Philippine Airlines Continues Search for A340 Replacement

Philippine Airlines revealed earlier this year that it intends to retire the Airbus A340-300 within the next few years and replace it with a modern fuel-efficient aircraft such as the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787. The move is expected to help the national flag carrier reduce fuel and maintenance costs.

philippine airlines airbus a340-300
Copyright Photo: Angelo Agcamaran/PPSG
PAL President Jaime Bautista is planning to expedite the retirement of the A340 fleet with the addition of two Boeing 777 aircraft that will join the existing fleet of six 777 aircraft. According to Bautista, the additional Boeing 777 aircraft, which has more seats than the A340, will fly to the United States next year to replace the A340.

Philippine Airlines currently has six A340 aircraft in the fleet. Bautista is willing to sell the aircraft immediately if a buyer comes forward. "The A340 is becoming more expensive to operate because it consumes more fuel because of its four engine operation," said Bautista. "Maintenance is also a little bit more expensive, so gradually we will sell them. If there are buyers, we will sell them."

Bautista would like to limit the Philippine Airlines long-haul fleet to just two aircraft types. This will help to minimize costs in a number of areas from training to maintenance. "Right now, we are operating the Boeing 777 and the A340," said Bautista. "When we phase out the A340, we will replace this with only one type of aircraft, so it's either the 787 or A350."

Bautista added that it's not recommended to exceed one additional aircraft type because of the increased costs with regard to spare parts, training, and provisioning. "To be efficient, we should only operate one additional aircraft type," said Bautista.

Industry rumours suggest that Philippine Airlines currently favours the A350 for its range capability, which would enable the carrier to operate Manila to New York non-stop. "The decision will be made most probably within the year," said Bautista. "Just to replace the A340, there would be at least six new aircraft, and then this might be increased to address the growth in the market. These airplanes are in demand. Even if you order now, I think the earliest you can get it from the manufacturer is by 2018 or 2019."

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines is due to add two additional Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from Dublin leasing firm, Intrepid Aviation. The national carrier already leases one of its existing six Boeing 777 aircraft from the European firm. The aircraft will be deployed to Los Angeles and San Francisco as Philippine Airlines works to standardize its North American product.

12 comments:

  1. Philippine Flight Network, this is not news anymore. You keep on repeating this lousy PAL A340 to be replaced (in few years and not tomorrow) when PAL has lost some of its USA and European market share!

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  2. Yes not news anymore! I don't know why they had to retire the ""queen of the skies" (747) and utilize these ex Iberia? If you can give us the rationale behind this move of pal, then this is news!

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  3. "continues to search for replacement"?

    Uhm, there are just 3 options. A350, B787 or B777. Any other aircraft worth searching for?

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    1. Antonov or Tupulev, the best aircraft of USSR (RIP) and newly-turned democratic Cuba? Ole!

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    2. Continues to search??? Only two companies manufacture the type of planes it is "searching" for. Where else is the airline searching, the used widebody planes section of the Classified Ads?

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    3. Que comedya de los erroressssssssssss!
      De: Severo Rincon, Ciudad Zamboanga

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  4. PAL's A340's need replacing tomorrow; they are the worst aircraft I ever fly (flown on them 4 times in the past 12 months Manila <> London). In fact so bad that last trip I flew Etihad vis Abu Dhabi and was treated to a phenomenal Business Class service in the A380. OK it added a few hours to the journey but it cost less money for an incredibly better experience.

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    1. Nakita mo na, binatang ama, di naligayahan ka pa nang tunay sa Etihad!!!!!! Ikaw lang, eh!

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    2. PAL can even buy an A340 for one hundred Philippine pesos (there are 9 peso countries in this planet) from Lufthansa German Airlines.....or wait until it will trash such a plane in the Victorville Desert, Southern California! Then it is gratis or free merchandise!

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  5. It was silly for Ramon Ang to buy those old A340s when PAL already had its own, which it bought brand new. Meanwhile, PAL is taking it's sweet time on choosing which new plane to buy. At this rate, the planes will be delivered in 2030.

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  6. They should also consider the new Boeing 777-9x/8x

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