PAL eyes acquisition of 4 planes this month
MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Airlines, jointly owned by billionaire Lucio Tan and San Miguel Corp., is looking at acquiring four new planes within the month.
PAL president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said the airline is set to close a deal for the acquisition of four Airbus aircraft this month.
"We are looking if we can buy additional four Airbus long range aircraft. If we are able to close the deal this month and the delivery could be as early as next month," he said.
Ang said they may acquire either an A330 aircraft, which could be used for flights to Honolulu, Australia or Japan; or an A340 for flights to US, Vancouver or Europe.
He said the lease price of each Airbus A330 is about $230 million.
Last year, PAL entered into a $7 billion contract with EADS Group for the acquisition of 54 Airbus aircraft consisting of 34 A321ceo, 10 A321neo, and 10 A330-300s and another $2.5 billion to exercise an option to acquire 10 more A330 aircraft.
Ang said PAL is likely to get 71 new aircraft this year including 68 Airbus aircraft from EADS and 3 from Boeing Co.
Sixteen new Airbus aircraft will be delivered starting August, while three Boeing 777 aircraft will be delivered also this year.
PAL has an existing fleet of 42 aircraft consisting of five Boeing B747-400s and four B777-300ERs as well as four Airbus A340-300s, eight A330-300s, 17 A320-200s, and four A319-100s.
Meanwhile, stockholders of PAL's parent firm PAL Holdings approved the increase in authorized capital to P30 billion from P23 billion as well as the planned sale of 2.145 billion shares to comply with the 10% minimum public float requirement of the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Trading of PAL Holdings has been suspended by the PSE since January 1 for its failure to meet the 10% minimum public float requirement.
"We hope to execute this to before the expiration of the timeline given by the PSE which is June,” Ang said, adding the transaction would raise PAL's public float to over 10% from about 0.6%.