Philippine Airlines has agreed to buy another USD$2.5 billion worth of Airbus jets, its president said on Friday, part of the fast-growing carrier's attempt to reclaim dominance of its local market.
The new deal involves the purchase of 10 Airbus A330s with a list price of USD$250 million each, Ramon Ang told reporters. That is in addition to the airline's USD$7 billion Airbus deal announced in August.
"We are starting to replace our jets with wide-bodied planes because that is what the market wants," Ang told reporters on the sidelines of parent company PAL Holdings' shareholders' meeting.
PAL still wants to buy 35 more planes, either from Airbus or Boeing, Ang said, in line with its plan to add 100 new jets to its fleet in the next five to seven years as it reshapes its business to take on main rival Cebu Air.
"Our refleeting programme right now is close to USD$10 billion," Ang said. "We exercised our option to buy 10-wide bodied jets (from Airbus) two weeks ago", he said, referring to the new purchases.
San Miguel, which bought a 49 percent stake in PAL and a sister airline in April from Filipino billionaire and brewing rival Lucio Tan in a deal worth about USD$500 million, controls the management of the airline.
Ang also said San Miguel was considering teaming up with Tan to build a major new airport in the country, a project he said on Friday might cost USD$5-6 billion.