A Look At Philippine Airlines’ Airbus-Dominated Fleet

Philippine Airlines holds the title of being the oldest Asian carrier to still be operating under its original name. Founded in 1981, the Manila-based airline is now 80 years old, and has a fleet comprising more than 50 aircraft. But what are the exact models that it flies?

Recent struggles have prompted the airline to consider fleet cuts. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Airbus narrowbodies

According to data from ch-aviation.com, Philippine Airlines had 56 aircraft in its fleet at the time of writing. Narrowbodies are just about the dominant force, with 30 present compared to 26 twin-aisle jets. All 30 of the carrier’s narrowbodies come from European manufacturer Airbus. The most numerous is the A321-200, with 18 examples, of which 12 are active.

In terms of other aircraft from the original Airbus A320ceo (‘Current Engine Option’) family, Philippine Airlines also has four A320-200s at its disposal. However, all of these were inactive at the time of writing, due to being stored in Mabalacat (three) and Manila (one).

In recent years, Philippine Airlines has taken steps to modernize its narrowbody fleet by adding aircraft from the new A320neo (‘New Engine Option’) series. It presently has eight examples of the stretched-fuselage A321neo at its disposal, of which five were active at the time of writing. Going forward, it also has a further 13 examples of this twinjet on order.

Airbus widebodies

As we have established, Airbus has a monopoly when it comes to narrowbodies at Philippine Airlines. While this isn’t the case for widebody aircraft, it is still the dominant manufacturer. 16 of the 26 twin-aisle jets at the Philippine flag carrier come from the European manufacturer, and the most numerous design is the A330-300, with 12 examples in the fleet.

Of these, four were stored at the time of writing in Manila (two), Mabalacat (one), and Alice Springs (one). The A330s have two seating layouts, of which the densest has 312 economy, 33 extra legroom, and 18 business seats. Meanwhile, the other features just 267 economy seats, alongside 24 premium economy recliners and 18 business class flatbeds.

Philippine Airlines’ newest widebodies are its Airbus A350-900s, of which it received the first in June 2018. It now has four in its fleet, of which just one is inactive, and stored in Mabalacat. These aircraft have 295 seats, of which 241 are in the economy class section. There is also a 24-seat premium economy cabin, alongside 30 business class flatbeds.

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Boeing widebodies

Philippine Airlines’ only present Boeing aircraft are its 10 examples of the 777-300ER. Seven of these were active at the time of writing, with the other three in storage in Manila. These jets are the carrier’s largest by passenger capacity, featuring a two-class, 370-seat layout. This consists of 328 10-abreast economy class seats and 42 seven-abreast business class flatbeds.

However, the future is uncertain for Philippine Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ERs. Even before filing for bankruptcy in September 2021, it was looking to cut its fleet in terms of both its 777s and A350s. Furthermore, a shakeup of its long-haul network may also alter Philippine Airlines’ fleet structure. With restructuring underway, the exact nature of this remains to be seen.

What do you make of Philippine Airlines’ current fleet? Which of its aircraft have you flown on? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

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