No New European Destinations for Philippine Airlines before 2018

Philippines national carrier Philippine Airlines is present only with a 5-time weekly service from Manila to London Heathrow. Despite announcements back to 2014 of adding more routes in the short term to Europe, the airline does not feel anymore the heat of expanding its network to Europe. “We have to face strong competition of Gulf carriers which reduces our profit margin on potential routes to Europe”, explained last January during the ASEAN Travel Forum PAL President Jaime Bautista.

However, it will all change with the delivery of the Airbus A350, anticipated to integrate PAL fleet from 2018. According to Jaime Bautista, PAL is now studying possible destinations in Europe as the aircraft will bring substantial benefits in terms of cost reduction. Airbus A350 fuel consumption is on average 25%lower than other aircraft of a similar size.

According to PAL President, the airline is already short-listing cities that it could potentially fly to from Manila. Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and a German city -but not necessarily Frankfurt- are among the top contenders to accommodate the future A350.
Philippine Airlines recently finalized the purchase of  six A350-900 aircraft from Airbus with an option to acquire further an additional six aircraft. The carrier intends to operate not only to European destinations but also on non-stop services to the United States. PAL A350 will be configured in a spacious three-class layout, including a new Premium Economy Class.

In another development, PAL is launching its 44th international destination next week with two weekly services from Manila to Saipan a US territory in the Pacific (Northern Marianas Islands). The flight will depart Manila on Wednesday and Sunday.