Philippine Airlines Deploys First 777 to Los Angeles on May 3

Philippine Airlines will begin deploying its first Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the Manila-Los Angeles route beginning on May 3 in a move that will help the carrier to significantly reduce the cost of fuel and maintenance.
Copyright Photo: Nico Reonisto/PPSG
The decision comes following the country's recent upgrade to Category 1 status by the United States Federal Aviation Administration. While under Category 2 status, Philippine Airlines was prevented from expanding to new destinations in the United States, increasing the frequency of flights, changing the aircraft used on its existing US flights, and code-sharing with US carriers. The Philippines was in Category 2 status for more than six years. 

With the upgrading of the country's aviation safety rating by US authorities, Philippine Airlines can now finally deploy its Boeing 777 fleet to the United States to operate the routes that the aircraft were originally purchased for. The Boeing 777-300ER fleet will be replacing PAL's current roster of four ageing Boeing 747-400 aircraft that were purchased in the 1990's. PAL President Ramon Ang says that the 747 fleet has already been sold. 

According to the latest airline route timetables, the PAL Boeing 777 will initially begin operating 7 of the airline's 11 weekly flights between Manila and Los Angeles. The Boeing 777 will operate flights PR102 and PR103, while the remaining four weekly flights will be operated by an Airbus A340-300.

Flight PR102 departs Manila every day at 21:00 and arrives in Los Angeles at 19:50. PR103 departs Los Angeles at 22:20 and arrives in Manila at 04:10. Nobody is more excited about the prospects of the US market than PAL President Ramon Ang, citing the substantial savings in maintenance and fuel costs that will be generated by using the two-engined Boeing 777 instead of the four-engined Boeing 747 on US routes. 

"For PAL, definitely we will be able to use our new aircraft from now on going to Los Angeles and San Francisco," said Ang. "This will mean at least $100 million a year savings on fuel and another $60 million a year on maintenance." The Boeing 777 aircraft is the flagship aircraft of the PAL fleet boasting lie-flat beds in Business Class and state-of-the-art amenities including on-board wireless internet and personal in-flight entertainment. The airline plans to eventually increase its Los Angeles service to twice daily flights. 

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines continues to contemplate its expansion plans in the United States. Last month, Ramon Ang revealed that the airline was interested in launching flights to the US East Coast destinations of New York, Chicago, and Florida. A recent poll conducted by Philippine Flight Network showed that an overwhelming number of respondents favoured New York with 64 percent voting for the city to become the airline's next US destination.

Philippine Airlines is presently the only airline operating direct flights between the United States and the Philippines. PAL currently operates a total of 26 weekly flights to Honolulu, Guam, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

26 comments:

  1. It's tragic that for PAL, using the 777 with 10-abreast in Y and a sloped seat in J is considered an "upgrade". :(

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    1. I love the 747s but they should really be retired. Even with the refurbishment, they are still in bad shape. The paint in the walls chips off, the roof sometimes falls off, and the IFE is sometimes broken. Actually, the 10 abreast seating is a standard in the Y class of 777 and the J class seats are not totally sloped but angled to almost lie flat seats. The angled ones are the ones in 340s.

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    2. As of now, no. The airline has a big potential though. It's future could be bigger, or at least as big as SQ's, if only they could properly 1) Manage their aircrafts- using of same aircraft family 2) Provide better product- IFE, food, and seats and 3) Customer service- pre- flight, flight, post- flight, and complaints. Those can be done easily, actually. What would be sort of expensive there is the new product. Others can all be done by branding, marketing, pr, and advertising.

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    3. Again... Give PAL a break. This fleet modernizing is just a first stage to becoming a best airline. They are still hoping to get off from loss profit as they recently announced. They have been losing money ever since the Cat. 2. Since they are now Cat 1. Thank goodness they are replacing the B747 as it has cost them many and their aging fleet. Although couple of the planes may not have IFE's they are taking the safe route for now to see if they can be in profit once again. Then, all of the rearranging of service and etc takes place. As their fleet age is in average of 3.5 Years now. They have all this time to improve their service. Then by then when their Fleet average age reach to 8 years or so, they'll have a fleet modernization again.
      Its a circle of life thing. Just think about it.
      Dont rush PAL. They have lots of potential. San Miguel has brought PAL this far, just be patient and lets see how much farther can he go.

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    4. You have a point but you should remember that in order to be profitable, you have to be competitive. Their real competition are not the LCCs but rather other full service carriers. How can PAL compete with other FCS with an LCC brand. Yes, they technically cater to both markets but they could still do that by being a real FCS. Lastly, they indeed have big losses but that doesn't mean you can't improve service. Look at MH, they have been bleeding for years but they have been packing their amenities.

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    5. Indeed about Full Service or LCC. But You cant just improve service just in a snap. It takes time. You may see couple of improvements in couple of flights like mostly in international flights, but for those who frequently flies with PAL like in domestics then its rarely to figure out if theirs such improvements cause many does is always complains.. But again, it does take time. PAL may not have the money to afford just yet. So thats why the profitability does matter for PAL. Some airline your talking about may sound just easy as that, but PAL is in different situation were they came from a Category 2 to a Cat. 1. and they could now expand their destinations to the US or EU. So, as of now, they have a greater potential to become like SQ or MH in couple of months were improvements can be shown. They are taking baby steps. They dont want to take it too fast before it all collapse just like a relationship of a couple. So yea.

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    6. I only fly PAL and I do fly a lot. Ever since I was a kid, PAL. Let's take SQ and MH to be compared against PAL. Both have Cat 1 and PAL having just reinstated. Did you know that PAL is the only SEA carrier to fly direct to USA? That my friend suggests that they are in an advantage already against these two. Again, if you will take baby steps in making better service, your downfall would be faster. In order to have profit, you have to give better service. Profit is attracted by good service.

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    7. That is also true, But just keep in mind that PAL has been in debt for so long that they only paid it all like last year. So I dont think PAL has enough money to rapidly improve their service that quick were they will become like MH or SQ. And You sir, is wrong about PAL is the only SEA flying to the US. Their are many that already flies to the US and has more schedule than PAL because about the Cat. 2. But what advantage that other airline does but PAL has is they have destinations to the EU. While PAL just recently gotten back 1 destination. So PAL is surely way behind. Plus, they cant just open a route rapidly. If you want better service from PAL. Just wait, all i can say. It does not happen right away. It takes one step at a time. Partnership with Etihad Airways will benefit PAL alot as they can overlook at their service and they will take note on how to improve. Again, one step a time. They are trying to modernize their service as well as they have been stuck waiting for Cat. 1 to be removed. PAL probably wont know what kind of a trend of IFE's that world class airline has been using so this could be a way PAL can learn. Since PAL has been focusing on figuring out to be a CAT. 1. this pass few years.

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    8. Sir, you are the one who is wrong. PAL IS THE ONLY SEA CARRIER FLYING DIRECTLY TO USA AFTER MH SUSPENDED ITS LAX ROUTE JUST LAST 30 APR 14 AND SQ FLYING INDIRECTLY. Plus, where did you get the new routes? It's not there. Plus, where did you get that? I don't think that the commenter said that. Don't put words in to his mouth. IN THE MATTERS OF BUSINESS, YOUR DEBT SHOULDN'T BE THE REASON WHY YOU CAN'T IMPROVE YOUR SERVICE. IT IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE REASON BECAUSE, AGAIN, HOW CAN YOUR COMPANY BE CHOSEN IF YOU CAN'T PUT UP A COMPETITIVE PRODUCT? WHAT IS CLEAR IS THAT PAL IS HAVING AN IDENTITY CRISIS ON WHETHER TO COMPETE WITH LCCs or FSCs, WHEREIN THEY ARE OPTING FOR THE FORMER THAN THE LATTER. THAT'S THE UGLY TRUTH THAT YOU NEED TO DEAL WITH. THEY ARE NOT OPTING TO CREATE THE SQ EXPERIENCE BUT RATHER A RYANAIR SCENARIO- WHICH IS WORSE THAN 5J.

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    9. Okay, first of all whats with the CAPS and why are you getting mad?
      Your seriously dont know your research. I did my search about Malaysia and Singapore Airline destinations. And they do still have flights to the US. Do you want me to list all of them?
      And do you know what countries are in South East Asia or what? Its not only the Philippines...
      You sir dont know your business. You tend to be those people that rush things and dont check your work during the test.
      Second of all Debt does matter of growth as it holds you back to pay them. And sometimes you cant continue on expanding if you'll eventually add more debt to the company. Third, The LCC and FSC thing, do you know that PAL has two airlines right? Thats the reason why they cant make up their mind. PAL tends to be the international routes while PALex, is for domestic. Which couple of planes PAL replacing will eventually be transferred to PALex.

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    10. Okay, I dare you to list down all those Southeast Asian carriers that FLY DIRECTLY fro their home base to any airport in the US. MH has ended all of its US routes last APR 30 and SQ stopped flying directly last November. They do have two airlines but managed separately and both FSCs. Are you sure that you know what you are talking about? On the debt thing, yes debt can hinder service enhancement but giving what you normally offer is part of the business even when you are in the red. What they did was to scale back costs so that they can get a new plane and price it at the same price as their old good product. And yes, PALex is a FSC. Lastly, I know what I am talking about. I am an employee there and I have stocks in the company. Thus, I know their real financial standing and I must say it's not a place where they can't Afford to put IFE on all their aircrafts.

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    11. PR may be the only one flying non-stop from SEA (merely a geographic technicality), but they are in direct competition with BR, CX, NH, JL, OZ - all of which also services the Southeast Asian Market. So PR being the "only one from SEA" is not a novelty to brag about, really.

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    12. Yes, it is not a thing to brag that's the only competitive edge they have over sq and mh. That's why they need to make their service better and shut the 'wait and see' stuff that they say.

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    13. I think people in this discussion are mistaking "Direct" flights with "Non-stop" flights.

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  2. PAL is just trying to be competitive to stay in business. I will miss seeing the 747 here at SFO but the 777 is probably the best replacement.Just concerned if the safety rating is once again downgraded. Maintaining the 777 ETOPS certification is critical. I hope their maintenance for this fleetis a lot better than the 747.

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  3. I will miss flying with the 747. I only flew with it once although I love the 777 too besides, the 777(especially the 777-300ER) is very successful. I think the 777-300ER ushered a new era for long haul flights. In my honest opinion, one reason the 777 made it possible for twin engine to conduct ultra long haul flights.

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  4. It's good to see that PAL's fuel bill will decrease across the Pacific.

    However PAL needs more than six B773ERs as it is now neglecting the MNL - LHR, MEL, SYD and possibly YVR and YVZ routes by substituting old A343s or A330s that lack in flight entertainment.

    This simply isn't good enough for affluent Australia or long haul routes to Canada or the United Kingdom. On the main Australia routes to Melbourne and Sydney, PAL doesn't always discount and trades on its nonstop flights, yet there is nothing to keep passengers occupied unless they bring a good book or their own tablet or MP3 player.

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  5. One day at a time, PAL will get there.

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  6. Congratulations to PAL, I hope they will expand more on other cities in the US and to the other countries

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  7. Last dec i flew from lax to mnl, with a stop off in guam for refueling, it was the worst aircraft ever for a long distant flight. did not realize it was going to be so outdated and small. my return is on the boeing 777, so hopefully that will be much better. on another note, there service to other provinces from manila sucks big time. been to 10 provinces and all flights going and returning were delayed by hrs. a couple for an entire day. no apologizes. they need to be more professional.

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  8. Are flights PR102/PR103 operating on the 777-300s or 200s? Flightaware.com lists them as the 200s, but PAL's website and this article says they're operating the 777-300s.

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  9. Does anyone know if Flt 103 from LAX to Manila still need to stop and refuel in Gaum like the old 747 models? I read the new 777 ER can flt over 14 hours without refueling.

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    1. You've forgotten a long time ago! With PAL's B777-300ERs,They won't be going to Guam enroute to manila from Los Angeles.They can now fly to the Philippine capital non-stop.

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