SINGAPORE: European plane-maker Airbus said Wednesday it had won a $1.85 billion deal for the purchase of six A350-900s by Philippine Airlines (PAL), flag-carrier of one of Asia’s fastest growing economies.
PAL also has the option to purchase an additional six of the aircraft, the two companies announced at the Singapore Airshow.
Philippine Airlines president Jaime Bautista said the planes will be used for PAL’s non-stop, long-haul flights from Manila to the United States, Canada and Europe.
The Philippines’ economic growth in the past six years under President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who steps down in June, averaged 6.2 percent, one of the strongest performances in Asia, boosting travel demand.
“We are happy to announce that today we will commit to acquire six A350-900 series which will allow us… to fly non-stop from Manila to New York, allow us to increase our presence in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and also to Vancouver and Toronto,” Bautista told a news conference.
“This aircraft will allow us to improve our operations to Europe, (it) will be used to fly from Manila to London.”
He added that the aircraft “will really support our mission of becoming a full service five-star airline in five years”.
“The A350s range capability has been an important factor in our decision, enabling us to offer non-stop service on all our premium long-haul routes,” Bautista said.
The order is worth $1.85 billion at list prices, although airlines usually get discounts on their purchases. AFP