With the rise of fuel prices accompanied with high maintenance costs, Philippine Airlines flew it's last Airbus A340 flight just last September. Based on a report from Centre for Aviation (CAPA), Philippine Airlines was also the last Asian airline to retire their A340 after having them for 22 years. From 1996 to present, PAL operated a total of 14 A340s consisting of 10 A340-300 and 4 A340-200.
With the retirement of the A340s, Philippine Airlines now operates an all twin-engine fleet consisting of 10 Boeing 777-300ER, 3 Airbus A350-900, 15 Airbus A330-300, 4 Airbus A321NEO, 24 Airbus A321-200, and 10 Airbus A320-200. Philippine Airlines is also expecting 3 more Airbus A350-900s, 1 to be delivered this year and 2 more in 2019. The Airbus A350-900 takes the place of the A340.
The Airbus A340-300 became a workhorse of Philippine Airlines's long haul operations. It was used to fly to United States and Europe. It also became a workhorse for PAL's Oceania routes including Australia and New Zealand. It also flew short hop flights like Davao and General Santos.
It was in 1996 when Philippine Airlines ordered 4 A340-300s and 4 A340-200s. During the temporary shutdown of PAL in 1998, the 4 A340-200s were returned to the lessor and the airline just maintained 4 A340-300s when the airline reopened. In 2014, then PAL President Ramon Ang ordered 6 used Iberia A340s for PAL's long haul operations and for expanion to Europe. The 6 ex-Iberia jets had a more updated interior as compared to the first 4 A340s but still very much outdated during that time. The first 4 A340s were then retired and the 6 ex-Iberia A340s were used, which basically were manufactured in 1999. In 2016, PAL President Jaime Bautista finalized an order with Airbus which consisted of 6 A350-900s and 6 more options as the replacement for the ageing A340 jets. The A340 was to remain in service until 2021 but was decided to be retired earlier with the deliver of the new and ultra modern A350 jets.
Bon Voyage A340s!