PAL takes delivery of Q400

Photo shows (from left) Joseph Brian Tan, PAL vice president corporate finance and aircraft asset management, PAL president & COO Jaime Bautista and Ian Reid, senior financial advisor at Bombardier’s delivery ceremony for PAL’s Q400. Photo courtesy of Bombardier

PAL takes delivery of Q400

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2017 - 4:00pm

TORONTO – Philippine Airlines took delivery of its first next generation Q400 aircraft at Bombardier’s facility here.

This is the first of five aircraft to be delivered to PAL this year, with the rest arriving in the succeeding months, bringing the airline’s current fleet of 81 to 88 by year-end, said PAL president and COO Jaime Bautista.

The Q400s will be used in Cebu, Caticlan and Clark whose airports still have extra slots compared to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), he said.

During the delivery ceremony, Bombardier  Commercial Aircraft vice president Ross Mitchell said PAL’s acquisition of the aircraft makes the Lucio Tan-led airline the brand ambassador of the Q400 in the region.

“We are very honored to have Philippine Airlines as the launch operator for the world’s very first dual-class 86-seat Q400. Philippine Airlines, the first commercial airline in Asia, has revolutionized air travel. We are very proud to have such an innovative airline as our brand ambassador for the Q400 in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Bautista said the turboprop aircraft with enhanced capabilities and jet like cabin would  “bring us closer to our goal of joining the world’s best airlines.”

He said the new Q400 aircraft would also enable Philippine Airlines to increase its competitiveness and set a new standard for turboprops in the region.

“We are excited to bring this new aircraft home to the Philippines, and are confident that the Q400 aircraft will continue to play a significant role in positioning Philippine Airlines as a five-star airline and in regaining its dominance in the domestic market,” Bautista added.

PAL’s new Q400 aircraft is configured with 86 seats in economy and premium economy classes with a 29-inch and 33-inch seat pitch respectively.

The airline is taking delivery of 12 Q400s from now until 2019, of which the initial five will be delivered this year.

The new aircraft will arrive in Manila on July 26 after a five-day, seven-country swing which is the safest route possible from Canada to the Philippines for a regional plane like the Q400, said Capt. Anthony Larena, who will fly the aircraft to Manila together with two other pilots and three flight mechanics.

It is scheduled to enter into service in two weeks.

The crew left Canada Friday morning from Goose Bay Airport. Their route will take them to Iceland, Paris, Malta, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, India, Thailand and finally, Manila.

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