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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Philippine Airlines (PAL): Soaring High with New Airbus Business Class




Whether it's a local or international flight, I feel comfortable flying with our flag carrier for many reasons. There's that sense of comfort and safety that I do not get from budget airlines in the Philippines. I also love my Mabuhay Lounge access, especially now that it has been beautifully renovated.

As the first airline in Asia,  Philippine Airlines aims to bring back its glory days. With President Ramon Ang's vision and passion to modernize its fleet, PAL has been acquiring new planes from Airbus and Boeing.

A few days ago, I was invited to the launch of its newest long-range aircraft  that came straight from Toulouse, France --- The Airbus 330-300 HGW (High Gross Weight Jet). I was excited to be part of this event. The aim of PAL is to target more sophisticated travelers who want to travel in style. This is an important market that is unique to PAL since most budget airlines do not provide this service. The A330 can accommodate a total of 368 passengers - 323 in economy, 27 in the Premium economy and 18 business class with hi-tech seats that can be full-flat beds!'
Mr. Ramon Ang giving his speech.

Gary Valenciano also gave us solid entertainment before we boarded the plane. 
Now Boarding. 


The more spacious Premium Economy at 34 inches (31 inches for Economy)


As for my favorite business class, PAL showcases the Equinox 3D seats designed by Sogerma, a French design firm. With its convenient controls, your seat can comfortably stretch into a full flat bed, which is a much needed feature for long-haul flight (at least in my case).

The seats also come with other bonuses: An Electrical leg with ottoman, USB ports (for charging our phones and tablets), In-seat power supply, retractable privacy divider, reading lights, coats hook and ample storage space for all your things. In short, the good stuff.


What is interesting about this launch is PAL's wireless In-flight Entertainment (IFE), a first in our airlines. PAL offers a unique wireless connectivity that allows passengers to stream content your own devices. This means that you can watch the movies using your phones, latptops, or tablets. You don't have to use theirs. GSM/Wi-Fi is also available via PAL's iN-AIR service, enabling everyone on board to surf the net and even make phone calls.

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In my element.


We also got to see the rest area for the crew. 

And for the first time, I got to sit on the captain's chair in the cockpit.





I am happy that PAL has stepped up their game. Hopefully, we'll see more European destinations because of PAL's vision in the coming months or years. It is not far from happening.

I cannot wait to fly with PAL again on board this craft or any of the new ones. PAL is truly my home in the sky.  I believe there is a certain prestige flying with PAL (Considering the appeal of budget airlines). 

So, where am I going next? Middle East or North America, Perhaps? I will keep you all posted.

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