Philippine Airlines brings new business class, A321neo to Brisbane

By Chris Chamberlin, July 3 2018

Passengers jetting between Brisbane and Manila with Philippine Airlines will now find fully-flat beds in business class, with the route now served by the airline's new Airbus A321neo aircraft.

The single-aisle cabin sports a 2-2 layout at the pointy end, housing just 12 business class passengers across three cosy rows.

During the daytime flight from Brisbane, there's plenty of space to work and relax, with power ports available to keep your devices recharged...

... and inflight entertainment at every seat:

But, on the eight-hour overnight trek from the Philippine capital, transforming the seat into bed mode will be the likely priority, with a large pillow provided, as well as a blanket (not pictured):

The A321neo replaces the Airbus A340 on the airline's Brisbane flights, with Philippine Airlines running four non-stop flights between Brisbane and Manila every week.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, flight PR222 departs Brisbane at 11am to reach Manila at 4:50pm, with inflight Internet now available too, which many business travellers will appreciate.

AusBT review: Philippine Airlines' myPAL WiFi service

Out of Manila, flight PR221 pushes back at 11:30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, touching down in Brisbane at 9:20am the following morning.

Brisbane is Philippine Airlines' first global destination for the next-gen jet, with Brisbane-Manila also the longest commercial route served by any Airbus A321neo aircraft worldwide.

More photos: Philippine Airlines reveals new Airbus A321Neo, A350 business class

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

JJM
JJM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2013

Total posts 12

Looking forward to trying out this new product in early September.

Chris - any seat suggestions / preferences? Are the window seats “climb over” when the aisle seat is in bed mode, or is there room to walk around.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

One will have to climb over. Row 2 would be my choice, as it's removed from the lighting either at front, or the toilet, and not subject to as much noise from the economy cabin, or again, light streaking in.

With only three rows there isn't much choice but a massive improvement on the elderly A343s that are gradually being pensioned off (well past their prime.)

Not as good as 1-2-1 arrangement in J with the Thompson Vantage XL seats in the eight refursbished A333s, but heaps better than many other single aisle planes such as OD's offering ex BNE to DPS, for instance.

One problem is that PR only has two of the A321neo at present, so one hopes older aircraft aren't substituted too often. As deliveries are made the chance of this occurring should reduce, but never be absent, as we know only too well from so many airlines.

Eli
Eli

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 90

Why are you complaining? This is a single aisle jet, not a widebody. So you have to climb over, big deal. I'd rather do handstands over the aisle seat than have a recliner.

Be grateful! This is positive news!

JJM
JJM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2013

Total posts 12

Hi Eli,

Having re-read my original post numerous times, I'm unsure how you've determined that i was either complaining, or that I'm ungrateful, noting that my opening sentence reads "Looking forward to trying out this new product in early September", and the remainder of the post asks about configuration.

I merely asked about the configuration of the seating so I can make an informed decision on where to sit.

JJM: I was able to access the aircraft at Brisbane Airport this morning during its rather tight turnaround window, so beyond grabbing a few quick photos and stepping off before passengers boarded their flight to Manila, I can’t offer recommendations on seating without flying the product first. However, window seat passengers do indeed need to step over their seatmate when the aisle-side seat is in bed mode.
JJM
JJM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2013

Total posts 12

Thanks Chris, much appreciated.

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 35

Congratulations to PAL for pioneering the A321neo on a medium-long haul route such as this. If only QF would get more adventurous and open up new Aus to SE Asia city pairs now that the technology is available.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Bernoulli, would QF passengers be resistant to single aisle planes (albeit with lie flat beds on a limited number of seats in J) on SE Asian city pairs with Oz, or would they regard it as a great improvement on what have been B738s flying PER - SIN, MEL and SYD to DPS and so on?

Do most QF passengers expect a widebody plane when they book any international flight including TransTasman? Is there a sense of being 'cheated' if a B738 provides the offering?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 575

Long range single-aisle is not new with 757s having participated in this space for 30 years though admittedly the 757 never really had a presence in Australia.

It is also possible that the 797 will be a narrow body more in the style of a 757 rather the stubby widebody style of the A310 so, if anything, the A321LR is just the beginning of a developing market here in Australia which will enable the opening up of new routes particularly from smaller capital cities such as ADL and PER.

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 35

Personally and not being Sydney based I would regard it as a significant improvement if QF could simply offer a decent Asian route network period irrespective of configuration. But I appreciate the small O&D market, end of the network arguments that are inevitably raised in QF's defence. In the meantime I'll continue to connect via HKG or Singapore.
JJM
JJM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2013

Total posts 12

Thanks Traveller 14 - much appreciated.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 223

Nice. I have been on the A321T run by AA between JFK and LAX. Very comfortable. Would be nice if QF could introduce this here

American Airlines - AAdvantage

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 40

No mention in the article that Sydney will also get the 321 on certain days of the week shortly too.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

It seems to be five days a week, starting in a few weeks' time with weekend flights the exception, and also in Dec/Jan when the larger A333s will again be used. Yet Melbourne continues to get the larger aircraft and is becoming daily by very late in October when the northern winter timetable commences. That'll mean more capacity to Melbourne than to Sydney.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 40

I'd guess Melbourne may be a little out of the range of the 321.

11 May 2016

Total posts 5

I won't recommend any connection in MNL by PAL before a great renovation for MNL T2, as that terminal is entirely outdated, and the PAL lounge is totally a nightmare.

You can never imagine the main lounge of a giant airline with only 1 shower room embedded and with no hot water!

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

While from what little can be gleaned from the media there may have been some backtracking, supposedly on 31 Ausgust 2018 Philippine Airlines' international flights are moving to T1, while domestic stays at T2 and Cebu Pacific domestic also moves to latter.

Agree re the lounge, but again allegedly there's a new one under construction, although goodness knows if the claimed move to T1 for intl. has thrown a spanner into those works.

I've never used that shower so thank you for the information about no hot water, which is appalling.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

15 Feb 2013

Total posts 40

These seats look identical to United's 787-9s.

09 Mar 2017

Total posts 7

This config now is regular ex SYD. October last year I flew PR ex SYD in J class and count myself fortunate as the aircraft was revamped A330 with a much superior product to this offering. Wider seats 1,2,1 config. I'm guessing PR was loosing money on the route and has downgraded capacity and product offering.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

The A321neo runs nights ex MNL except for Fri and Sat, and ex SYD daytime Sat ans Sun when it's still a refurbished A333. From 1 Dec to 31 Jan, it should be the larger A333 or new A359 every day. If I recall, the A359 may be replacing the A321neo even on offpeak days soon.

Either way, all PR's aircraft are more modern than Qantas' ageing aircraft and I believe service is superior on PR. Qantas also leave much to be desired in staying on time ex Sydney.


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