Founded in 1941 by a group of prominent Filipino businessmen, Philippine Airlines is the flag carrier of the Philippines and one of the oldest airlines in Asia. We take a look at the airline’s current fleet to see which planes are the oldest.
Based in the city of Pasay, just south of Manila, Philippine Airlines operates from its main hub at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL). The full-service carrier also flies from Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) in Cebu, Francisco Bangoy International Airport (DVO) in Davao and
Clark International Airport (CRK) 43 miles northwest of Manila. Its wholly owned subsidiary, PAL Express, operates regional routes using a fleet of 26 Airbus and DeHavilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8.
Philippine Airlines was one of the largest airlines in Asia
Prior to the Asian financial crisis of 1997, Philippine Airlines was one of Asia’s largest airlines with a bright future ahead of it. After several years of losses, Philippine Airlines teamed up with a group of banks and arranged a $1 billion loan for new planes. With money now, no problem; Philippine Airlines has placed orders with Boeing and Airbus for eight Boeing 747-400s, eight Airbus A330-300s, four Airbus A340-300s, two Airbus A340-200s and twelve Airbus A320-200s.
The Asian financial crisis of 1997 hurt Philippine Airlines. Photo: Getty Images.
When the Thai government decided to decouple the Thai baht from the dollar in 1997, it triggered a financial meltdown in Asia. The effect of the crisis on the Philippines was not as severe as on some of its neighbours, but with Philippine Airlines’ regional exposure, the impact was severe. The airline was forced to halt all flights to Europe and the Middle East and all domestic flights except those operated from Manila.
Philippine Airlines has been placed in receivership
Downsizing and downsizing its fleet Philippine Airlines went into receivership and only emerged in 2007. Since then, the airline has grown steadily, thanks in part to the nearly two million Filipinos who work abroad. Today, Philippine Airlines serves 43 international routes and 31 domestic routes with a fleet of 53 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. According to the Aviation Data and Statistics website ch-aviation The Philippine Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft:
- 4 Airbus A320-200
- 18 Airbus A321-200
- 6 Airbus A321neos
- 2 Airbus A321neoNX
- 11 Airbus A330-300
- 2 Airbus A350-900
- 10 Boeing 777-300ERs
Looking at the list above, the ones that immediately stand out as the oldest are the Airbus A320s, Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s.
Air France was the launch customer for the Airbus A320-200 in 1988, meaning it has been in service with airlines around the world for 34 years. As for Philippine Airlines’ four Airbus A320-200s, the planes were delivered between 2008 and 2012 and are now listed as being in storage.
German flag carrier Lufthansa was the launch customer for the Airbus A321-200 in 1994, meaning the plane has been in service with airlines for 28 years. Of the 18 Airbus A321s owned by Philippine Airlines, RP-C9901 is the oldest, having been delivered to the airline on August 6, 2013. The aircraft is leased from Goshawk Management (Ireland) Ltd. No information is available regarding flight cycles and flight. hours. Currently, the aircraft is active and flying to various Asian destinations from Manila.
Entering service with the French domestic airline Air Inter in 1994, the Airbus A330-300 has been in operation for 28 years. From Philippine Airlines, Airbus A330-300 RP-C8782 is the oldest, having been delivered to the airline on September 27, 2013. The aircraft is owned by Philippine Airlines, and we have no data regarding flight cycles or flight hours. The aircraft is currently active on routes to the Middle East, Asia and Hawaii.
All Philippine Airlines Airbus A320s are in storage. Photo: Getty Images
Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific was the Boeing 777-300’s launch customer in 1998, meaning the plane has been in service for 24 years. Philippine Airlines’ oldest Boeing 777-300 is RP-C7777, a 12-year-old aircraft delivered on November 18, 2009. According to ch-aviation data, the aircraft has 43,429.00 flight hours and 5,847 flight cycles. The aircraft is currently flying routes between Manila and the West Coast of the United States.
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