|Founded||February 26, 1941[note 1] (as Philippine Air Lines)|
|Commenced operations||March 15, 1941|
|Frequent-flyer program||Mabuhay Miles|
|Parent company||LT Group |
(PAL Holdings, Inc.)
|Headquarters||PNB Financial Center, Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines|
|Revenue||PHP55.26 billion (US$1.14 billion)(2020)|
|Net income||PHP-71.81 billion (US$-1.49 billion)(2020)|
|Total assets||PHP227.9 billion (US$4.71 billion)(2020)|
|Total equity||PHP-68.11 billion (US$-1.41 billion)(2020)|
Philippine Airlines (PAL), a trade name of PAL Holdings, Inc. (PSE: PAL) and also known historically as Philippine Air Lines until 1970, is the flag carrier of the Philippines. Headquartered at the PNB Financial Center in Pasay, the airline was founded in 1941 and is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name.
The primary hub of Philippine Airlines is Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. It also operates from three secondary hubs: Mactan–Cebu International Airport, Cebu; Francisco Bangoy International Airport, Davao; and Clark International Airport which covers portions of the cities of Angeles and Mabalacat within the Clark Freeport Zone in the province of Pampanga. Its subsidiary PAL Express operates only regional routes while PAL operates both domestic (Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Kalibo, Manila and Zamboanga) and international routes. The airline operates both narrow-body and wide-body fleets of Airbus aircraft and a widebody fleet of Boeing aircraft.
Main article: History of Philippine Airlines
Formerly one of the largest airlines in Asia, PAL was severely affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. In one of the Philippines' biggest corporate failures, PAL downsized its international operations by completely ending flights to Europe and the Middle East, cutting virtually all domestic flights except routes operated from Manila, reducing the size of its fleet, and laying off thousands of employees. The airline was placed under receivership in 1998, but later restored operations to many destinations. After PAL's exit from receivership in 2007, the airline frequently revamped its management. However, PAL's vision to re-establish itself as one of Asia's premier carriers continues.
Philippine Airlines is owned by PAL Holdings (PSE: PAL), a holding company responsible for the airline's operations. PAL Holdings is in turn part of a group of companies owned by business tycoon Lucio Tan. ANA Holdings, the holding company of All Nippon Airways, has a 9.5% stake in PAL Holdings. PAL was the ninth-largest corporation in the Philippines in terms of gross revenue, as stated in the Philippines' Top 1000 Largest Corporations of 2017. As of December 2018, PAL had a total of 6,689 employees, which included 999 pilots and 2,647 cabin crew. In 2007 PAL was the sixty-first largest airline in the world in terms of revenue passenger kilometers flown, with over 16 million flown for 21 million available seat kilometers, an average load factor of 76 percent. PAL flew approximately 12 million passengers in 2014, and 16 million in 2016.
For the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2007, Philippine Airlines reported a net income of US$140.3 million, its largest profit in its 76-year history. This allowed it to exit receivership in October of that year. PAL forecast its net profits would reach $32.32 million for the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2008, a profit goal of $26.28 million in 2009, and an expected $47.41 million for 2010, but these proved difficult to achieve, and a large loss was announced in early 2009 causing some concern.
Philippine Airlines reported a comprehensive income of $20.4 million for 2014, the company's first profit in four years. The company continued its financial turnaround, reporting a net income growth of 4430.04% for 2015. However, PAL then reported a loss in 2016, with a net income growth of -38.80%.
On November 15, 2018, the airline received the "Most Improved Airline of 2019" award from AirlineRatings.com, a product rating website.
Further information: List of Philippine Airlines destinations
Philippine Airlines operates from a primary hub (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), three secondary hubs (Mactan–Cebu International Airport, Clark International Airport, and Francisco Bangoy International Airport), as well as a focus city (Kalibo International Airport), with the majority of routes operating from Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
In 1989, Philippine Airlines operated to destinations in Europe, such as Amsterdam, Athens, Frankfurt, London–Gatwick and Rome–Fiumicino. This came to an end in 1999. Following the 1997 Asian financial crisis, PAL was forced to drop some of its long-haul flights, with Cathay Pacific temporarily taking over PAL's routes for 14 days in 1998.
In 2010, the European Union banned Philippine carriers until 2013 despite the safety assessment by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). After the EU ban was lifted, Philippine Airlines resumed its flights to Europe, including Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Paris and Rome. On November 4, 2013, PAL returned to London–Heathrow, using a Boeing 777-300ER, marking its return to the UK capital after 15 years. On October 29, 2018, Philippine Airlines launched a direct flight to New York–JFK using an Airbus A350-900, making it the ninth longest flight in the world. On April 29, 2021, Philippine Airlines announced it was planning to launch flights to Israel by October, using its Airbus A350-900. The airline previously operated to Israel in the mid-1940s to 1950s.
As of 2021, Philippine Airlines operates 43 international routes and 31 domestic routes. Its subsidiary PAL Express serves the Asia–Pacific region (including Australia and New Zealand), Europe (United Kingdom), the Middle East, and North America (Canada and United States).
Philippine Airlines codeshares with the following airlines:
Main article: Philippine Airlines fleet
As of May 2021[update], there are 61 aircraft registered in the PAL mainline fleet with a mix of Airbus narrow-bodied and wide-body jets and Boeing wide-body jets.
The Philippine Airlines logo has gone through four versions over the time PAL has operated. The first logo incorporated a blue oval with "PAL" superimposed in white letters, a four-pointed star whose points intersect behind the "A" in the PAL initials, and a wing whose orientation varied depending on the location of the logo (the wing points to the right if located on the left side of the plane, left if on the right side). A variant of this logo used a globe instead of the blue oval with the PAL initials superimposed. This logo was used from the 1950s until the mid-1960s when it was replaced.
The second logo adopted a blue triangle (with the bottom point missing) and a red triangle superimposed upon it, enclosed by a circle; this was meant to evoke a vertically-displayed national flag (the white being formed by the negative space between the two triangles' tips). In the mid-1970s, a third logo, which removed the circle and simplified the shapes, was introduced. The typeface used in the third logo was later applied to the second logo, which remained the official PAL logo until 1986 when it would be replaced by the current logo.
The current PAL logo features the same two blue and red sail triangles used in the second and third logos. However, an eight-rayed yellow sunburst was superimposed on top of the blue triangle, and a new Helvetica typeface was used.
PAL liveries have undergone many incarnations. The first PAL aircraft bore a simple white-top, silver-bottom livery separated by solid straight cheatlines, with a small Philippine flag superimposed on the tail. The name "Philippine Air Lines" was superimposed in the upper forward portion of the fuselage and the PAL logo was located at the back. Later variants of the livery, especially on PAL jet aircraft, made use of an extended Philippine flag as cheatlines, with the PAL logo superimposed on the tail. By this time, the name "Philippine Airlines" was used in the livery.
Another variant of the original livery used by PAL is somewhat similar to the current livery. However, it uses PAL's third logo on the tail with blue, white, and red cheatlines running the center of the fuselage. Later on, the bottom half of the fuselage was also painted white.
The current "Eurowhite" livery, first used with the Short 360, was adopted in 1986 following PAL's corporate rebranding. This livery, (designed by Landor Associates) has "Philippines" superimposed on the forward portion of the fuselage in italics (using the PAL logo typeface), while the tail is painted with the logo and the Philippine flag is visible near the rear of the aircraft. The PAL logo is also painted on the winglets of aircraft that have them. The name "Philippines", instead of "Philippine Airlines", is to denote that PAL is the primary flag carrier of the Philippines. However, this sometimes leads to confusion that a PAL plane, especially when chartered by the President for official or state visits, is, in fact, the official air transport of the Philippine head of state. Any PAL aircraft with the flight number "PR/PAL 001" and the callsign "PHILIPPINE ONE" is a special plane operated by Philippine Airlines to transport the President or Vice President of the Philippines. The flight number "PR/PAL 002" and the callsign "PHILIPPINE TWO" is used if the Vice President travels simultaneously with the President. As such, the presidential seals are patched on or near the L1 and R1 doors of any PAL aircraft chartered by the president.
For the airline's 70th anniversary in 2011, a special decal was placed on all of its aircraft. The sticker featured a stylized "70" and the words, "Asia's first, shining through".
As the airline celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2016, a special decal was put at the back of every aircraft. The sticker features a stylized "75".
PAL also placed a 4-star Skytrax sticker on its aircraft to celebrate their new rating.
In February 2019, Philippine Airlines rolled out its fifth Airbus A350 aircraft with a "LoveBus" decal that represents the 40th anniversary of partnership with Airbus and to celebrate the airline's signature heartfelt service. The kiss-marked "LoveBus" logo was also placed in 1979 on one of PAL's Airbus A300 that represented their first year of partnership with Airbus. Their "LoveBus" A350 was rolled out from the paint shop and was accepted on February 14, 2019, Valentine's Day. PAL took delivery of it three days later, and held a welcoming ceremony at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.
Mabuhay Miles is Philippine Airlines' frequent-flyer program. It was established in 2002 after merging all of PAL's existing frequent flyer programs prior to the Asian financial crisis; these programes were PALsmiles, the Mabuhay Club and the Flying Sportsman, with PALsmiles and Mabuhay Club members being moved to the new program on August 1, 2002. The Flying Sportsman program was subsequently transformed into SportsPlus, a three-tiered, subscription-based program which gives extra baggage allocations for sports equipment. Mabuhay Miles members earn miles that can be redeemed at face value on most Philippine Airlines-operated flights, as well as on code-shared routes of partner airlines.
Mabuhay Miles co-branded credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards are also available and offer additional benefits such as free mileage points once the card is activated, travel insurance, priority check-in, access to a Mabuhay Lounge and some discounts when booking flights on the Philippine Airlines website. These cards are currently issued by Philippine National Bank; previously, HSBC also issued these cards in the Philippines.
Mabuhay Miles are divided into multiple tiers:
The Mabuhay Lounge is the airport lounge for Philippine Airlines. Mabuhay (Business) Class and Elite Members of Mabuhay Miles (except those taking PAL Express flights) are eligible to use the lounge. These lounges have open bars and provide food catering.
Between June 15 and August 15, 2015, Philippine Airlines began renovations on the Mabuhay Lounge at Ninoy Aquino International Airport's Terminal 2. The passenger lounge, which has a seating capacity of 110, reflects a blend of contemporary and traditional design. Each lounge chair is equipped with a power supply, enabling passengers to charge their personal electronic devices. Wi-Fi is available in the lounging and dining areas.
On June 27, 2018, Philippine Airlines unveiled a new Mabuhay Lounge for international business class, million millers, premier elite, and elite passengers at Terminal 2 of Mactan–Cebu International Airport.
The Mabuhay Lounge can be found at the following airports:
Philippine Airlines currently offers three classes of service: Business, Premium Economy, and Economy, depending on the aircraft. Its Airbus A330s and Airbus A350s offer three classes, while its other aircraft offer two classes.
In 2017, PAL reconfigured the cabin layout of eight A330s, from a single class 414-seater configuration into a 309-seater tri-class, with Business, Premium Economy and Economy class sections. The reconfigured A330s were rolled out within a seven-month period in 2017. The IFEs were Zodiac's RAVE system. The seats were designed by Lift Strategic Design, and Lufthansa Technik Philippines performed the reconfiguration.
Previous aircraft acquired had no embedded IFE, except for Boeing 777-300ERs. Instead, they offered rentable (Economy) or complementary (Business) iPad Minis with OnAir's wireless IFE solution, OnAir Play. New aircraft acquired have embedded IFEs, due to the failure of PAL's wireless IFE program for long-haul flights. They still offer wireless IFE on all aircraft.
Business class, formerly known as Mabuhay Class, is also available on all aircraft. It offers increased legroom and lie-flat seats (Airbus A330, Boeing 777, Airbus A350, select Airbus A321neo). Philippine Airlines is the only Philippine carrier to offer business class on domestic flights. On medium-haul and long-haul flights, Philippine Airlines provides amenity kits from L'Occitane en Provence.
Seats on the early Boeing 777s feature angled-flat seats manufactured by Recaro, while some of the latest aircraft feature lie-flat seats by Zodiac Aerospace (now Safran), arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Reconfigured Airbus A330s and the Airbus A350 feature lie-flat seats manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating, in a seating configuration of 1-2-1. A350 and A330 Business Class seats also feature Lantal air cushions, a four-way headrest, a storage shelf for personal belongings, a headphone hook, and a padded inner shell that absorbs noise.
Seats feature 15-inch (Boeing 777), 18.5-inch (Airbus A330 and Airbus A350), and 15.4-inch (Airbus A321neo) personal IFE monitors with AVOD, as well as in-seat power. They feature a USB port where passengers can charge mobile devices. Passengers are also given noise-cancelling headphones.
Select Airbus A321neos also feature lie-flat seats manufactured by Rockwell Collins (now Collins Aerospace), arranged in a 2-2 layout. The seats feature a personal in-flight entertainment system with AVOD, and in-seat power. They have a 60-inch seat pitch and a maximum seat width of 23 inches when fully flat.
Business Class seats on Airbus A321ceos recline, and have a seat pitch of 39 inches (99 cm). They feature laptop power supply (both AC and USB). There is no IFE built into the seats but iPads are provided on select flights for no extra cost.
Premium Economy, also known as Economy Plus, is available on the Airbus A330 and Airbus A350, as well as PAL Express flights using two-class Airbus A320s in which case the business class seats are sold as Premium Economy. They are similar in design to standard economy class seats but feature at least 4–5 inches more legroom providing a minimum of 34–36 inches of legroom.
Reconfigured A330s, as well as A350s, have a different seat design, with a layer of extra padding. It is 9.55" wide, pitched at 38 inches with eight inches of recline. They also feature a 13.3 inch IFE with AVOD, with a headphone jack and USB port, as well as in-seat power.
On aircraft without IFE, passengers are also treated to complimentary iPads.
Economy class, formerly known as Fiesta Class, is available on all aircraft. Tray tables are found in the back of the seat in front, except for bulkhead and exit seats, where tray tables are embedded in the seats. They have four-way head-rests.
The seats offer a pitch that varies between 31 and 34 inches. Each seat offers AVOD and is equipped with 9-inch (Boeing 777) or 10-inch (Airbus A330, Airbus A321neo) monitors with a headphone jack and USB port for charging, mounted either on the seatbacks or armrests (for bulkhead and exit row seats). They have four-way headrests and six inches of recline. An articulating seat bottom cushion comes with extra foam under the seat cover.
Main article: List of Philippine Airlines accidents and incidents
Although Philippine Airlines aircraft have been involved in a string of accidents since its founding in 1941, the majority of airline accidents have occurred with propeller aircraft during the airline's early years of operations. Few PAL jet aircraft have been involved in accidents, the most notable being the explosion onboard Philippine Airlines Flight 434, masterminded by al-Qaeda through Project Bojinka.
PAL is known for being the first airline in the Philippines to be accredited by the International Air Transport Association with passing the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), having been accredited in February 2007.
Philippine Airlines has the highest safety rating of 7/7 according to AirlineRatings.com, and was rated a safer airline than some of its Southeast Asian counterparts such as Malaysia Airlines (5/7), Garuda Indonesia (3/7), Thai Airways (4/7), and Vietnam Airlines (5/7).
PAL experienced significant financial losses in the late 2000s. On March 31, 2006, PAL's consolidated total assets amounted to 100,984,477 PHP, an 11% decrease from March 31, 2005. On March 31, 2007, the company's consolidated assets continued to diminish by 8%, an amount equivalent to 92,837,849 PHP, compared to 2006 figures. The decline of PAL's assets was primarily due to a net decrease in property and equipment and advance payments to aircraft and engine manufacturers, current and other noncurrent assets. As of March 31, 2007, other current and noncurrent assets fell by 29% to 2,960.4 million PHP and by 20% to 2,941.7 million PHP "due to the effect of re-measurement to the fair value of certain financial assets and derivative instruments". After carrying 17% more passengers in 2009 due to acquisition of additional aircraft and growth in the local market, PAL annual income report showed an increase in revenues of US$1.634 billion from US$1.504 billion in 2008. In spite of this, PAL expenses escalated as a result of more flight operations and higher maintenance costs aggravated by fuel price fluctuations; forty-four percent (44%) of PAL income operating expenditures is utilized for fuel consumption.
PAL has a history of labor relations problems. On June 15, 1998, PAL retrenched 5,000 of its employees, including more than 1,400 flight attendants and stewards to allegedly reduce costs and alleviate the financial downturn in the airline industry as a consequence of the Asian financial crisis. Represented by the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), retrenched employees—particularly the 1,400 cabin crew members—sought remedy for their problems through the judicial process and filed a complaint on grounds of unfair labor practices and illegal retrenchment.
The suit took a decade before it was finally settled. It passed the Labor Arbiter to the National Labor Relations Commission, then on to the Court of Appeals and, finally, to the Supreme Court. The Philippine Highest Tribunal favored the aggrieved party and on July 22, 2008, in its 32-page decision ordered PAL to "reinstate the cabin crew personnel who were covered by the retrenchment of and demotion scheme of June 15, 1998, made effective on July 15, 1998, without loss of seniority right and other privileges, and to pay them full back wages, inclusive of allowances and other monetary benefits computed from the time of their separation up to the time of actual reinstatement, provided that with respect to those who have received their respective separation pay, the amount of payments shall be deducted from their back wages." The Supreme Court further explained that there was a failure on the part of PAL to substantiate its claims of actual and imminent substantial losses. Although the Asian financial fiasco severely affected the airline, PAL's defense of bankruptcy and rehabilitation were considered untenable; hence, the retrenchment policy was deemed unjustified.
On March 26, 2018, the Supreme Court en banc voted in favor of Philippine Airlines, which affirms the 2006 Court of Appeals decision that says Philippine Airlines is not required to consult FASAP for its criteria for its retrenchment program.
For more than 20 years, PAL monopolized the air transport industry in the Philippines. This came to an end in 1995 through the passage of Executive Order No. 219 that permitted entry of new airlines into the industry. The liberalization and deregulation of the Philippine airline industry brought competition into the domestic air transport industry resulting in lower airfares, improvements in the quality of services, and efficiency in the industry in general. At present, three airlines are competing in international and major domestic routes: PAL, Cebu Pacific, and PAL Express (formerly known as Air Philippines); and several airlines serve minor and short-distance routes: Philippines AirAsia, Cebgo (formerly SEAIR and Tiger Airways), and a few other small airlines.
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