November 24, 2015 / 2:21 AM / 3 years ago

Philippine Air says plans to increase aircraft purchases, to decide on deal by year-end

MANILA, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Philippine Airlines Inc (PAL) is in talks with Airbus Group SE and Boeing Co to buy as many as 12 aircraft and will decide on the purchase before the end of the year, the flag carrier’s President Jaime Bautista told Reuters.

PAL in August had said it was planning to buy eight planes, but Bautista said the amount had increased to cater to growing demand for long-haul flights to the United States and Europe.

PAL will choose one supplier, and is considering the twin-engine Airbus 350 or Boeing 787 aircraft, Bautista said late on Monday.

The airline will put firm orders for six aircraft worth around $1 billion for delivery in 2017 and 2018, with the option to buy six more jets for 2019 and 2020 delivery, he added.

The Philippines’ fourth richest man, Lucio Tan, last year took over management of the airline and started a review of its operations, which included jet retirement and purchases. (Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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