Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) president expects to decide before year-end on an order for eight long-range aircraft and is considering the Airbus A340-600 and Boeing 777-300ER.

Airline president Jaime Bautista plans to decide before year-end on an order for eight widebodies and is considering the A340-600 and 777-300ER, says a PAL spokesman in Manila, responding to reports quoting from Bautista.

The reports also quote Bautista as saying he wants first delivery of the widebodies in 2008 but the spokesman declines to confirm this and says 2008 “seems a bit too soon”.

PAL plans to finance such a purchase with the help of the relevant export credit agencies or it might opt to get the widebodies on operating lease, says the spokesman, citing remarks by Bautista.

PAL wants to add widebodies so it can launch new international services, particularly to North America.

The carrier’s widebody fleet currently consists of: eight Airbus A330s, four A340-300s and five Boeing 747-400s. PAL also still holds deferred orders for four 747-400s from a 1993 contract.

Bautista made his remarks earlier today at a press event promoting the introduction of the first of 13 Airbus A320-family aircraft PAL in December 2005 agreed to get.