Philippine Airlines
A Philippine Airlines (PAL) aircraft. In 2023, it placed a $3-billion order with Airbus for nine A350-1000 jets, with deliveries expected to start from the fourth quarter of 2025 until 2027. Each A350-1000 has a range of up to 18,000 km. Image Credit: File

Manila: Amidst the resurgence of travel, the Philippine Airlines (PAL), controlled by Filipino billionaire Lucio Tan, revealed ambitious expansion plans.

PAL president Stanley Ng bared the carrier’s new routes on Tuesday (April 2, 2024) in Manila.

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These include new non-stop flights between Manila and Seattle from October 2, 2024. The airline also revealed plans to relaunch of its Cebu-Osaka and Manila-Sapporo routes later this year, and a return to Europe with non-stop flights by 2025.

Seattle marks PAL’s sixth US destination, alongside Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Honolulu, and Guam. 

The official said their decision to open Manila-Seattle non-stop flights using the Boeing 777-300ER aligns with their goal of showcasing the Philippines to leisure and business travellers.

The route will operate thrice weekly, every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, at 10:40 pm (PST) from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and 11:40 pm (Seattle local time) from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Fleet expansion

PAL, currently operating an 81-aircraft fleet, has finalised a $3-billion deal with Airbus in May last year for nine A350-1000 jets, which has a range of up to 18,000 km.


Number of flights PAL operated in 2023 vs 77,533 flights in 2022

The nine A350s will join two A350s already in service configured in a three-class layout (Business, Premium Economy and Economy) with 380 seats, giving the airline the ability to match capacity closely to predicted demand.

The new aircraft will be used on its longest routes to the North American East Coast but also on its prime trunk routes to the US West Coast – and “potentially to Europe as well”.

Stock - Manila Airport
PAL aircraft at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. In November 2023, PAL inked a new codeshare agreement with Singapore Airlines, enabling the sale of flights to various European cities such as Paris and Rome.

Earnings up 92%

The airline executive announced the fleet expansion and upgrades amid bumper profits. PAL’s net earnings soared 92 per cent in 2023 to $379 million, from $197 million in 2022 – thanks to higher passenger volumes and expanded routes.

14.7 million: Number of passengers flown in 2023 vs 9.3 million in 2022.

37%: Surge in 2023 revenues to $2.9 billion

21%: Increase in operating expenses (to $2.7 billion)

$1b: Total cost cost of fuel cost (up 8%)


The rebuilding of its international network now encompasses China and Australia.

PAL, whose fleet has an average age of 8 years, used to have direct flights to London but they were discontinued when the pandemic struck in 2020.

The airline’s CEO said that the flag carrier is “actively looking for a destination in Europe.”

“Italy is one of the top countries in mind,” Ng said. In December last year, PAL said they were also exploring possible a Manila-Brussels flight, making flights to the west more convenient for passengers from the Philippines.

Since its restructuring in 2021, the carrier has experienced a robust recovery, expanding its services to encompass 33 domestic and 39 international destinations spanning Asia, North America, and the Middle East.