Philippine Airlines Sets Course For Comeback

Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines Boeing 747-400 at Sydney Airport (Photo: Grahame Hutchison / Wikimedia Commons)

Philippines Airlines (PAL) is the first established airline in the Southeast Asian region. The company has a long and storied 78-year history and it has its own ups and downs throughout this expansive history. Now, the airlines are hoping to re-establish itself as a major player to those who are traveling to some key cities in North America.

Among the key achievements of Philippine Airlines is the fact that it is the first airline to offer a wide suite of skybeds on its Boeing 747 airliners. It is also the first Asian airline to set trips to the west coast of the United States using the Pacific Ocean route. It is also the first airline to recruit female pilots and the first to offer a Southeast Asian flight to Europe.

Philippine Airlines was bought by Lucio Tan in 1995. Since the acquisition, Mr. Tan has led the company as chairman. In 2016, the airline company announced that it is embarking on a massive upgrade undertaking which aims to upgrade its services from a three-star airline to five stars by 2020. While seen by some observers as quite an ambitious undertaking, many believe that Philippine Airlines, given its storied history, should be able to pull this off without any hitch.

As of this writing, Philippine Airline has a fleet consisting of 90 aircraft. The company's fleet has an average age of fewer than five years. The fleet includes 16 Airbus 330s, 10 Boeing 777s, four new Airbus A350s with two more slated to be added to the fleet in the foreseeable future. The company also has six long-range A319s and normal A320. Catering to the needs of the local market in the Philippines, Philippine Airlines employs five Bombardier Q400 turboprops flying through its expansive Davao, Cebu, and Clark hubs.

Philippine Airlines also has an extensive flight schedule to various hotspots in the United States. The company currently flies 14 times a week to Los Angeles and San Francisco. This means that it is fielding two flight a day to this highly sought after destination. The company also has daily trips to Vancouver and Toronto and has five flights a week to New York through the John F. Kennedy International Airport. With these expansive number of flights, Philippine Airlines is positioning itself to be the preferred carrier for flights from Southeast Asia to the United States and Canada.

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