Philippine Airlines said it placed orders for up to 12 Q400 aircraft from Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.
The country’s flag carrier said it ordered six Q400 aircraft with option for another six planes to expand its inter-island domestic operations.
“These new Q400s, ideal for short runways, have 10 more seats than our existing Q400s, as well as premium economy section,” PAL said.
PAL owns four Bombardier DHC 8-300 aircraft and five Bombardier DHC 8-400 aircraft, which it dry leased to partner PAL Express.
PAL’s domestic network, including those operated by partner PAL Express, covers 31 cities and towns in the Philippines.
It serves the following domestic destinations: Bacolod, Basco, Butuan, Busuanga, Cagayan, Calbayog, Catarman, Caticlan, Cebu, Cotabato, Davao, Dipolog, Dumaguete, General Santos, Iloilo, Jolo, Kalibo, Laoag, Legazpi, Manila, Masbate, Naga, Ozamiz, Puerto Princesa, Roxas, Surigao, Tablas, Tacloban, Tagbilaran, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga.
Domestic operations contributed 20 percent to PAL’s revenues last year.
PAL expects to carry 15 million domestic and international passengers in 2017, higher than the projected 13.5 million passengers this year, a top executive said.
PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said the airline would likely achieve the target of 13.5 million passengers this year.
PAL flew 11.9 million passengers in 2015, up from 9.6 million passengers in 2014.
Bautista said new routes, more destinations and frequency and China charters would drive passenger growth in 2017.
PAL, controlled by tycoon Lucio Tan, earlier posted a comprehensive income of P2.96 billion in the nine-month period, lower by 54.8 percent than the previous year’s total comprehensive income of P6.55 billion. (D. Amijelar, MS)