Philippine Airlines boosts domestic routes with world-first aircraft

PAL's new 86-seat Q400 aircraft
PAL’s new 86-seat Q400 aircraft

Philippine Airlines has taken delivery of the world’s first two-class, 86-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft.

The new aircraft is the first of an order for 12 Q400s placed by PAL in December 2016. These small aircraft will be deployed on the national carrier’s domestic intra-island routes, and the airline’s decision to configure them with a two-class seating layout reflects PAL’s move to provide a more premium in-flight experience, compared to the Philippines’ popular low-cost carriers.

As such, passengers on the new Q400 aircraft will be offered a choice of economy and premium economy class seating, with a 29-inch and 33-inch seat pitch respectively. The first aircraft is scheduled to enter into service in two weeks.

“We congratulate Philippine Airlines for taking delivery of the world’s first dual-class, 86-seat Q400 aircraft,” said Fred Cromer, president of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “This delivery is an example of how Bombardier’s Q400 is an ideal solution for airlines that require higher-performance and larger turboprops as they develop regional routes to meet increasing passenger demand. Bombardier is proud to have the only commercial turboprop available today to offer up to 90 seats.”

Jaime Bautista, PAL’s president & chief operating officer, said that the aircraft would “play a significant role in positioning Philippine Airlines as a five-star airline and in regaining its dominance in the domestic market”.

PAL has also started reconfiguring its long-haul jets with new interiors including more premium economy and business class seating.

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