FLAG carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is set to welcome nine A350-1000s to add to its fleet which it said will help with its expansion plans.

Under PAL’s “Ultra Long Haul Fleet” project, the nine Airbus aircraft will be operated on nonstop services from Manila to North America.

“The A350-1000 combines greater range capability with the higher capacity we need to serve future demand. It’s the perfect aircraft to enable PAL to meet its expansion plans in a sustainable way, while offering passengers the highest levels of onboard comfort,” PAL Chief Operating Officer Captain Stanley K. Ng said in a statement.

The new aircraft will join PAL’s two A350-900s that are currently flying to destinations in North America, Asia, and Australia.

“Flying passengers farther and in greater comfort, the A350 brings a step-change in fuel efficiency and an immediate significant contribution to reduced emissions. We look forward to working closely with our long-standing customer Philippine Airlines as it moves forward with its long-haul fleet modernization program,” Airbus SE Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer said. 

Mr. Ng said that the additional aircraft will allow the company to fly nonstop transpacific and transpolar routes all year and provide it the ability to directly link the Philippines to Europe.

A350s offer the longest-range capability of any commercial airliner in production today as it is capable of flying 8,700 nautical miles or 16,100 kilometers non-stop.

As of April 31, Airbus’ wide-bodied AS50 family had won 928 firm orders from 54 customers, 530 of which currently fly in 40 airlines for long-haul routes.

Aside from A350-1000s and A350-900s, PAL also operates A330-300s to serve the Middle East, Australia, and various points in Asia.

The company also flies single-aisle A320s and A321 on its domestic and regional network out of hubs in Manila and Cebu. — Justine Irish D. Tabile