PAL taps Pope Francis caterer in quest for 5 star rating

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 27 2018 03:03 PM


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MANILA - Philippine Airlines said it improved its business class amenities after receiving a 4-star rating from Skytrax, with its eyes set on a 5-star score by 2020.

The upgrades include in-flight meals from chef Jessie Sincioco, who catered to Pope Francis during his Manila visit in 2015, pioneer caterer Glenda Barretto of Via Mare and chefs Fernando Aracama, Myrna Segismundo and Miko Aspiras.

Business class flyers can also sample Malagos Cheese from President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown of Davao. For dessert, the airline will offer Carmen's Best Ice Cream and creations from rising dessert chef, Miko Aspiras.

Passengers can sleep covered in triple-layer duvets. Toiletries will be sourced from L'Occitane en Provence.

The 4-star rating from Skytrax is a "validation" of Philippine Airlines' efforts to upgrade its service, said Debbie Cuyegkeng, associate vice president for product research and development marketing.

"The vision of the airlines is also to reach 5 stars by 2020 so we continue to enhance, we continue to see what’s new in the market and sustain this," she told reporters late Tuesday.

One of the aims is to make flying business class on PAL feel like dining in a restaurant, said its marketing head Ria Domingo.

The carrier also installed new seats in 8 of its reconfigured tri-class Airbus A330s, and the latest Boeing B777s. Its upcoming Airbus A321neo and Airbus A350 aircraft will also feature seats that turn into full-flat beds that are 78 inches long.


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In its A330s and A350s, PAL's premium economy have built-in leg and foot rests with seat pitch of 38 inches and can be reclined up to 8 inches.

"Although there’s news that another airline is reducing its legroom in economy and the story said it’s like a trend that even the full-service airline is starting to fall trap, we are now bucking the trend," said Josen Perez de Tagle, PAL vice president for corporate communications.

"We have to sustain it. We hope we’ll get the support from the public, the patronage of our customers," he said.