The West

Philippine Airlines  to buy 54 Airbus jets
Philippine Airlines to buy 54 Airbus jets

Philippine Airlines has signed a $US7 billion ($A6.8 billion) deal to buy 54 Airbus jets as part of an ambitious plan to overhaul its fleet.

The national flag carrier is facing higher demand for passenger and cargo transport from Australia, Asia and the Middle East, airline officials say.

Airline President Ramon Ang said today the first batch of about a dozen wide-body A330-300s and A321s would be delivered in January. The rest of the aircraft would be put in service over the next three years.

The acquisition would more than double the airline's capacity. It signalled an expansion phase after food and beer conglomerate San Miguel Corp acquired major stakes in the airline and its affiliate budget carrier Air Philippines earlier this year.

PAL also plans to buy another 46 aircraft from Airbus and other manufacturers, including Boeing, Ang told a news conference.

"The orders we are placing with Airbus will play a key role in revitalising PAL and growing trade and tourism in the country," PAL chairman Lucio Tan said.

The West Australian

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