MANILA, PHILIPPINES — European aircraft manufacturer Airbus on Tuesday secured a $7 billion order from Philippine Airlines (PAL), beating American rival Boeing as they continue their global contest to increase their market share, the two companies said.
Philippine Airlines said it plans to buy up to 100 new aircraft over the next decade as it carries out a major fleet modernization program and restructures operations to become a low-cost carrier. The firm order announced Tuesday is for 10 long-haul A330-300 aircraft and 44 aircraft from the A321 family.
"The orders we are placing with Airbus will play a key role in revitalizing PAL and growing trade and tourism in the country," PAL Chairman Lucio Tan and PAL President Ramon S. Ang said in a joint statement. "With these aircraft we will be able to offer more passengers the best the industry has to offer across our Asia-Pacific network. At the same time, we will benefit from the low operating costs associated with new generation aircraft and the reduced impact on the environment."
According to Airbus, its aircraft in the A321 family offers the lowest operating costs of any single aisle product line today. These costs will be further reduced with the new engine option which the European aircraft manufacturer says will offer additional fuel savings of up to 15 percent.
"We are extremely pleased that Philippine Airlines has placed its confidence in our aircraft to meet its future requirements," said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer of Customers at Airbus. "This announcement demonstrates once again the popularity of both the A320 Family and the A330, which remain the leaders in their size categories in terms of operating economics, reliability and passenger comfort."
The deal is valued at nearly $7.3 billion at list prices, but the actual cost is believed to be significantly lower as Airbus and Boeing are in a global contest for market share and have in some cases more than halved their prices. Philippine Airlines reportedly faced significant commercial and political pressure from the United States to secure a deal with Boeing.