Philippine Airlines flies new business class to Sydney, Melbourne

By David Flynn, February 1 2017

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).

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Looking

Looking

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 118

Yeah this is one airline I would just not want to touch.

Mick9

Mick9

08 Nov 2013

Total posts 5

Just wondering, it mentions the economy class seats are 17' wide, is that narrower than normal a330's.   I thought 17' was the tight size on 787's?

Grum217

Grum217

31 Jan 2017

Total posts 9

Would never ever travel with them again......bad experience.

JJM

JJM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2013

Total posts 12

Good news for regular MNL biz travellers - certainly an uptick from the aged A340's and the reasonably new, but very poorly fitted out A330's.

S

S

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 105

Would never again with these guys!
Had the most ridiculous experience with PAL
They gave me a free return flight as compensation and I was like... sorry... don't think so!

JJM

JJM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Mar 2013

Total posts 12

"S" - care to elaborate?

S

S

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 105

Long story short, overbooked flight by around 60 people. Waited in the queue at MNL for 4 hours. Sent us all via HK to get home via partner airline. Got to HK, no ticket waiting for us etc etc.

Mal

Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

Great timing, my work will take me to Manila every few months of the 2017-2018 financial year. Still would prefer Qantas for the lounge and points but if my company insists on a lower fare that'll probably be PAL, at least I'll still have a decent seat.

KieranM

KieranM

01 Feb 2017

Total posts 2

No thanks. This is an awful airline. 

russell

russell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 324

I travel to Manila a lot and this still wont be enough to get me on PAL.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1126

Gosh PR really has a bad rep huh

Grannular

Grannular

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 287

I don't see why you are all so negative. PAL are obviously trying to better their product and move forward. This is a positive step. I get that they are not most peoples first choice, but they have their place in the market.

Kingsley11

Kingsley11

03 Jun 2016

Total posts 1

Agree. At least they're trying to improve their product. A perfect  example where product and fleet improvements has worked well is Garuda

mushmush

mushmush

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

14 Nov 2013

Total posts 42

I agree with most here, this airline has a long way to go yet. What is truly shocking is the lounge in Manila, resembled an office cubicle environment! 

Grum217

Grum217

31 Jan 2017

Total posts 9

Well they really have plenty of room for improvement & bettering their product. If there is a worse airline them I'm yet to fly them.

Martin Haynes

Martin Haynes

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 27

A lot better than the A340 business class but I would still prefer to fly with Qantas, their seat will still be better than this "off the shelf" design and of course a much better lounge at Sydney. Just a shame we can't use the excellent CX lounge at Manila because it's in a different terminal. :(

AgentGerko

AgentGerko

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 35

Last time I flew with PAL I had a DC10 to Manila, followed by a BAC111 to Cebu followed by a HS748 to Bohol. The BAC111 flight at 4.00am  got airborne three times before it stayed airborne and the HS748 had wind whistling in through holes in the passenger door. What fun. Considering its an 8 hr flight to Manila, I'd definitely give their new J class a go, particularly as its on sale for under $1500 rt. Exceptional value for a flat bed cabin.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

This article requires correcting.  Between Manila and Melbourne, PR always uses its so-called high capacity A333s that in business class have a lie-flat 2-2-2 configuration.  In contrast, Manila - Sydney and back uses a mix of A333s and the dated A343s.

The changed seat layout on the A333s will be an improvement.

I don't find PR to be as bad as some above paint it.  Staff are quite good and meals in J are excellent.  In Y, they're nothing startling but not disastrous.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Could the editor please correct the factual error in the article as I noted above almost 24 hours ago?

David_G

David_G

09 Mar 2017

Total posts 7

I'm booked to travel in September and am looking forward to trying the new business class product.

davistev

davistev

Japan Airlines - JAL Mileage Bank

23 Jan 2017

Total posts 1

In the middle of my journey from Melbourne to Taiwan, PAL in Manila asked for my credit card that was used to book my ticket. Long story short, My wife purchased the ticket online and so I did not have her credit card on me. Manila refused to issue me my next boarding pass to TPE unless I showed them my card. Since I could not, I had to buy another ticket. But get this - "sorry no seats available on the TPE flight" after I grudgingly agreed to buy the last remaining sector. 

I was pissed. I went over to Cebu Pacific and they were great. At least they are honest when they say they are a budget airline. PAL pretends to be a full service airline but with a budget airline mentality.

Bill.P

Bill.P

01 Jun 2017

Total posts 1

Would never fly any other Airline to Philippines. PAL, has been always good with me also allowed me sligtly over the required baggage limit without charge.

I would NEVER use QANTAS as that is one Airline that I would steer clear of.

And I am also a frequent flyer to Philippines, I can assure you that I doubt that any Airline is fault free.

DennisL

DennisL

03 Aug 2017

Total posts 1

Its now Aug 2017, does anyone know if PAL have already rolled out their new business class seats on A330 to SYD and MEL ?

David_G

David_G

09 Mar 2017

Total posts 7

ex Mel PAL flight reservations are showing the new business class now with the aircraft that were tagged for upgrade. ex SYD still has a lot of the older 343 aircraft and aren't showing the upgraded 333 in flight reservations until early September.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

I've been on the changed A333s of PR and they are great.

Can AusBT please do a review of this by travelling on a MEL or SYD - MNL flight with the changed plane?

simiguelito47

simiguelito47

Asiana Airlines - Asiana Club

09 Feb 2017

Total posts 41

Haters gonna hate, we were making comments like those above about Garuda ten years ago

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

DennisL and David_G , the altered (and for the better) A333s now seem to be on every flight of PR209/210/211/212/213/214 i.e. all MNL - MEL and MNL - SYD and return flights.

AgentGerko

AgentGerko

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 35

Might be an A330-300 most days but not always the same configuration. My bro flew MNL/SYD J class a few days ago and 24hrs before travel they swapped a 1x2x1 for a 2x2x2. He was most unimpressed.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

It's been very rare for the older, unsatisfactory configuration to be substituted to SYD and MEL for the past few weeks. This airline now has five refurbished aircraft carrying travellers so in theory even with maintenance requirements 99 per cent of the time it should be a 'new' A333.

David_G

David_G

09 Mar 2017

Total posts 7

I recently flew SYD x/MNL HKG x/MNL SYD. All sectors were on the new config 1/2/1 J class. PR has caught up to QF A330 for seat functions though the final finish is fairly basic. I had seat 2K for all legs. I did find the footwells small and fairly confined. The entertainment screen is a large 18.5 inches which was great. The selection of entertainment was fairly limited and the number of latest movies low. Food was average, drinks range was quite good though the premium only entry level. (ie gin offered was Gordons) the crew was very polite and attentive.

Lounges. In SYD PR use the SQ Silver Kris which is good. In MNL the Mahubay Lounge is in dire need of an update. More like a waiting room than a lounge. In HKG PR use Hong Kong VIP Lounge and is was excellent. A small menu of cooked to order dishes that were very tasty, a modest selection of quality drinks and several seating options of which I choose the chairmans reading seats that looked out across the airport at pilots level view.

I managed to get these flights for $1165 inc taxes person and at that price represented exceptional value.

AgentGerko

AgentGerko

31 Jan 2013

Total posts 35

It's not just PAL anyway. I'm flying to SYD/SIN in Dec on QF in a A330-200 with 2x2x2 angled seats. It's never good when they promote one configuration and you get stuck with the previous out-of-date one.

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