June 18, 2019 / 10:45 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Philippine Airlines president Bautista to retire end-June

* Daughter of airline’s owner to lead management

* Airline president credited for carrier’s ratings upgrade

* Philippine rival Cebu Air beefs up fleet (Adds background, details)

By Alistair Smout and Neil Jerome Morales

PARIS, June 18 (Reuters) - Philippine Airlines President Jaime Bautista is set to retire at the end of this month, with the daughter of owner Lucio Tan taking over the management, the carrier said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the airline said Vivienne Tan, the company’s executive vice-president, has been appointed officer-in-charge and will take over from Bautista after his retirement.

Under Bautista’s leadership, Philippine Airlines pursued an expansion programme, ordering Airbus wide-body jets to grow its profitable overseas route network. The carrier also improved its service, securing it a 4-Star rating from Skytrax.

In January, Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc acquired 9.5% of Philippine Airlines for $95 million to support its Asia growth strategy.

Philippine Airlines operates 98 aircraft, mostly Airbus jets, with a route network of more than 30 domestic and 40 international destinations.

The announcement of Bautista’s retirement comes as rival Cebu Air Inc signed a $6 billion plane deal to buy 10 of Airbus’s new long-range A321XLR passenger aircraft as well as 16 wide-body A330neos and five single-aisle A320neos.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in MANILA and Alistair Smout in PARIS; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Louise Heavens

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