Philippine Airlines Studying Replacements for A340

Philippine Airlines revealed last month that it was in the process of studying possible replacements for its existing fleet of A340 aircraft. According to Philippine Airlines President Jaime Bautista, the carrier is planning to have a replacement in place by 2020. But many passengers are hoping that the national flag carrier will act sooner as the experience aboard the carrier's A340 fleet is vastly inferior to its modern Boeing 777 fleet.

pal a340
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
The Philippine Airlines A340 fleet is considered fuel in-efficient and costly to operate. For passengers, they are dated aircraft that show their age and lack modern in-flight amenities synonymous with a world-class carrier such as personal televisions and video-on-demand at each seat.

Philippine Airlines currently operates six of the aircraft. The average age of the A340 aircraft in the PAL fleet is 14.3 years old. Although the aircraft were expected to retire sooner, the recent slump in global fuel prices has prolonged their life with Philippine Airlines.

In spite of their age and fuel inefficiency, former PAL President Ramon Ang ordered four additional aircraft in 2013 to operate Trans-Pacific and possibly European routes, when it still remained uncertain whether the Philippines would emerge from the Category 2 status imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The A340 fleet of Philippine Airlines currently operates flights from Manila to Bangkok, Xiamen, London, Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Francisco, and New York. Although Philippine Airlines does plan to eventually retire the aircraft type, PAL President Jaime Bautista says that they need to complete the carrier's long term fleet plan first.

"We are in the process of preparing a long term fleet plan for PAL," said Bautista. "What we have finalized is for domestic and regional service only, but for long haul, we have yet to finalize our fleet plan."

According to Bautista, Philippine Airlines has been evaluating the Boeing 787 and A350 aircraft as a possible replacement. These aircraft would complement the six Boeing 777 aircraft and fifteen A330 aircraft that make up the remainder of PAL's long-haul fleet.

"We will change the A340 over time because they are twelve year old airplanes. Maybe over the next five years," Bautista said. He added that the A340 consumes lots of fuel and is more expensive to maintain.

Philippine Airlines also has the option of purchasing used aircraft if it does not want to wait for delivery slots for brand new aircraft. A number of airlines have announced in the last month that they would be selling their Boeing 777 fleets.

philippine airlines b777
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
Most recently, Malaysia Airlines revealed that it would be selling its four Boeing 777-200ER aircraft and entire A380 fleet as part of a financial restructuring plan. The four Boeing 777 aircraft are available for immediate purchase. However, Philippine Airlines operates the Boeing 777-300ER and it remains unclear if PAL would be interested in operating another variant.

Meanwhile, Kenya Airways and Jet Airways are both disposing of their Boeing 777-300ER fleets. Kenya Airways is disposing of three aircraft, while Jet Airways is disposing of ten aircraft.

Although the Jet Airways aircraft date back to 2007, the Kenya Airways aircraft are much newer having been delivered between 2013 and 2014.  Kenya Airways wants to remove the aircraft type from its fleet as it is having difficulty filling the aircraft, while Jet Airways wants to use the money raised from the sale of its aircraft to raise capital and pay down debt.

It is believed that the value of the Jet Airways 777 aircraft at current market prices is estimated between USD $81 million and USD $97 million. As the Boeing 777-300 nears the end of its production in favour of the next generation Boeing 777-9X, several older Boeing 777-300 aircraft will be coming onto the market for sale.

According to Ascend Aviation Consulting, there are at least fifteen Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that are currently operated on a lease with global carriers that are scheduled to return them over the next two years. However, if Philippine Airlines wants to order new Boeing 777 aircraft, the earliest delivery slots currently available are in 2018.

62 comments:

  1. Boeing 777-300ER or 787-9 or A350

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    Replies
    1. All of them are good candidates for PAL

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  2. I suggest philippine airlines buy

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    Replies
    1. I suggest pal would buy kenya airways boeing 777-300ER

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  3. PAL raising false hopes. Why wait for 5 years when PAL can sell now and upgrade to newer aircraft while the Dollar is still reasonably priced and interest rates still low?

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  4. I suggest to PAL is buy new 747-8i,777x And A330neo

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    Replies
    1. It take years away for pal to have that said planes.pal needs fuel effecient wide body plane right now...planes from loss making carriers like malaysia,kenya and jet airways are for sale.

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  5. Ramon Ang should have just bought brand new Boeing 777-ERS, instead of those old Airbus A-340s. If he had done so, the new Boeings would have been delivered by now.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you. I was shocked when I heard that PAL bought A340's rather that 77W's

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    2. PAL really wanted to use the A-340s for their less that 5 hour flights.

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  6. The earliest delivery slot for a new 777 is 2018? What about those two new 77Ws that PAL said would be joining their fleet "soon"?

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  7. Wow! Am I the only one whose head explodes when trying to make sense of the English grammar used in these posts?

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  8. PAL buys aircraft which are cheaper by the dozen but charges premium ticket prices for those old decrepit aircraft and below standard inflight services.

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  9. Airbus will be bringing its A350's to the Philippines next week and on the 21st, Airbus officials will talk to PAL officials about the possibility of having the A350's to the PAL fleet. I hope Airbus is able to convince PAL to have this plane.

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    1. Hopefully. The important thing is that the A340 is retired for good.

      Although, it would be nice to see some Boeing planes in PAL's fleet as well. Both the A350 and B787 are beautiful planes. It would be nice to see PAL operate both types.

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    2. Just to ask where did you got the info about the coming of the A350 im quite interested to hear as the A350 is quite a replacement for the A340's because of the commonality

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    3. http://philippineairspace.blogspot.com/2009/05/airbus-to-fly-xwb-to-manila.html

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    4. Thanks for the info also to share i found another link which will prove the A350 will arrive on May 20 http://business.inquirer.net/191889/biz-buzz-bizmens-backup its listed in the Airbus Cometh article

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  10. There are only 2 kinds of aircraft that is perfect replacement for the A340...A350 and B787-900. My guess is PR will get 6-8 A350 to complement the 6 777-300ER + 2 777-300 ER coming on their present North American route.

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    Replies
    1. B787 is not a good choice. QR flight in SIN is always delay because of this aircraft. Always technical reason

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  11. Coincidental ? This is a good PR move considering the arrival of the 350 by Airbus for a sales pitch nxt week. PAL can order a lot of these aircrafts to augment their current fleet which will age soon by time off their deliveries. Airbus is more financially considerate to their customers vs Boeing.

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  12. Buy the 3 Kenya 777er first. Then acquire the A350 or 787.

    Short Haul: A321
    Mid Range: A330
    Busy Long Range: 777
    Thin Long Range: 787 or A350

    Having only 4 aircraft types is smart business.

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  13. PR should learn from their mistakes of the past buying Airbus due to price. They learned the hard way that they got what they paid for and is costing them in the long run when they have to add in those options critically needed just to addess their oprational needs. The long range routes which is their money maker should be 777-3's/787-9 or -10 and 777-900x to address future growth. As soon as possibly can, the A333's needs to be offloaded while there still some significant residual value left.

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    Replies
    1. There is a saying "Don't rely on one brand"

      Japan Airlines realized that relying on one brand (Boeing) can be risky. Given the mishaps with the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, no wonder why they placed orders with Airbus for A350s.

      For PAL, they are better off ordering new planes like the B77W, B789, or A350. Hell, they can even try to be a launch customer for the B777X since by the time these planes get delivered, there might be a new Airport in Manila.

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    2. 5 of PAL's A330's would be returned to their lessors by year's end. Hoping they lease bigger, long - ranged aircraft for their ling - haul operations.

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    3. As a TBC insider .. understand the comment on the 787 ... radical design and manufacturing process borught about its delays and technical issues .. however it's a cutting edge product that is now delivering on its promise and the operators are appreciating it more and more to the point some of them are now making profist nowt seen in the past ... there still more to be sadi about fleet commonality ... with AB soln's PAL now have to operate and maintain all 3 engine types .. GE, RR & P&W .. they used to be an all GE shop only .. think about the long term costs .. technical issues can be fixed and airplanes made more reliable .. its called continuous product improvement ..

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  14. Can't believe they took those A340's in the first place, did Airbus write them a check to take them? It was a bad idea to take those planes - it was tough to get a profit from them in the best of times.

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    Replies
    1. Blame Ramon Ang (and Lucio Tan) for taking in the A340 orders. The idea on why he bought these is because at the time, PH was still in CAT2. Are Philippine Carriers not allowed to buy Boeing planes during a Category 2 rating? If so, then how did they acquire those B77Ws?

      If Ramon Ang was smart, he would have ordered more from Boeing and instead he spent the money for second-hand A340s at the wrong timing.

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    2. If that would be the case they would have ordered the A350 instead. It would have been delivered by now or next year. I quess?

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    3. That too. I honestly don't know what was going through Ang's head when he decided to purchase those A340s. Now PAL is paying the price of fuel, pax, and maintenance.

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    4. It was a case of the blind (Lucio Tan) leading another blind (Ramon Ang). Lucio should now correct their mistake while opportunities present themselves. Cebu Pacific just made a 1,255% profit in Q1 of 2015 while PR also made a few. It is just the right time to forge ahead.

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    5. During that time, there is a vague possibility that Category 2 rating will be lift. Just a short clause, in Cat2 rating, PAL cannot change a type of aircraft that they are operating to US nor add another destination. As far as i understand, accuiring those A340 was a back up plan of RSA just in case the evaluation isnt successful. Eventhough It will be successful and I was lifted its also beneficial to PAL becuase it replaced the old 340 they have.. Its like hitting two birds with one stone..acquire same type of aircraft to replac the old ones either the cat2 will be lift or not.

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    6. Bobo si Ramon Ang

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  15. Kenyan Airline's 777-300ER might not be feasible. It's economy seats do not have the individual entertainment system. That's the biggest issue with the A340 of PAL

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    Replies
    1. actually it has, and much larger than in PAL's current 777s (maybe because it has a 3-3-3 layout)

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  16. PAL could buy both the A350 and the 787. The 787 could be used to launch new thin long-haul routes (Manila-Moscow? Manila-Mumbai?) and complement its A330s, while the A350 (along with new 777s) would serve as their A340 replacement. Having both planes in the fleet isn't unusual: Qatar Airways currently does so, and soon Thai Airways will join in.

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    Replies
    1. Is there really a demand for Manila-Moscow? PAL should send a A350s/B787 to London, Italy, and Rome. Eventually if those routes become popular, switch it up to a B77W.

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    2. With 5th freedom rights, PAL can either open MNL-MCT-CDG/FRA or MNL- TLV - FCO/MXP , these routes had a large Filipino diaspora IMHO

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  17. PAL needs to be more serious with their partner Etihad. After taking an equity stake in Jet Airways, Etihad leased their 777s . Etihad could help PAL refleet with the older Jet Airways 777's and have a dynamic route network connecting in Abu Dhabi. PAL is letting an opportunity pass them by.

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  18. Since there are no concrete plans for aircraft deliveries for PAl, this is a useless article similar to that of Cebu Pacific's plans to fly to North America. So better ignore the article!

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    Replies
    1. A little birdy tells me that PAL has approved 2 B77W orders.

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    2. Unfortunately - this person is right. Most people can't seem to distinguish between real news stories and "fluff pieces." This story is the equivalent of gossip at the bus stop.

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  19. Clearly a lot of individuals over here needs to do their homework first... and fix their grammar skills.

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  20. I don't see any problem with the grammar in this conversation. I'm from the U.S. and we are not really in particular on how you say something. If you are dealing with multiple nationalities everyday, this is very common. A good listener and good reader should always try to understand the message of the conversation and not the grammar Its own. unless you are taking an English test, and it worth the time then you have to put your best effort to construct your grammar.

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  21. Supposed to be, American English is the lingua franca of the Philippines, therefore, there is no exception whether you are a Filipino who is a resident of USA, New Guinea, Madagascar or Timbuktu. All colleges and universities in the Philippines offered basic English subjects in college (as probably it I still offering them today, 5/19/15), therefore, it is not an alibi to be able to communicate in mediocre English. Go back to your basic English grammar and composition; it is so easy to do.

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  22. Here we go again, Philippine Government and your Department of Education!!!!!!
    I can foresee more "deficits" and "marginalities" with the so-called Philippine English. Wake up...............!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dapat pasalamatin mo pa nga ang mga mamayan na nagbibigay nang kanya-kanyang kuro-kuro sa mga usapin d2. Lahat tayo'y may karapatang ibuladas ang kanyang nais ihathala sa pamagitan n ang sariling wika o banyaga. Maraming salamat po!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Kumpadre: Estoy de acuerdo contigo, pero ahorita es siglo viente uno. Por eso, debemos subir nuestros planes para hacer y escuchar dos o tres idiomas internationales como Ingles, Espanol, Frances y Aleman. Vamonos!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Isn't this the forum for PR studying A343 replacement, and not studying basic English grammar?

    ReplyDelete
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  33. Emirates will be retiring a B77w this year. I hope PAL would take that.

    ReplyDelete
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