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PAL Express prepares to retire current fleet

PAL Express, the low-cost unit of Philippine Airlines, said it will retire its old aircraft as part of its refleeting program.

“We are looking at end of 2016 or early part of 2017 for the refleeting program. It’s just a replacement of our current fleet. We are still in negotiation, we have not yet decided on what type of aircraft that we are going to acquire,” PALex president Bonifacio Sam told reporters Friday.

He said negotiations with aircraft manufacturers would be finalized next year.

PALex currently operates Bombardier Dash 8 Q300s and Q400s and leases Airbus A320s to its parent Philippine Airlines (PAL).

The airline operates domestic and international scheduled services from the cities of Manila, Cebu, Davao and Zamboanga.

Sam said the new aircraft would be used for expansion in the domestic and international markets.

“We are studying some China routes and other regional routes,” he said, adding that the airline planned to increase flight frequency to Visayas and Mindanao.

“We are looking at more frequencies in our existing destinations like we will be adding one flight to Butuan, Dumagute and Zamboanga,” he said.

Sam also said Palex would fly to Saipan next year, using 156-seater A320 fleet.

There are about 19,000 Filipinos in the island-territory in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

PAL, the parent firm of PAL Express, earlier reported a consolidated comprehensive income of P5.94 billion in the January-June period, up 1,500 percent from just P362.4 million year-on-year.

Comprehensive income in the second quarter grew 49 percent to P2.16 billion from P1.45 billion a year ago.

Total revenues in the first half rose 14 percent to P55.95 billion from P48.95 billion a year earlier. Revenues in the second quarter reached P28.09 billion, up 2.9 percent from P27.23 billion.

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