PAL expanding services to Australia and China
With the first batch of A321neos to be added to its fleet in 2017, Philippine Airlines (PAL) plans to expand its operations in Australia, China, the US and possibly, Europe over the next two years even as it considers slashing capacity to the Middle East.
The flag carrier intends to mount non-stop flights to Brisbane and add more frequencies to Sydney. In China, PAL plans to launch Chengdu flights. It will also increase its capacity to the US using two additional 777-300ERs.
In Europe the airline is studying the possibility of adding a second European destination – either Frankfurt, Germany or Rome, Italy, in 2018 using its new A350-900 fleet.
Already, PAL has added upgraded its London Heathrow service to daily.
At the same time, the flag carrier might reduce its capacity to its seven Middle East destinations, all of which had been launched in the last three years and all affected by a slump in outbound demand and cutthroat competition.
PAL could possibly suspend services to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and end its partnership with Etihad.
The airline has not benefitted significantly from its Etihad codeshare and may be better off partnering with another carrier, according to analysts.
Earlier this year, PAL finalized a purchase agreement with Airbus covering the firm order of six A350-900s, with a list price of close to US$2 billion, plus six options.
PAL has also disclosed plans to service Paris (France), Rome (Italy), Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Hamburg (Germany), on top of London (United Kingdom), which the airline has been serving for the third year now.