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Philippine Airlines to Buy 5 Airbus A321s and 2 Boeing 777-300 for $500m

Philippine Airlines has major plans to allocate up to $700 million for the acquisition of new aircraft and spare parts in 2016. According to PAL President Jaime Bautista, the budget is estimated to be anywhere between $500 to $700 million. The budget includes a previously announced order for five Airbus A321 aircraft and two Boeing 777 aircraft, which are due to arrive in the coming year. Bautista noted that some of the aircraft would be leased, while others are purchased. The company is also evaluating a plan to purchase new aircraft to replace its Airbus A340s as the planes consume more fuel and are costlier to maintain with Bautista maintaining that PAL would want to make a decision on whether to get the A350 or Boeing 787 to replace the A340s by year-end.

When pressed if the company will raise funds for next year, Bautista only said the financing of the airplanes will not be a problem.

There are many companies who will be willing to finance us, said Bautista as he stressed that financing comes easy for profitable airlines. And although Bautista declined to specify the company’s total capital expenditure for next year, which includes general working capital, he said it should “definitely” be higher than the company’s allotment this year.

[It will be higher] because this year, we only took delivery of five airplanes; then next year, it will be seven, he further said. PAL has revealed in the past that it is interested in working with an established foreign carrier that could acquire up to 40 percent of the national flag carrier.

"We still prefer a strategic partner," said Bautista, noting that the carrier would like to grow its network and possibly enter an alliance. The company is involved in expanding its international destinations. By the end of this year, it plans to fly to Port Moresby, Cairns, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand.

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