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PAL drops Airphil, revives PAL Express

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Airlines (PAL), jointly owned by the country’s second richest man Lucio Tan and diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), has dropped the Airphil Express brand and revived the PAL Express brand starting today.

PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said in a statement that the major transformation would help the low cost carrier (LCC) improve and align its service standards and product offerings with its parent firm.

“It’s not just a name change, but an alignment of two standards into one. With this rebranding, PAL and PAL Express will be full service carriers in terms of service, but LCC in terms of managing costs,” Ang said.

Starting today, Airphil Express would rebrand itself as PAL Express and its aircraft would use the familiar “sunriser” PAL livery and logo on its tail and fuselage.

Side by side with the rebranding would be a total enhancement of customer experience as PAL Express ensures that customers receive the best quality service that each carrier has been known for.

With the rebranding, PAL Express passengers would now enjoy complimentary snacks, drinks and reading materials on board and other amenities previously enjoyed only by passengers of full service carriers like PAL.

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Furthermore, passengers could also earn miles through their membership in Mabuhay Miles.

Once the transformation is complete, Ang said PAL Express would have the same service standards as PAL, a strong 72 year-old brand recognized as one of the country’s most prominent corporate institutions.

 “The objective is to deliver enhanced customer experience in all touchpoints both on ground and inflight,” PAL said in a statement.

Despite the rebranding, PAL and PAL Express would remain distinct and independent airline companies but following a single service standard.

“All PAL flights will be manned by PAL pilots and cabin crew, while PAL Express flights will be operated by Airphil Express pilots and flight attendants,” the airline added.

PAL Express used to be the low-cost regional airline brand of PAL. However, it ceased operations in March 2010 and transferred all service to Airphil Express.

It used to operate from Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu City, with smaller operations from PAL’s main hub in Manila, flying primarily intra-regional routes in the Visayas and Mindanao, as well as secondary routes to smaller airports in island provinces that are not able to accommodate mainline PAL jet aircraft.

AirPhil Express operates a fleet of Airbus A320s as well as Bombardier Q300 and the 70-seater Bombardier Q400 while PAL has a fleet of 42 aircraft consisting of five Boeing B747-400s and four B777-300ERs as well as four Airbus A340-300s, eight A330-300s, 17 A320-200s, and four A319-100s.

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