First A350 jet delivered as PAL extends reach of nonstop long-haul flights


Philippine Airlines (PAL) has accepted delivery of the first of six Airbus A350 aircraft orders, to be used in the flag carrier’s long-haul operations.

PAL, in a statement, said the A350 will set a new standard by allowing the airline to fly nonstop almost halfway around the world on the longest routes ever to be served by a Philippine carrier.

The A350 will be deployed on the nonstop Manila-New York JFK and Manila-London Heathrow routes by the end of October 2018. Services to other points in North America and Europe are expected to follow as more aircraft join the fleet over the next 12 months. These include possible routes to Seattle, Chicago, and a point in Western Europe.

The A350 has a range and efficiency that come from its all-new design and state-of-the-art technology, starting with the aircraft’s advanced Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine. The A350 can fly up to 8,000 nautical miles (14,800 kilometers) and boasts a quieter cabin with up to four times less noise, making it the quietest twin-aisle aircraft to date, the carrier said.

The A350 XWB structure, 70% of which is made of advanced material including 53% composites, is not only lightweight and very strong but also costs significantly less to maintain.

Airbus chief commercial officer Eric Schulz said the design includes the latest technologies to improve operational performance, “burning 25% less fuel and generating 25% less CO2 emissions.”

PAL’s A350 features a business class cabin with 30 seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, so that every single passenger has direct access to the aisle. Seat pitch is 44 inches and seat width is up to 24 inches. The seat reclines to a fully flat bed measuring 78 inches long.

The premium economy class has 24 seats on a 2-4-2 configuration in an exclusive cabin. Seat pitch is 38 inches and seat width is 19 inches. Premium economy seats have a recline of up to 8 inches.

The economy class cabin seats a total 241 on a 3-3-3 configuration. Seat pitch is 33 inches, seat width 18 inches, and recline is up to 6 inches.

All seats on the A350 have personal TV screens with dual-screen functionality, which means that passengers can pair their screens with their mobile device via the myPAL Player app to select content to be displayed on the screen or track the flight’s progress through the Flight Map.

Wi-Fi service is offered free to all passengers (subject to time and volume caps), with affordable renewal plans.

PAL has placed six firm orders for Airbus A350-900s, with options for an additional six A350s. Four of the orders are to be delivered in 2018, and the other two are slated for delivery in mid-2019.