Philippine Airlines firms seven Bombardier Q400 orders
Philippine Airlines (PAL) intends to use its latest order for Bombardier Q400s to help wrest market share back from local low-cost carriers (LCCs), PAL COO Jaime Bautista said at the Paris Air Show June 19. PAL has converted seven purchase orders for Q400s to firm orders. In December 2016, it firmed the other five aircraft in what had initially been a letter of intent to purchase 12.
“We used to be the dominant domestic player, but with the arrival of LCCs in the early 2000s, they were able to get people who used to ravel by boat or bus,” Bautista said. “They have grown faster than us and the board of PAL believes we should get back market share.”
The seven new Q400s will replace five older examples of the Canadian-built turboprop in the airline’s inventory. They will be outfitted in an 86-seat, dual-class configuration—eight premium economy at 33-in. pitch and 78 economy-class at 29-in. pitch. Bautista said 29 in. was “very comfortable for domestic operations.” PAL is the launch operator for the 86-seat dual-class variant.
The first of the initial batch of five Q400s ordered late in 2016 will be delivered in July, with one a month arriving until November. The new aircraft ordered at the show will start to arrive in March 2018. Five will arrive throughout next year, with the remaining two in the second half of 2019.
Bombardier is still looking for a launch customer for a high-density 90-seat version of the Q400, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer said. This would have a 28-in. pitch. Asked at the PAL press conference in Paris if he felt that might impact on the appeal of the aircraft, he said seat pitch was becoming “less and less relevant; it’s the [seat] technology that’s becoming more important.”
Posted on June 19, 2017, in Bombardier Aerospace, Philippine Airlines and tagged New order to help carrier battle domestic competition, Philippine firms up 7 orders for Q400s. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.