New Boeing 777s to boost PAL's long-haul service

Philippine Airlines will soon have the capability of flying farther, while consuming less fuel, when the Boeing 777-300ER – the most technologically advanced aircraft – joins the PAL fleet starting this November.

Randy J. Tinseth, Boeing vice president for Marketing, gave media a presentation today (September 11) on the advanced features of the B777-300ER (extended range) that PAL is acquiring, including the unique fuel cost efficiency of the only twin-engine airplane capable of flying long-haul.

With the B777-300ER, PAL can fly across the Pacific or to Australia with lesser fuel than the four-engine B747-400 or Airbus A340-300 which PAL currently deploys on these routes. "Fuel burn is considerably lower when compared to the A340-500 and A340-600," said Tinseth.

This is due to two large General Electric GE90-115BL engines that can provide as much as 115,000 pounds of thrust each.

Tagged as the largest long-range twin-engine jetliner, the B777-300ER incorporates several performance enhancements that extend its range and payload capabilities. It can carry 365 passengers to a distance of 14,685 kilometers – that's equivalent to flying to Los Angeles and back to Manila non-stop without refueling.

Tinseth said, "The jetliner's technologically advanced design includes raked wingtips that extend the wing by 6.5 feet and improve overall aerodynamic and fuel efficiency. The raked wingtips help reduce takeoff field length, increase climb performance and reduce fuel burn."

Another high-tech feature is a tail-strike protection software that helps prevent inadvertent scraping of the tail on the runway at takeoff or landing by commanding elevator movement if the airplane’s attitude exceeds preset limits.

The B777s also feature "the most spacious passenger cabin in its class, offering wider seats, wider aisles, more headroom and more seating flexibility," said Tinseth. The cabin is so spacious that a six-foot-two-inch passenger can pass easily under the center stowage cabin bins.

The cabin of PAL's B777-300ER is configured bi-class: 42 seats in Mabuhay Class and 328 in Fiesta Class, for a total of 370 seats. Business-class seats are 20 inches (50 cm) wide —the same width as the A340’s first-class seats. In economy class, 18.5-inch-wide (47 cm) seats — the widest in the industry — are standard compared to 17.2-inch-wide (44 cm) seats on the A340.

The aircraft features a unique overhead crew rest area (for pilots and cabin crew during long-haul flights) located above the passenger cabin, freeing up space for four to seven more seats in the cabin.

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