Philippine Airlines improves premium product, aims for five-star rating with new low density A330s

Premium Analysis

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is significantly improving its position in the regional international market within Asia Pacific as it retrofits eight A330-300s. The aircraft are being fitted with lie-fat business class seats and PAL's first ever premium economy seat, providing product upgrades that support an initiative aimed at positioning PAL as a premium five-star airline.

The first batch of retrofitted A330s have already entered service and are now being used on the Manila to Hong Kong, Honolulu, Melbourne, Shanghai and Sydney routes. The retrofit project will be completed by the end of 2017, also enabling PAL to improve its premium product in the Manila to Osaka, Tokyo and Singapore markets.

PAL has expanded rapidly in the regional international market over the past five years, but its product has always been a major weakness, resulting in foreign airlines dominating the premium end of the Philippines market. The introduction of the retrofitted A330s and a premium economy product represents the first step in a new strategy aimed at narrowing the gap with Asia's leading airlines.

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