Not everyone follows through with their goals. Businesses are no different, where in some cases they fail to meet promises or expectations. In the last few years, Philippine Airlines set an ambitious goal to transform the Philippine flag carrier to become a globally recognized and premier airline. The airline took one step close to its goal as it has just been certified as a 4-Star airline by the international air transport rating organization, Skytrax.

After a rigorous audit of its inflight and ground service by the London-based organization, the airline was recognized for its enchancements on its end-to-end passenger experiences, fleet upgrades, and crew training. Skytrax has done reviews of airlines and has gained its reputation for being the benchmark of airline standards.

Commenting on the 4-Star Airline Rating awarded to Philippine Airlines, Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO said: “this recognises the great improvements that the airline has introduced over the last 2 years, both in terms of product change and development and enhancement of the front-line staff service. New and retrofitted aircraft have played an important part in the quality improvement process, and this looks set to develop further when Philippine Airlines introduce the A350 into their fleet. We look for consistency of quality in the 4-Star rating, and we now entrust Philippine Airlines to ensure this is duly delivered to customers.”

In recent years, Philippine Airlines has stepped up its game on inflight ameneties. Among the many upgrades the airline has made include the addition of the myPAL eSuite personal TV service, providing passengers a touch screen monitor to enjoy a wide selection of movies, music, and TV shows. The airline has also added the myPAL Wi-fi service on some of its planes for passengers to surf the internet while inflight.

The airline has also upgraded its fleet and is awaiting new aircraft. Philippine Airlines has transformed the cabins of more than half of its Airbus A330 fleet with tri-class seating, along with a Premium Economy product. It is also currently waiting for orders of new Airbus A350s, A321s, Boeing 777s and Bombardier Q400 planes, which would help the airline launch new routes such as a long anticipated non-stop flight between Manila and New York. Other destinations the airline in 2018 is considering to add include Brisbane, India, and additional routes to Japan and China.

“This is a big win for the Philippines,” said PAL Chairman & CEO Dr. Lucio C. Tan. “We are elated by this recognition which is a victory for the more than seven thousand members of the Philippine Airlines family. Our achievement is the country’s achievement and we share this with all Filipinos around the globe.”

To the credit of the Philippine Airlines team, the upgrade has been years in the making. “Our Get That Star journey began in 2016. Our efforts over the last two years have borne fruit,” said PAL President and COO Jaime J. Bautista. “Since 2016, we have embarked on a journey of rolling out in-flight and on-ground innovations, opened new routes, increased connectivity across PAL’s route network, added new aircraft to our fleet and importantly, invested in the Buong Pusong Alaga ( whole-hearted) training of all our cabin crew, ground crew and service providers domestically and internationally in order to enhance the passenger travel experience and earn a higher Skytrax rating,” added Bautista.

With the new 4-Star rating, Philippine Airlines will join the likes of British Airways, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Qantas, and Thai Airways. Philippine Airlines will still need to address the growing infrastructure concerns of Manila Airport, which it doesn't have full control over. We can still note that with stiff competition from local and regional carriers, the motivation will be there to maintain and further upgrade its standards.

One goal - the 4-Star rating has been achieved. Now, Philippine Airlines is looking onward to its goal of a 5-Star rating by the year 2020.

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