Philippine Airlines (PAL) is preparing to announce an order for Boeing 777-300ERs for delivery from 2009. Industry sources say PAL has selected the twinjet over the four-engined Airbus A340-600 and purchase and lease agreements could be announced as early as this week.

Sources say the carrier will take two of the type through a purchase agreement with Boeing, plus two on lease from GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS). It will also take two options from Boeing. The first aircraft is due to arrive in 2009. The Boeing portion of the deal has been finalised, while the GECAS agreement was still a letter of intent last week.

PAL president Jaime Bautista said at the annual meeting of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines in Osaka, Japan last week that a widebody aircraft order may be announced this week, but declined to confirm the 777-300ER had been chosen. PAL's widebody fleet currently comprises eight A330-300s, four A340-300s and five Boeing 747-400s.

Source: Flight International