Philippine Airlines Continues 777 Service to Canada, Reverts to Airbus A340 for London

Philippine Airlines Continues 777 Service to Canada, Reverts to Airbus A340 for London

On the Philippine Flight Network website, a number of passengers expressed their disappointment at the decision to downgrade the service. One commenter posted, I never can imagine how this will affect Philipinos in Toronto like me travelling on a long haul Flight of 14 15 hours without personal in Flight entertainment. Now I am thinking of cancelling our Flight with Philippine Airlines and booking with cheaper and better carriers.

Another individual commented, It's not fun Flying with PAL anymore I will have our Flight cancelled with this Aircraft downgrade and Fly with Eva or Cathay that has personal entertainment in economy seats.One passenger that was planning to book a Flight stated, Was actually planning to book a Flight to Manila in September, but this definitely swayed my decision to Fly Korean Air or Cathay instead.

PAL Boeing 777 Fleet features the carrier's most modern Amenities that provide an experience that is competitive with other full service carriers. The Amenities include a personal in Flight entertainment system with Audio and Video on Demand capabilities for all passengers, while each Business Class passenger is provided with a lie Flat seat, gooseneck lamp, AC adapter, and USB port which doubles up as a media player and charger for mobile devices.  

Philippine Airlines has made no secret that the 777 Fleet is intended for Flights to the United States. But PAL was only able to deploy the Fleet to the US in May 2014 after the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restored Category 1 status to the Philippines.  Although the 777 currently Flies to Los Angeles on a daily basis, it only Flies to San Francisco four times a week. Philippine Airlines is scheduled to Fly the Boeing 747-400 for the last time to San Francisco on August 30. After that, the Boeing 777 is expected to serve San Francisco on a daily basis.

When the Boeing 747 retires from the PAL Fleet permanently, every North American destination in the PAL network will enjoy at least one daily Flight operated by the Boeing 777 with the exception of Toronto, which is only served three times per week. Last year, Philippine Airlines had announced that it was planning to cancel its Toronto route less than a year after it began before announcing a few months later that it had decided to continue Flying the route.

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines continues to explore the possibility of re launching services to New York City via Canada by the end of this year.  It is still unknown whether plans for this new route have already been finalised or will push through.  PAL last Flew to New York's Newark Airport via Vancouver in early 1998 but had to cancel the route due to the Asian Financial Crisis. 

Although Canada has been spared from losing its 777 service at least for now, not all Philippine Airlines routes have been so lucky. With only six 777 aircraft in the PAL Fleet, at least one destination had to be downgraded in order to accommodate North American Flights and to allow PAL to retire its 747 Fleet. This means passengers travelling to London are now Flying aboard the 254-seat A340-300 aircraft. According to FlightRadar 24, Philippine Airlines started deploying the A340 aircraft to the British capital on August 6. It is believed that the A340 will continue to serve the route through the upcoming winter season.

Unlike PAL's Boeing 777, the Airbus A340 does not feature personal in-Flight entertainment monitors for economy class passengers. As the London service is among PAL's longest Flights, passengers will have to endure an older aircraft with only mainscreen in Flight entertainment, rolling audio, and no provisions for charging personal electronic devices. Although Philippine Airlines is still Flying one of its original A340 aircraft, most of the A340 aircraft now in service with the airline were previously used by Spanish carrier Iberia.

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Mohini Porwal [ B Sc]
Trainee Aviation News Editor

Mohini Porwal Trainee Aviation News Editor Newzealand