and AirAsia Philippines is set to increase its fleet in the future from its current 19 planes to 70.
“The market is much more dynamic. It is here in Asia Pacific that we have the highest growth level,” Airbus 1350 XWB Marketing Manager Customer Affairs Marie Lalo said at a product launch at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Lalo led the unveiling of the Airbus A350-1000, which is 40 percent larger than the A350-900 and also features a modified wing trailing edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines.
The A350-1000 has 40 business class, 36 economy plus class, and 219 comfort economy class seats. It is also designed for operating a non-stop service from Manila to Europe or North America.
According to Lalo, 14 major airlines in the Asia-Pacific region have ordered a total of 287 aircraft from its A350 XWB family, which represents one third of the 854 orders worldwide. Out of 854 orders, 169 are for the A350-1000.
Meanwhile, PAL President Jaime Bautista said the airline is considering ordering an A350-1000 instead of the A350-1000 which the company is expecting to be delivered this year.
“This is the bigger version of the A350-900 that we have. Yung A350 namin [With our A350], we can have 295 seats. Ito [This one] we can have up to 370 seats. Pwede pa raw [They say it can even accommodate] up to 400 (seats). We always want more comfortable seats for our passengers,” Bautista said.
For the A350-1000, he said it could be an additional order “or we can convert our option of our A350-900 to A350-1000…Actually we can exercise it any time siguro [perhaps]. Most probably if we will exercise it, [it will be]after the 2020 delivery.”