Home » Aviation, Press Releases » PAL bags 4-star rating from Skytrax

Philippine Airlines president and COO Jaime Bautista and PAL chairman and CEO Dr Lucio Tan receive Philippine Airlines’ 4-Star Plaque from Skytrax President Edward Plaisted in a presentation ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza Singapore on February 8, 2018. Photo from philippineairlines.com.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has been certified as a 4-star airline by international air transport rating organization Skytrax, making the flag carrier the first and only carrier in the Philippines to achieve the rating.

PAL earned the rating after a rigorous audit by Skytrax of the airline’s in-flight and on-ground service for both international and domestic flights, and noted major enhancements in its end-to-end passenger experience.

“This is a big win for the Philippines,” PAL chairman and chief executive officer Lucio Tan said in a statement.

The 4-star airline rating is a mark of quality distinction that recognizes excellent standards of product and staff service across different assessment categories for both the on-board and airport environment.

Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted said: “This recognizes the great improvements that the airline has introduced over the last two years, both in terms of product change and development and enhancement of the front-line staff service. New and retrofitted aircraft have played an important part in the quality improvement process, and this looks set to develop further when Philippine Airlines introduces the A350 into their fleet. We look for consistency of quality in the 4-star rating, and we look to Philippine Airlines to ensure this is duly delivered to customers.”

PAL said the rating upgrade is a key result of its multi-year, top-to-bottom, and end-to-end enhancements.

“Our Get That Star journey began in 2016. Our efforts over the last two years have borne fruit,” PAL president and chief executive officer Jaime Bautista said.

“Since 2016, we have embarked on a journey of rolling out in-flight and on-ground innovations, opened new routes, increased connectivity across PAL’s route network, added new aircraft to our fleet and importantly, invested in the Buong Pusong Alaga (whole-hearted) training of all our cabin crew, ground crew and service providers domestically and internationally in order to enhance the passenger travel experience and earn a higher Skytrax rating,” Bautista added.

Skytrax is the London-based international air transport rating organization that carries out comprehensive airport and airline audits and ranks airlines worldwide for staff service standards and product quality. The Skytrax Certified Airline Star Ratings, awarded since 1999, are internationally recognized as a global benchmark of airline standards.

In June 2017, PAL placed sixth on the list of the World’s Most Improved Airlines and was ranked by Skytrax as 67th out of 320 airlines, reflecting a 16-notch increase in rankings from 2016.

PAL said that from 2016 up to the present, it has finalized fleet orders of Airbus A350s, A321s, Boeing 777s, and Bombardier Q400 Next Generation planes, bringing the fleet count to 88 aircraft, the largest fleet in the Philippines. During this period, too, it has developed new domestic hubs (Clark, Cebu, Davao); introduced new international routes from Clark (to Seoul) and Cebu (to Bangkok, Chengdu, Beijing, etc.); and launched direct nonstop services between Manila and Auckland and Manila and Toronto, adding to existing direct flights to London, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, among others.

At the same time, it has improved on-time performance while maximizing fleet productivity, and strengthened its passenger care through the “Buong Pusong Alaga” philosophy, leveraging on its brand equity as the “Heart of the Filipino.”

Eight of the airline’s 15 Airbus A330s have undergone a total cabin transformation from a single economy to a tri-class cabin to provide maximum comfort on all classes. The latest Boeing 777s and the incoming Airbus A350s are expected to further upgrade the PAL fleet for the airline’s long-haul international routes.

For its on-ground service at airports, PAL renovated the inter-terminal transit lounge at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, improved its business class check-in product, introduced a more efficient boarding procedure, and put up airport terminal signage for passenger convenience.

For its next big step, PAL said a new, bigger, and more sophisticated Mabuhay Lounge is set to open by the second quarter of 2018.

With the 4-star rating, PAL said it aims to continue unveiling new products and expanding routes, including the launch of nonstop services to New York and Brisbane, as well as flights to India and additional routes to Japan and China within 2018.

“By offering the public a globally competitive airline service, we are empowered to attract more tourists to visit the Philippines to see our country’s beauty and experience our people’s warmth. We can help generate more economic activity for the Philippines,” Bautista said.

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