Philippine Airlines A350 Begins Flying Long Haul Operations

Since September, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has started deploying the newest aircraft in its fleet, the Airbus A350 to its long-haul destinations.

Philippine Airlines A350 During Inaugural Flight
Copyright Photo: Sam Chui

On September 15, the flag carrier started to regularly deploy the A350 to its Manila-London route.  The new aircraft was scheduled to replace the Boeing 777-300ER (77W) on October 28 but it was brought forward.  From September 17 to October 27, the service will run four times a week: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.  From October 28, the service will run daily.    

Since September 28 and for a temporary run, the A350 has made a weekly appearance on flights PR112/113, which ply the Manila-Los Angeles route.  The A350 would continue making a weekly appearance on the route until October 27.  In addition, the A350 makes a rare appearance on selected Manila-Vancouver flights.  The 77W is normally used on such flights.  

On October 29, PAL will finally fly the A350 to New York's JFK Airport.  This is going to coincide with the introduction of a non-stop service between Manila and JFK.  PR126 will depart Manila at 8 pm and arrive in New York at 11.15 pm daily except Fridays and Sundays.  The return PR127 departs at 1.45 am daily except Mondays and Saturdays and arrives 6.15 am the next day.  Once PR126/127 turns into a nonstop operation, they would become the ninth longest commercial flight in the world.  

The A350 features 295 seats scattered across three passenger classes: business, premium economy, and economy.  Each seat has personal in-flight entertainment (IFE) monitors, a USB power port which allows passengers to recharge their mobile phones, and there is on-board wifi.  In addition, passengers can use their phones to control their individual IFE monitors.  The business class seats recline to provide passengers with a full flat-bed and each seat there has direct aisle access.  

PAL currently has four A350s with two more expected to arrive in 2019.  When the flag carrier received its first A350 in July 2018, it initially deployed the plane to regional destinations such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Bangkok to allow the crew to familiarise themselves with the aircraft's new features.    

Sources: Routes Online, Business Traveller, flightradar24

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