A Last Interview With Philippine Airlines Longtime President Jaime Bautista
In this extensive interview, Philippine Airlines (PAL) president Jaime Bautista discusses the investment from All Nippon Airways (ANA), global alliance aspirations, recent expansion in the North American market, the performance of the new A350 fleet, the new A321neo fleet, the new Dash 8 Q400NG fleet, potential suspension of London, congestion at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the outlook for 2019. Mr Bautista, who came out of semi-retirement in 2014 to reassume the role of PAL president after an initial stint from 2004 to 2012, recently announced his retirement effective 30-Jun-2019. Mr Bautista ends his career on a high note with PAL winning the 2019 Skytrax World’s Most Improved Airline award, which Mr Bautista picked up at the Paris Air Show. Fleet renewal and product improvements have been a key component of Mr Bautista’s strategy, leading to the Skytrax award and a 4-start rating which was secured in 2018. Over the last year PAL has taken six 295-seat A350s, featuring premium economy and all aisle access lie flat business class seats, and six long haul configured A321neos, which also feature lie flat business class seats. The A350s have enabled PAL to phase out A340s and add capacity to North America while the A321neos are used to Australia, Papua New Guinea and North Asia. PAL is about to start taking delivery of short haul configured 195-seat A321neos and later this year will complete turboprop renewal with the delivery of a final two 86-seat Dash 8 Q400NGs.