Philippine Airlines Most Improved For 2019. A move to expand its global footprint using new generation fuel-efficient aircraft equipped with the latest cabins has earned Philippine Airlines the AirlineRatings.com 2019 Airline Excellence award for the most improved airline.
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has expanded its global footprint by more than 60 percent in recent years with innovative services such as a single-aisle A321neo flight between Manila and Brisbane and an A350-900 trans-polar route to New York.
Nor has it stinted when it comes to giving its passengers the latest product.
The four times weekly A321neo service featured the first flat-bed business product on a narrowbody aircraft operated to Australia and replaced three flights a week run by a fuel-hungry A340.
READ: AirAsia And AirAsia X Win Best Low Cost Airline Award
The move was part of a trend which is seeing the new breed of more extended range, single-aisle planes replace bigger aircraft on routes of up to eight hours and part of an ongoing expansion by the Filipino carrier.
The A321neo offers12 flatbed business class seats and 156 economy seats with in-seat power, seatback screens and wi-fi access across all cabins.
In late October, Philippine Airlines marked another historic milestone with the first non-stop nonstop service to New York from the Philippines.
The 16-hour journey from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport crosses the north polar regions to land at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on the evening of the same day.
The brand new A350-900 came configured with 30 business class seats set in a 1-2-1 format and offered a seat pitch of 44 inches and seat width of up to 24 inches.
The seat reclines to a 78-inch fully-flat bed and features an adjustable air cushion to adjust seat firmness, lumbar massage feature, additional storage for personal items, power ports and augmented reading lights.
There are also 24 premium economy seats in a 2-4-2 configuration with a 38-inch seat pitch and a width of 19 inches.
The premium economy seats have a recline of up to 8 inches and come equipped with leg rest and footrest, additional front pockets for personal items, bottle holders, reading lights and power ports.
Economy class passengers also get a generous seat with 241 18-inch full seats in a 3-3-3 configuration and a seat pitch of 33 inches. There is a recline of up to six a four-way headrest and USB power ports.
PAL has welcomed, or will welcome, some 21 aircraft in 2018 and 2019 and plans to expand its hubs in Davao, Cebu, and Clark.
It already offers an extensive Asia network, as well as flights to London Heathrow, the Middle East and several North American destinations including New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles.
READ: World’s Best Airlines For 2019
Also on the cards in the last quarter of the year are non-stop flights New Delhi and Mumbai as well as Japanese city of Sapporo.
Routes on which PAL is boosting frequencies include Cebu-Siargao, Davao-Tagbilaran, Davao-Clark, and Cebu-Bangkok.
The airline said last month other destinations being eyed as more A350 aircraft join the fleet included Seattle, Chicago and a point in Western Europe.
AirlineRatings editors said Philippine Airlines’ bold expansion plans and its commitment to a next-generation, easy product made it a stand-out for the most improved airline.