May 12, 2014
PAL's B777s fly to US
After the recent upgrading of the Philippines to Category 1 rating by the US Federal Aviation Administration, Philippine Airlines (PAL) has deployed its fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the non-stop flights to the US mainland – to Los Angeles last May 3 and to San Francisco last May 9.
PAL will gradually phase in the fuel-efficient, twin-engine B777-300ER jets, to replace the B747-400s, on the 18 weekly flights across the Pacific, offering passengers luxurious amenities inside the B777's spacious bi-class cabin.
The venerable B747-400 served as the airline's flagship aircraft for almost 20 years.
The airline's long-range B777-300ERs are currently utilized on the long-haul flights to Australia, Canada and Europe (London).
The second PAL flagship offers the most spacious and comfortable cabin – with 42 seats in Business Class (made by Recaro), 328 in economy (seat width at 18.5-inch or 47 cm. — the widest in the industry) – all with in-seat video, part of the cabin's state-of-the-art inflight entertainment system.
Using only two engines (GE90-115BL – the world's largest and most powerful commercial jet engine), compared to the B747's four, the B777 is hailed by operators for its fuel-efficiency particularly on long flights. It can fly as far as 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 kilometers) or from Manila to the US mainland and back non-stop without refueling.
The flag carrier expects to save as much as $120 million annually in fuel and maintenance costs using the B777 on the US routes. PAL's sixth B777 was delivered five months ago, bringing the average age of the B777 fleet to just two years.