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Philippine Airlines will introduce all-new business class and premium economy seats on flights to Sydney and Melbourne from mid-year.
The airline is upgrading eight of its Airbus A330 jets with a full complement of premium cabins as it chases the business and corporate travel market along with well-heeled holidaymakers.
The new business class represents a substantial improvement over the dated recliners of Philippine Airlines' current Airbus A340s, which will be replaced by the A330s on both the Sydney-Manila and Melbourne-Manila routes.
Philippine Airlines new Airbus A330 business class
The 18 business class seats at the pointy end of the A330s will provide lie-flat comfort and direct aisle access through a 1-2-1 layout, and are based on the same Thompson Vantage XL platform (below) as the Qantas Business Suite, albeit in a less customised form.
(Qantas also flies its Business Suite-equipped A330s between Sydney and Manila.)
Creature comforts of the Vantage XL design include an 18.5 inch video screen and ample personal and working space around each seat.
Further back sits a 24-seat premium economy cabin, with the seats (below) 19 inches wide and spaced 38 inches apart, and as business class will include AC and USB power sockets plus a 13.3 inch video display.
The remaining 267 economy seats are 17 inches wide with a 32 inch pitch and a 6 inch recline, with 10.1 inch screens and USB power outlets at each seat.
Sydney, Melbourne go all-A330
The thrice-weekly flights between Melbourne and Manila will shift to an upgraded A330s by July 15, 2017, a spokesperson for Philippine Airlines told Australian Business Traveller.
The Sydney-Manila route will follow in August, with both the PR211/212 and PR213/214 flights switching to the refurb'd birds.
(Other A330 routes rolling out in the second half of this year include Honolulu, Singapore, Haneda, Tokyo/Narita and Osaka.)
Philippine Airlines is also eyeing non-stop Manila-Brisbane flights in 2018 once its new Airbus A321neo fleet arrives, removing the current Darwin stopover, and will also take delivery of six new Airbus A350-900 jets across 2018-2019 to expand its non-stop network with direct routes such as Manila to New York (via the Arctic region).