Philippine Airlines Targets European Return With A350 Order

From left, PAL Holdings president Lucio Tan III; Philippine Airlines president and COO Stanley K. Ng; Airbus CCO Christian Scherer; and Airbus president Asia-Pacific Anand Stanley.

Credit: David Casey

PARIS—Philippine Airlines (PAL) is targeting a return to the European market after finalizing a firm order for nine Airbus A350-1000s at the Paris Air Show.

The aircraft has been selected under the carrier’s ultra-long-haul fleet project and will be used to expand its North American network, as well as resuming service to destinations in Europe. Deliveries will begin in the second half of 2025 and extend into 2027.

“We’re definitely exploring the options of coming back to Europe,” PAL president and Chief Operating Officer Stanley K. Ng told reporters June 20. “We want the Philippines Airlines to have a presence in Europe.”

The carrier offered flights from Manila to London Heathrow five times per week until the onset of the pandemic in March 2020. While a much-reduced service operated during 2020 and 2021, PAL last served London in February 2022. Since then, Europe has remained absent from its network.

“We selected the A350-1000 to give PAL the power to match capacity closely to predicted demand on both the very longest routes to the North American east coast but also on our prime trunk routes to the west coast and potentially to Europe as well,” Ng added.

PAL serves six destinations in North America at the present time, flying to Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York John F. Kennedy, San Francisco, Toronto, and Vancouver.

The nine A350-1000s will join two A350-900s already in service. They will be able to accommodate 380 passengers in a three-class layout. Additionally, CAPA Fleet Database shows that PAL has 10 A330-300s in service alongside nine A320s, 26 A321s, and nine Boeing 777-300ERs.

Ng said that PAL would be phasing out the 777s “in a few years.” He added that the airline was “cautiously optimistic” of taking three additional A350-1000s, for which the purchase rights were agreed in May 2023 when a memorandum of understanding was signed for the nine A350-1000s.

“Today’s purchase order symbolizes our unwavering dedication to expanding our routes, enhancing connectivity and supporting Philippine tourism and economy,” Ng said. “The Airbus A350-1000 extended range opens a world of opportunities and possibilities for us, allowing us to connect even more destinations across the border by facilitating seamless travel.”

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.