Philippine Airlines said Tuesday it was looking at opening new routes in Asia and Australia this year, as it expands its fleet while strengthening its position as a full-service carrier.
Prospective destinations include Brisbane in Australia, Sapporo in Japan and New Delhi and Mumbai in India, PAL president Jaime Bautista said. These routes will use the Airbus A321neo, which can fly non-stop up to 8 hours and are equipped with WiFi connectivity, he said.
Philippine Airlines will outfit four new Airbus A350-900s jets arriving in June with its most luxurious Business Class service. These planes will fly to Rome, Frankfurt and Paris, said Bautista.
The airline recently secured a 4-star rating from Skytrax, a London-based ratings body. The highest possible score is 5 stars, given only to 10 airlines.
Bautista said PAL was aiming for a 5-star rating by 2020. The congestion problem in the capital's main airport, however, remains a challenge. "If there is congestion, there will be delays sometimes cancellations and it will really affect our aspiration to be a five-star carrier," he said.