Wednesday August 29, 2012
Airbus wins US$7bil PAL order despite US lobby
MANILA: Airbus won a US$7bil order to help more than triple Philippine Airlines Inc’s fleet, beating Boeing Co to a deal despite the United States support for Manila in a diplomatic dispute with China.
The flag carrier plans to buy up to 100 new jets in total within the next five to seven years, its biggest ever fleet expansion in its 71-year history, as it restructures operations to become a low-cost carrier and regain dominance of the local market from archrival Cebu Air Inc.
Those purchases would take its fleet to around 140 planes, far ahead of Cebu’s 38-strong fleet, which it plans to double.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) said it was still in talks with both Airbus and Boeing for its next tranche of planes.
For this stage of fleet expansion, the airline has ordered 10 long haul A330-300s and 44 jets from the A321 family, with delivery starting in 2013, Asia’s oldest airline said in a statement.
The carrier is also ready to issue more shares to fund its jet purchases, it said in a statement.
“The good Boeing planes we are looking at are the 777-300 ER and the upcoming 777X.
“We’re also interested in the Boeing 7879 Dreamliner,” Ang told reporters on the sidelines of the deal signing event in Manila yesterday.
“We have the option on whichever type of aircraft to go,” he pointed out.
Boeing and Airbus are locked in a global contest for market share, in some cases more than halving prices to bolster orders of the newly revamped models of best-selling narrow body jets, industry sources and analysts say.
San Miguel, which bought a 49% stake in PAL and a sister airline in April from Filipino billionaire and brewing rival Lucio Tan in a deal worth about US$500mil, controls the management of the airline.– Reuters