Philippine Airlines Airbus A350. Photo: Airbus

MIAMI — Philippine Airlines (PAL) is set to become the newest Airbus A350 XWB customer, after entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for up to twelve A350-900s, divided into six firm orders plus six options, valued at US$1.85 billion at list prices before customary discounts.

The deal was announced today at the Singapore Airshow by Jaime J. Bautista, President and COO of the flag carrier of the Philippines, who commented that the decision was made given the long-range capabilities of the airliner. “The A350’s 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.

Top management from Airbus and Philippine Airlines (PAL) mark the memorandum of understanding signed for six A350-900s. (Credits: Airbus)
Top management from Airbus and Philippine Airlines (PAL) mark the memorandum of understanding signed for six A350-900s. (Credits: Airbus)

In 2010, Philippine Airlines was placed on the EU blacklist due to safety concerns, but since then, it was allowed to resume flights to Europe. Now, with the A350, PAL expects to open routes not only to Paris and Amsterdam, but also to the US West Coast.

To date, Philippine Airlines has an all-Airbus narrowbody fleet and a mixed Airbus / Boeing aircraft fleet for long haul services. The A350s, to be delivered in 2018, are intended to replace PAL’s aging six A340-300, which average 15 years of service.

Besides this A350 order, PAL has a pending order for 30 Airbus A321neo, with deliveries expected to begin next year.