One of Asia's oldest commercial airlines, Philippine Airlines (PAL) , will be allocating USD 2 billion to become a four-star airline by the end of the year and attain a 5-star status by 2018.
PAL will also be using the fresh funds for its heavy operational expansion in the next two years as it envisions itself to be in the league of the world's best flag carriers.
The announcement was made by PAL's Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Bautista, who said that it would also acquire 12 Q400s; two Boeing-777s; and six Airbus 350s which are expected to arrive in the Philippines by 2019.
With the new investment, PAL will be opening new destinations in Cebu, Clark, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro and Basco. Moreover, AL will fly nonstop from Manila to New York, which is expected to cut flying time by three hours for the Manila-Vancouver-New York flight.
PAL Management is also studying the possibility of flying from Manila to Chicago then to Seattle in Washington, while new flights from Manila to Europe destinations are also being considered.
PAL presently has 81 aircraft in its fleet and this will be increased to 88 by the end of 2017, with the arrival or six or more aircraft.
The air transport is becoming one of the fastest growing industries in the region because of the growing tourism industry in the Philippines and the influx of foreign investors in the country. Philippines has become a lucrative option for investors as young and cheap labour is readily available.
Government economic advisers said that many tourists and investors continue to flood the Philippines despite the declaration of Martial Law in the Southern Philippines.
China, Korea and America continue to be the top tourist market for the Philippines and the tourism industry contributes at least 10% to the country Gross Domestic Product. (GDP).