New PAL Boeing 777 arrives in Manila
Editors’ Note: A longer version of this story with photos and video was published yesterday. You may read it here:
SEATTLE—A brand-new Boeing 777-300ER plane landed in Manila on Saturday evening as the latest acquisition of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL).
Billed as the world’s largest long-range twin-engine jetliner, the spanking 777-300ER will service PAL’s United States and Canada routes.
It is scheduled for its commercial maiden flight to Vancouver and New York on Wednesday, just a few days after arriving, PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista told the Inquirer.
“I am very pleased, very happy and thrilled to accept delivery of this brand-new 777-300ER to PAL,” Bautista said as PAL took delivery of the airplane at Boeing’s facility on Friday.
The Triple Seven rolled out after a blessing and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the delivery center of Boeing’s 500-hectare Everett Site here.
Apart from Bautista, present at the ceremony were senior vice presidents Siegfred Mison and Angelito Alvarez, corporate communications head Cielo Villaluna, consultant Joey de Guzman and activations head Pinky Custodio.
Transportation Undersecretary Roberto Lim, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) deputy director general Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo as well as top Boeing executives led by John Wojick, Jeff Klemann, Christian Hartshorn and Joanna Pickup also witnessed the turnover.
After the ceremony, Bautista led a 40-member delegation for the 11-hour flight back to Manila. The delegation included members of the media invited to tour the massive facility of Boeing and to join the flight to the Philippines.
The 370-seater—42 of them business class—Triple Seven, already bearing the PAL name and emblem, rolled out of the Paine Field at the Everett Delivery Center at 4 p.m. local time Friday and was due to land at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport around 11 p.m. Saturday.
Prior to the departure, Boeing hosted a dinner for PAL executives and Philippine aviation officials on Thursday night at the Red Barn, where the 100-year-old Boeing first started its operations.
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of jetliner, space and defense planes.
Bautista, Doug Winter, president and chief commercial officer for Intrepid Aviation that leased the plane for PAL, and Klemann, vice president of Boeing Everett Delivery Center and operations officer for Boeing, led the signing and delivery ceremony.
“I would like to thank Boeing for this beautiful aircraft and to Intrepid for leasing and financing this aircraft. On behalf of my chairman Dr. Lucio Tan, I look forward to traveling with you on this beautiful airplane. I hope we will have fun on our trip to Manila,” Bautista said.
Bautista also presided over the blessing of the plane and its interiors shortly before the plane was to embark for its flight to its new home.
The brand-new Triple Seven is PAL’s seventh Triple Seven servicing its trans-Pacific routes to the United States and Canada. It is the first Triple Seven leased by Intrepid. An eighth Triple Seven is expected in December, Bautista said.
Bautista said the new plane would service Los Angeles and San Francisco and boost flights in time for the Christmas season.
The aircraft was tested around the Seattle area after its completion at the Everett factory, where a team from the CAAP also completed its inspections, PAL said.
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