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PAL firms up $1-B deal for 6 long-haul aircraft

Airbus 350

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Airlines (PAL) expects to sign the $1 billion purchase agreement next month for six long-haul aircraft.

PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista told reporters in a chance interview the flag carrier has already made a decision on the new long-haul aircraft to be acquired and would likely sign the deal by February.

“We’ll make the announcement when we sign the purchase agreement,” he said noting the deal would cover aircraft, aircraft parts and support equipment.

The airline is planning to acquire six aircraft for its long-haul flights.

The new long-haul aircraft would replace the Airbus 340s which are costlier to maintain and consume more fuel.

PAL is choosing between Airbus 350 and Boeing 787 to serve its long-haul routes.

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Since October last year, PAL’s flights from Manila to New York have been using the Boeing 777-300 aircraft.

Bautista said passengers of the Manila-New York flights have given positive feedback on the shift to the Boeing 777-300 aircraft from the Airbus 340 planes.

Earlier, Bautista said PAL is also set to spend around $500 to $700 million for the delivery of seven other aircraft this year.

In particular, the amount will be spent for five A321 aircraft and two Boeing 777-300 ER this year.

The PAL Group, including low cost carrier unit PAL Express, has a fleet of more than 76 aircraft.

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