Manila, Philippines, AFP – The Philippines’ struggling flag carrier said Sunday it has purchased an additional two Airbus jets as part of its re-fleeting program.
The two Airbus A321 NEO planes bring to 40 the total number of deliveries that Philippine Airlines will receive from Airbus up to 2024, the carrier said in a statement.
“The A321 NEOs will enable PAL to continue to grow its current single-aisle fleet and spread out its aircraft delivery stream in line with market growth,” according to the statement.
The jets will be used for domestic routes, company spokeswoman Cielo Villauna told AFP.
Before the purchase of the two jets was announced on Sunday, the company said it was expecting 10 deliveries this year.
Asia’s oldest airline posted a “small profit” last year after billionaire Lucio Tan regained control, company president Jaime Bautista told Bloomberg Television earlier this month.
Tan bought back for a reported $1 billion last year the 49-percent stake that he had sold to San Miguel Corp. in 2012. He also reinstalled Bautista as PAL president.
Bautista said in November last year that PAL was looking for a new investor to help fund an expansion program that includes the purchase of more long-haul jets.
The carrier resumed flights to New York this month and announced plans to reopen its hub on Cebu island in the Central Philippines.
Parent company PAL Holdings Inc., whose income comes mostly from PAL, posted a net income of 233.7 million pesos ($5.3 million) for the nine months ended September, Bloomberg reported citing stock exchange filings.