Philippine Airlines teases “improved” business class on its new A350s

The ultra-long range jets will connect Manila to the United States, Canada and potentially even Europe.

By David Flynn, August 11 2023
Philippine Airlines teases “improved” business class on its new A350s

Philippine Airlines looks set to join Qantas, Air New Zealand, Etihad, Lufthansa, JAL and many others in in the opportunistic “new jets = new business class” movement.

For the Manila-based carrier, this means pairing its order for nine Airbus A350-1000s with a fresh take on business class.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to invest in new aircraft, improved cabins, and enhanced travel experience for our valued customers,” asserts Philippine Airlines (PAL) President Capt. Stanley K. Ng, while confirming the airline is on a growth trajectory following recent positive financial results. 

PAL’s current A350-900s and older A330s rely on the popular Vantage XL platform from Thompson Aero, albeit in a less customised form than the Qantas, LATAM and Virgin Atlantic iterations.

Philippine Airlines' current A350 business class.
Philippine Airlines' current A350 business class.

However, a spokesperson for Philippine Airlines tells Executive Traveller “we will consider new designs for all cabins.” 

Qantas and Air India have both locked in Safran Unity seats for their upcoming A350 business classes, with the suites adding mod cons such as sliding privacy doors and wireless charging. 

A few months ago Philippines Airlines stated it had “not yet finalised” the business, premium economy and economy cabin seats and configuration, adding decisions would be made following an extensive evaluation process over the coming months. 

Given the first of its new A350-1000s is set to land in 2025, it’s likely the news won’t be too far off. 

Philippine Airlines' current A350 business class.
Philippine Airlines' current A350 business class.

Philippine Airlines has inked an order for nine Airbus A350-1000s at a cost of $3.2 billion, with the aircraft due to arrive across the back end of 2025 through to 2027.

Under the Philippine flag carrier’s Ultra Long Haul Fleet project, those jets “will be operated on non-stop services from Manila to North America, including to the East Coast of the US and Canada.”

Flights to East Coast cities such as New York and Toronto would rate as some of the world’s longest flights. LINK

Options on three more A350-1000s will “allow future expansion to new long haul destinations” including “a direct link from the Philippines to Europe,” says Philippine Airlines President Captain Stanley K. Ng.

“The A350-1000 combines greater range capability with the higher capacity we need to serve future demand.”

“It’s the perfect aircraft to enable PAL to meet its expansion plans in a sustainable way, while offering passengers the highest levels of onboard comfort.”

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 388

Not all PR's A330s have the 1-2-1 layout.

A few have a terrible 2-2-2 layout in business class and 3-3-3 narrow seats in economy class. The business class seats on these aircraft are very poor, and there's only an iPad-based menu, not the much better menu offered via the A333s with the 1-2-1 configuration.

Fortunately one of the redone A333s has finally reentered service, so that IIRC makes five of the nine that were updated in c.2017, and reduces the chances of the poor layout ones coming to MEL or SYD.

If you think 2plus 2 is terrible in business class. Try PAL 300ER to the United States west coast in business class. It is 2-3-2.

So the middle section is jammed together. Plus the middle seat getting up in the middle of the night has to climb over the lay flat seats seat either way.

It would be a terrible mistake if PAL continue this setup in a350/. It should be 1-2-1 like most other business class.

With the new airport in Bulacan to open in 2028. Delta will be able to fly into Manila. Currently they decline to fly into Manila because landing arrival slots were in the middle of the night. They will get good landing slots at the new airport. Hopefully they will have better seats then 2-3-2.

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