MANILA, May 22 (PNA) — Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Pacific are currently considering the acquisition of the Airbus’ latest model, Airbus A350-900 XWB (extra wide body), after finally meeting with Airbus officials this week.
Earlier, the Airbus A350 held demo flights in Manila as part of its A350 World Tour since it touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 last Wednesday morning.
The arrival of the A350 marks a series of demonstration flights and ground displays for Philippine clients, targeting PAL and Cebu Pacific.
PAL president Jaime Bautista told reporters that the airline company was “carefully studying” the possibility of purchasing new wide body planes for its long-haul routes.
Bautista added that the new Airbus aircraft could possibly be replacement for its current long-haul aircraft such as the A340 and Boeing 777.
Cebu Pacific president Lance Gokongwei, for his part, said that although the airline company was also considering the idea of a purchase, it had “no need for the aircraft” at the moment.
Gokongwei further said that the airline company has yet to add more destinations to its long-haul flights.
The A350 has wings and fuselage made of carbon fiber. It is designed to save up to 25 percent in fuel consumption while serving long-range routes.
It can accommodate 315 passengers in a two-class configuration and at the same time offer unbeatable economics in high-density seating and true long-haul capability with a range of up to 7,750 nautical miles.
Airbus’ right-sized interior cross-section for the A350 XWB Family is five inches larger than the nearest competitor, allowing operators to comfortably accommodate economy class passengers at eight-, nine- or 10-abreast arrangements.
The A350-900 has the same optimized cabin cross-section as the other A350 XWB versions (A350-800 and A350-1000) to ensure maximum comfort for both passengers and crew. (PNA)