Philippine Airlines will be suspending flights between Manila and Abu Dhabi starting July 8 this year until further notice. This temporary cancellation of service is "being carried out as PAL undertakes route assessment initiatives", the airline said in a statement.
Those who have already booked tickets on the Manila-Abu Dhabi-Manila route may either rebook their flights to the Manila-Dubai-Manila route, or get their tickets refunded, the airline said.
Those who opt for the Manila-Dubai-Manila route will be transported by road to Abu Dhabi, and vice versa.
The Philippine Airlines fleet composed of wide-body and narrow-body aircraft from four families (excluding PAL Express fleet): Airbus A320, Airbus A330, Airbus A340, its flagship Boeing 777, and it has the Airbus A350 on order. As of 2 January 2017, there were 55 aircraft registered in the PAL fleet.
Due to the excessive orders of Airbus A321neo, PAL is considering converting some of the orders for the A321neoLR variant.
The Airbus A320-200 aircraft currently flies in South East, and East Asia, Australasia, Micronesia and Domestic destinations.
It primarily serves short haul flights and some medium haul flights especially in Manila-Darwin-Brisbane route and vice versa, and Manila-Cairns-Auckland route and vice versa.
Philippine Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A320 on 5 August 1997. The airline received 25 Airbus A320's since 1997 with the latest delivery in 2012.
Since the airline bought Airbus A321-200's and Airbus A321neo's, they announced the full retirement of the A320's once the orders of the Airbus A321neo's will be completed. It is gradually being transferred to its subsidiary PAL Express.
The Airbus A321 is the main workhorse aircraft for the short haul flights that serves South East, East Asia, Pacific (Guam), and Domestic destinations. They are sometimes deployed in Manila-Darwin-Brisbane route and vice versa, and Manila-Cairns-Auckland route and vice versa.
On 28 August 2012, Philippine Airlines ordered 27 Airbus A321-200 equipped with 2x IAE V2533-A5 engines, and 30 Airbus A321neo's. The first Airbus A321ceo (Current Engine Option) was delivered last Aurgust 2013.
Since 1 May 2016, 4 aircraft were transferred to its subsidiary PAL Express. On 29 March 2015, the airline added another 2 A321neo on its order. The Airbus A321neo will be delivered starting 2017. Both types of A321 will replace the ageing A320 fleet.
The A330's are primarily deployed in Middle East, Australia, and South East and East Asia routes like the cities of Dubai, Riyadh, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, and many more cities. They are also deployed in Honolulu and domestic flights like Puerto Princesa, General Santos City, Davao (flights starting with 1 (ie PR 1811/1812) and Cebu.
Philippine Airlines introduced the Airbus A330-300 in July 30, 1997, with the delivery of their first aircraft (F-OHZM).
Philippine Airlines bought eight Airbus A330-300 in order to fill the gaps that the Airbus A300B4 will leave during its gradual retirement. In 2012, Philippine Airlines ordered 20 Airbus A330-300HGW, but later reduced to 15.
The newer A330 HGW's uses a pair of Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines unlike those classic A330's which uses a pair of General Electric CF6-80E1. The last classic A330's was retired on August 31, 2014.
The Airbus A340 is primarily used on North American, Europe, and Australian routes particularly the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Sydney, and Melbourne. Also they are sometimes deployed on Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, and domestic flights especially Cebu and Davao
Philippine Airlines bought four A340-200 and a four A340-300 making it with a total of eight. It was placed in order to fill the gaps of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 and the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 during its retirement in 1996 and 1998 respectively.
In that same year, Philippine Airlines took their first delivery of their A340 on 19 July with the A340-300's while on 10 November is their A340-200's. Before the Philippine Airlines took delivery of their A340-200's, they leased it to Cathay Pacific in 1994. when they completed the order of their A330-300 and A340-300's, the Airbus A340-200 were later sold to Airbus in 1999.
In 2013, Philippine Airlines leased and later bought six more Airbus A340-300 from Iberia as the replacement aircraft of their older A340-300's. On November 2014, the older A340's was retired.
Last 2016, PAL President, Mr. Jaime Bautista announced that they will buy six A350-900 with plus six option as the replacement aircraft of the ageing A340 fleet.
The A340 fleet will be phased out in 2018.
In 2016, Philippine Airlines placed an initial order of six Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The first aircraft will be delivered in late 2018.
On 9 April 2016, Philippine Airlines (PAL) finalised the purchase agreement with Airbus covering the firm order of six A350-900s, plus six options. The contract firms up a Memorandum of Understanding announced during the 2016 Singapore Airshow.
The A350-900, which will have a three-class configuration, are planned to deploy on new routes to North America and Europe. The A350-900 will replace the ageing Airbus A340-300.
The Boeing 777-300ER are primarily used in North American destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto, and New York City. Sometimes, they are deployed in Asian and Australian routes like Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Melbourne.
In 2009, Philippine Airlines leased 2 Boeing 777-300ER to replace the former flagship Boeing 747-400 from GECAS. The first aircraft was delivered in 2009. In 12 March 2007, Philippine Airlines finalised the purchase agreement with Boeing covering the firm order of 2 Boeing 777-300ER, plus 2 options.
The first PAL-owned aircraft was delivered in 20 June 2012 being it as the third Boeing 777-300ER for the airline.
The purchase of the Boeing 777s effectively cancel the B747 orders. In December 2016, the airline leased 2 more B777s from Intrepid Aviation to fulfill the gaps the A340 will leave during the retirement.
In March 2017, a further 2 B777s was leased from Intrepid Aviation to complement with the upcoming A350s.
The entire Philippine Airlines fleet of Airbus and Boeing jets were formerly maintained in-house at the PAL Technical Center, which consisted of two hangars. The hangars contained an engine overhaul shop, two engine test cells and test shops.
The responsibility of maintaining the fleet, as well as all the facilities, was subsequently transferred in 2000 to Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP), a joint venture of Hamburg-based Lufthansa Technik AG, a leading maintenance provider in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul, and Macro Asia Corporation, one of the Philippines' leading providers of aviation support services and catering for foreign airlines, owned by Lucio Tan, the majority owner of PAL.
LTP currently maintains an 8-bay hangar and workshops occupying 110,000 square meters in Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Currently, some of the A320 fleet are being handled by PAL Express Maintenance and Engineering, including all A321 aircraft that are already delivered and those to be delivered.
PAL Express is the budget arm of PAL and has overtaken PAL last 2012 in domestic seats second only to Cebu Pacific (5J)