ALL set to expand inter-island operations and to reassert dominance in the domestic market, Philippine Airlines (PAL), the country’s flag carrier, is embarking on a refleeting program that includes 12 next-generation Q400’s from Bombardier. The aircraft configured with 86 seats and two classes, is designed for optimum passenger comfort with large windows for more natural light, spacious bins for added storage, Led lighting and low noise level.

The delivery ceremony of PAL’s first Q400 was held at the Bombardier facility in York Centre, Toronto, Canada last July 20. It was a red-letter event attended by a media delegation from the Philippines led by PAL president/chief operating officer Jaime Bautista and senior vice preident Angelito Alvarez. It was also a chance for the media group to get a tour of the Bombardier facility where the Q400s are assembled. And it was an eye-opening experience for all. Proudly part of the working team are Filipinos who have been acknowledged time and again as competent and hardworking by their employers and co-workers.

A day after the delivery ceremony, the first next- generation Q400 of PAL made its way to the Philippines with nine refueling stops: Goosebay in Canada, Iceland, France, Malta, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, India and Thailand.

PAL president/chief operating officer Jaime Bautista announced that by the end of the year, PAL will have five next-generation Q400s, one aircraft delivered each month. The rest will come in 2018.Designated as main hub for these new planes is Cebu with Clark as secondary hub.

Last Aug. 1, PAL’s first brand new next-generation Q400 arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport for its first commercial flight to Caticlan and Clark. Frontliners during the send-off ceremony were Bombardier Commercial Aircraft director for sales Aman Koccher who came all the way from Toronto, Canada, and PAL Express president Boni Sam.