Philippine Airlines receives their first Airbus A350
MSN 221, the first A350-900 for Philippine Airlines, has been delivered.
The aircraft, registered RP-C3501, is the first of six Airbus A350-900s to Asia’s oldest airline.
The cabin is in a three class layout fitted with business, premium economy and economy seating. Each passenger of all classes have USB power outlets to their disposal on the inflight entertainment screens.
Business class features 30 seats which are 23-24 inches wide and recline into a 2m long fully-flat bed.
Behind the business class is a premium economy section, offering 24 passengers 19 inch wide seats at a 38 inch pitch in a 2-4-2 layout.
Economy class features 241 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration with a seat pitch of 33 inches. I am particularly impressed with the extra inch legroom which could make some difference on long haul flights. The width of each seat is 18 inches and has a total recline of 6 inches.
As the Philippines is a majority Catholic country, there is a blessing ceremony from the church. I was informed later this is a common practice and Philippine Airlines does this to all of their new aircraft.
Flight PR5003 took off from Toulouse around 7:30pm, with flight time 12 hours 15 minutes to Manila, via Eastern Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Chinese aerospace.
From boarding, the highly anticipated delivery flight transformed into “Fiesta” mood on-board. The fun never end then! There were 69 passengers from Philippine and international media, cabin designer, technicians with 8 cabin crew and 5 pilots in total.
Shortly after takeoff, there was a unique, dynamic light show to celebrate a special occasion, demonstrated by the cabin designer Daniel Baron from Lift.
Wing and Curve
After a few hours of rest, the light came back again while we cruised at 43,000 feet over Mongolia and China.
A Sweet Ending
The hospitality was truly first class on-board. There was a great sense of pride from the management to the operational crew. I received a very nice signed menu card at the end of the flight!
After arrival, there was water cannon salute to the new A350 and a photo opportunity in front of the latest member of Philippine Airlines! The airline plan to have a formal unveil ceremony on 17th July at Manila to display both A350 and recently delivered A321NEO.
I hope you have enjoyed this special delivery flight report. Philippine Airlines A350 will enter commercial service to Hong Kong from July 20th, from September to London and late October to New York. The airline is due to receive a total of 4 A350 this year and 2 more next year.