Philippine Airlines orders more B777s

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has increased its planned B777-300ER

fleet to a total of six aircraft - four on firm order and two on lease - by

exercising its purchase rights on two option aircraft that were part of the

original order placed in Oct-06.

Separately, PAL also signed a letter of intent with GE Commercial Aviation Services for the lease of two B777-300ERs.

Deliveries will commence in the third quarter of 2009 and until 2011.

"Our future fleet of B777-300ERs will allow PAL to enhance its passenger service to the US, while providing superior efficiency in our operations," said President Jaime Bautista.

The decision to acquire the two-class B777-300ERs, PAL's first new widebody aircraft model in 12 years, signals the long-anticipated modernisation of the airline's long-range fleet.

It follows on the heels of a similar upgrading of PAL's single-aisle fleet, which started last Sep-06 with the arrival of the first of 20 new A320-family aircraft. Six of those aircraft are already in service and four more are arriving this year.

PAL's widebody fleet currently comprises 17 aircraft: five B747-400s, four Airbus A340-300s and eight Airbus A330-300s.