Photographer: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images

Philippine Air Dangles Possible Plane Order as Market Slows

  • Company was choosing between Airbus, Boeing long-range jets
  • Philippine Air was evaluating six jets in firm order, 6 option

Philippine Airlines may make an announcement of new aircraft orders at the Singapore Airshow as planemakers Airbus Group SE and Boeing Co. seek to revive sales in a region battling overcapacity.

The flag carrier is considering Wednesday for its announcement, President Jaime Bautista said in an interview Sunday in Singapore. Bautista declined to comment on what model the carrier has chosen. The airline was considering buying six aircraft in a firm order, with an option to buy six more, Bautista said in November.

Philippine Air was debating between Airbus’s A350 wide-body aircraft and Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner to start services to New York, Bautista said in an interview last year. An order during the Singapore Airshow, which starts Tuesday, will come amid concerns that airlines in Southeast Asia have ordered more planes than they need.

On Sunday, International Air Transport Association President Tony Tyler said Southeast Asian airlines may defer plane orders as they battle overcapacity and intense competition among half a dozen low-fare carriers. Budget airlines in the region have garnered 54 percent market share, more than twice the global average, Tyler said.

Philippine Air wants new planes to replace some of its Airbus A340 jets as it mulls expanding U.S. and Europe routes.

Airbus has agreed to help the airline restructure its fleet, which includes delivering a total of 10 A321s and 28 more planes in the next seven to eight years, Bautista said last March.

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