May 20, 2015

Philippine Airlines eyes Airbus A350-900 XWB acquisition

Aviation Updates Philippines - With the arrival of the Airbus A350-900 XWB in Manila today, Airbus will demonstrate the capabilities of the aircraft to Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. In a few days during its sales pitch, we are about to find out if one of the leading air carries in the Philippines will order the A350.

A350 in Manila. The A350-900 XWB currently parked at the Nayong Pilipino (Terminal 2 Extension)
(PHOTO) Jc Quilo - Philippine PlaneSpotters Group

The next-generation aircraft, Airbus A350-900 XWB (extra-wide body) can accommodate 315 passengers in a two-class seat configuration and is capable of flying of up to 7,750 miles. It entered commercial service in January 2015 with its launch customer, Qatar Airways.

SPACE AND COMFORT. Economy Class area of the Airbus A350.
(PHOTO) Jun Acullador - Airline News Philippines

Philippine Airlines is carefully studying the capabilities of the next-generation aircraft. The flag carrier will possibly take an order of the A350 as it is searching for replacements of its aging Airbus A340-300 leased from Iberia (airline).

Philippine Airlines' Airbus A340 fleet is in-efficient in fuel and is also costly to operate. According to its passengers, the A340 already shows signs of aging and it lacks in-flight services.

"There will be a need for us to get more long-haul aircraft for expansion to North America, Europe," National flag carrier's President and Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Bautista told journalists. "Of course we will study it very carefully," Bautista said, when asked if the airline is interested in the A350.

The Airbus A350 competes with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner as airlines in the Asian region orders both aircraft as they switch to more fuel-efficient planes. The A350 boasts 25% less fuel burn, emissions, and lower maintenance costs.

The aircraft has more space for its passengers in all classes. Airlines are able to install flat beds in its business and first class section due to its wide fuselage size compared to its competitors. It has large windows and overhead compartments.

(PHOTO) Jun Acullador - Airline News Philippines

Sales pitch for Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific

Airbus will perform demonstration flights for Philippine Airlines on May 21 and Cebu Pacific on May 22. The manufacturer will be meeting with the officials of PAL and Cebu Pacific on the scheduled dates. The Airbus A350 will leave Manila on May 24, 2015. At posting time, no orders were made from the Philippines.

Passengers board for the demonstration flight around the Philippine Airspace
(PHOTO) Airbus

Cebu Pacific less interested of the A350

Leading budget carrier, Cebu Pacific Air, seems to be less interested of the A350 as the airline does not need its long-range capability. The budget airline currently operates six 436-seat Airbus A330-300 aircraft that it capable of flying up to 5,000 miles. 

"I think the fleet strategy always follows the network strategy," Cebu Pacific Air Chief Executive Officer, Lance Gokongwei said. "The A350 is very ideal for long haul. We don't have any long-haul routes at this point that require this range." 
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