Philippine Airlines has taken their A321neo off the popular Sydney to Manila route and replaced it with an older A330.
Whilst this move will mean more capacity per flight, it will mean fewer overall services as they reduce from nine flights a week to six.
What are the details?
Philippine Airlines has decided to replace their newer A321neo (and moved it to the Brisbane route instead). This has led to a schedule change, with the new services operating as follows:
- PR213 Manila 1115 AM – 2130 PM Sydney
- PR211 Manila 2225 – 0845 AM Sydney (Next Day)
- PR214 Sydney 0600 – 1215 Manila
- PR212 Sydney 1030 – 1650 Manila
They will be bringing back a seventh day a week service during the Christmas period, between the 4th of December and 30th of January.
What is the Philippine Airlines A330 like?
Now, you would be forgiven for thinking that these A330-300s are old compared to the newer model A321neo. However, Philippine Airlines ordered the A330-300HGW back in 2012 to help replace its older A330 fleet.
The A330-300HGW (Higher Gross Weight) can carry 242 tonnes, which means more fuel and passengers, compared to the lighter A330-300s. Philippine Airlines took their first deliveries of these planes from 2015 onwards, so these aircraft are on par with the slightly younger A321neos delivered in 2017.
As such, Philippine Airlines took the time to reconfigure the A330 layout and ensure that its just as modern and up to date as their excellent A321neo cabin. Previously, the A330s were in a yucky all-economy configuration but now have been turned into flying three-class palaces.
Up front, passengers can experience Thompson Vantage XL fully flat beds in a 1-2-1 configuration. These are a step up from the usual 2-2-2 we have seen previously on their fleet. These seats do have direct aisle access but without the privacy offered by other carriers (such as Delta). The seat will also have an 18.5-inch entertainment screen.
This cabin is then followed by premium economy, which is new to this route. The PE cabin features 24 seats with a generous 39-inches of pitch each. Like business, this cabin has a bigger entertainment screen, at around 13.3 inches.
Lastly, at the back of the plane, there is the faithful economy section. There are 267 seats in a 2-4-2 layout (which we personally believe is the superior layout over 3-3-3, as it allows couples to sit together) with 32 inches of legroom. This cabin has the standard 10.1 inch entertainment screen.
There will also be WIFI onboard, although it is not very fast compared to other airlines.
“As we journey on to becoming a 5-star, world-class, full-service carrier with a heart, we devote our efforts towards enhancing the total travel experience. Our cabin reconfiguration efforts combined with meticulous seat and IFE selection are in line with our goal to make each and every flight pleasant, comfortable and convenient”, said PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista when announcing the new cabins to Runway Girl Network in 2017.
What do you think of this change? Let us know in the comments!