29 November 2015

Philippine Airlines interested in a new high gross weight (HGW) version of the A350-900

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is further expanding its international operation as it grows its fleet and improves utilization of its existing widebody aircraft.

PAL’s international network will exceed 40 destinations in Jan/2016 compared to only 25 in Jan/2013.

The expected acquisition of a new higher gross weight version of the A350-900 will be used to upgrade New York to non-stops in 2017 and potentially be deployed to upgrade Toronto to non-stop and launch a 4th mainland US destination, probably Chicago.

The A340-300s are now slated to be phased out as new generation widebody aircraft are delivered.

PAL is close to committing to at least 6 A350-900s for delivery from 2017.

A formal announcement is expected by the end of 2015 according to CAPA.

Airbus has informed Philippine Airlines that it does not need the recently launched A350-900ULR, which will be available from 2018 and has been ordered by Singapore Airlines for non-stops to the US.

Trans-Pacific flights from Manila are about 3 hours shorter than flights from Singapore.

But flights from eastern North America to Manila are still slightly too long for the current version of the A350-900 or the 777-300ER.

A fleet of 8 777-300ERs and 6 A350-900s will enable modest growth of the long haul network with a focus on North America.

Even if PAL ultimately opts for a few more A350s the long haul growth should be manageable.

Based on the article “Philippine Airlines' international expansion continues with 5 new destinations, A350-900 HGW order” published in CAPA.


  1. Seems to be not obvious what a A350-900 "HGW" will represent.
    obviously not the ULR but the same 280t MTOW or just the 275t MTOW that can be found in the cert ?

  2. I dont understand the term HGW when applied to the A350-900 when it isn't the ULR. After all, I would suppose the HGW refers to the extra 12tons of fuel but then that is the ULR- I'm confused.

    1. Weight variants already show a 275t MTOW version with no extra tankage.

    2. As I understand it, the ULR is a standard A350-900 with a 5 tonne MTOW increase and extra tanks. Filling the tanks will mean hitting MTOW unless you drop the payload of passengers and baggage. For Singapore this is fine as they are going for a premium low density arrangement.

      PAL don't need to fill the extra tanks because the journey time is shorter. They can take a standard load and fly the distance while staying in the (presumably increased) MTOW. Effectively the ULR is the HGW with extra fuel tanks

  3. Thanks you FF that sorts it for me,very clearly explained- Thank you