The President and CEO of Philippine Airlines (PR, Manila Ninoy Aquino International) says the carrier is looking to lease two widebodies later this year. One will replace an aircraft returning to its owner, and the other will provide additional capacity.

Stanley Ng told local outlets of his plans at an event in Manila last week, saying he was looking at Boeing options and aiming for a mid-year delivery. However, he did not provide specifics, such as who would supply the aircraft and for how long.

ch-aviation has contacted Philippines Airlines for further details.

Philippine Airlines operates 78 aircraft, including 22 widebodies comprising eleven A330-300s, two A350-900s, and nine B777-300ERs. Eight of the A330-300s, both A350-900s, and five of the B777-300ERs are leased, with ch-aviation fleets data indicating two of the Boeings are due to return to their lessors this year. Those aircraft are RP-C7776 (msn 37712), sourced from AerCap, and RP-7777 (msn 37709), which comes from Castlelake.

Recently, a Philippine Airlines spokesperson told the Manila Standard that the carrier "remained focused on growing our route network and fleet progressively to meet market demand and support the tourism industry. PAL Holdings is optimistic about the long-term growth prospects for the Philippine aviation sector and the national economy."

However, a 50% plus increase in passenger numbers in the last 12 months and aircraft going out-of-service for various reasons, including supply chain issues, has put the remaining fleet under pressure. The decision to lease the second Boeing widebody aims to help reduce that pressure.