MANILA, Philippines–Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) will own one of Asia’s youngest fleet at 3.5 years with the completion of a modernization program that involves, among others, the replacement of 20 aging aircraft with modern, fuel-efficient planes that are seen to reduce costs amid expected productivity gains.
The retirement of PAL’s old fleet is part of a turnaround strategy aimed at transforming the flag carrier into Asia’s airline of choice through a simple game-changing program of fleet modernization, network expansion and service innovation, a statement issued by PAL on Tuesday said.
PAL reported comprehensive loss amounting to $229.7M for the first nine months of 2013 following a one-off expense of $261M covering the retirement of its aging jets.
With the significant one-off expense out of its way, PAL is confident it will end 2014 healthier with a more efficient fleet planning program from the deployment of its various new aircraft, an expanded network and further upgrading of service standards on the ground and in the air.
“2013 was a clean-up year for PAL as we go through the costly yet necessary fleet renewal process but we are on track with our goals and we remain committed to improving your airline’s financial and operational performance,” PAL president and COO Ramon S. Ang said.
He added that with the lifting of the country’s category 2 status, PAL can now deploy its new planes to the US and explore vast opportunities, including network expansion and partnership with other airlines, in one of the Philippines’ largest passenger markets.
With the upgrade, PAL expects to generate substantial annual savings from lower maintenance and fuel costs, among others.
More than 70 years after PAL first took to the sky, the story of PAL continues to unfold and evolve under a new management that has a track record for successfully growing businesses virtually every growth sector of the Philippines.