PAL to take delivery of Airbus A350-900 in the coming weeks

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Philippine Airlines (PAL) could expect the delivery of its A350-900 aircraft soon as Airbus reported it has successfully flown the new airplane from the assembly line in Toulouse, France, gearing it up for the final phase of production.

“The flight marks the start of the final phase of the production process, leading to customer acceptance and delivery in the coming weeks,” Airbus said in a statement.

The local airline ordered six A350-900s from the European aerospace company’s A350 XWB series, and earlier said it is seeing the delivery of the first unit by July. The other type of aircraft in the A350 XWB family is the A350-1000.

PAL’s current fleet consists of 26 A320s, 15 A330s and five 340s, Airbus said. The new planes will be used for premier long haul flights that connect Manila to North America and Europe.

PAL Holdings, Inc., the listed operator of PAL, saw its net loss sink deeper in the first quarter at P1.1 billion, largely due to the fuel cost issue. In a regulatory filing, the company reported its expenses were driven by spending for fuel and oil, which stood at P11.746 billion, P2.1 billion higher than in the same period last year. — Denise A. Valdez