Philippine Airlines makes history! The flag carrier has been certified as the country’s first 4-star airline, the flag carrier said Thursday.
PAL joined 42 other 4-star airlines on the list of Skytrax, a London-based international air transport rating organization.
PAL chairman and chief executive officer Lucio Tan called the accreditation a “big win for the Philippines.”
“We are elated by this recognition which is a victory for the more than seven thousand members of the Philippine Airlines family. Our achievement is the country’s achievement and we share this with all Filipinos around the globe,” Tan said in a statement.
Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted said the rating “recognizes the great improvements that the airline has introduced over the last 2 years.”
“New and retrofitted aircraft have played an important part in the quality improvement process, and this looks set to develop further when Philippine Airlines introduces the A350 into their fleet. We look for consistency of quality in the 4-Star rating, and we look to Philippine Airlines to ensure this is duly delivered to customers,” he said.
PAL placed 67th in Skytrax’s Top 100 Airlines in 2017, a 16-notch increase from its 83rd place in 2016.
“The rating upgrade is a key result of a multi-year top-to-bottom end-to-end enhancement of the Philippine flag carrier. Our ‘Get That Star’ journey began in 2016. Our efforts over the last two years have borne fruit,” said PAL president and COO Jaime Bautista.
From 2016 up to the present, PAL finalized fleet orders of Airbus A350s, A321s, Boeing 777s, and Bombardier Q400 Next Generation planes bringing its fleet count to 88 aircraft, the largest fleet in the country.
PAL also developed new domestic hubs in Clark, Cebu, and Davao, and introduced new international routes from Clark to Seoul, South Korea, and Cebu to Bangkok, Thailand, and Chengdu and Beijing in China, among routes.
For the in-flight experience, the airline added myPAL eSuite personal TV service that gives passengers access to a wide selection of movies, music, and TV shows; and also myPAL Player which provides in-flight entertainment using passengers’ own devices, as well as in-flight Wi-Fi.
PAL also renovated the inter-terminal transit lounge at its NAIA Terminal 2 hub, improved its business class check-in product, introduced more efficient boarding procedures. and put up airport terminal signage for passenger convenience.
The airline said that its next step is to open a new two-level, 1,250-square-meter International Mabuhay Lounge at NAIA Terminal 2 for members of its frequent flyer program and business passengers by the second quarter of 2018.
“The new lounge will feature a Modern Filipino interior design inspired by the Filipino tapestry from different regions of the country. We will showcase the Best of the Filipino food and provide world class amenities such as private work stations, a meeting room, sleeping pods, shower and changing rooms, and a massage room where passengers can enjoy traditional Filipino hilot.”
PAL also said it plans to launch new routes, including non-stop services to New York and Brisbane, and flights to India and additional routes to Japan and China in 2018.