Effective from 10 July 2013, Philippine Airlines is changing the plane it uses on its thrice weekly MNL - MEL - MNL flights from the Boeing 777-300ER with at seat entertainment back to the much older Airbus A340-300 that lacks these at seat TV screens.
This is a retrograde step, although one huge advantage of using PAL from Melbourne to Manila is that unlike every other airline, there is no changing planes in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Seri Begawan, Sydney or Darwin.
However the MNL - SYD - MNL flights will still use the Boeing 777-300ERs so anyone who does not want to fly in an older plane can fly up to Sydney and back (albeit at extra cost) using Virgin Australia. The 0600 hours flight from Melbourne on Virgin easily connects to Philippine Airlines' 1045 hours departures ex Sydney on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Using the older plane up direct MEL to MNL and the much newer Boeing back from NL to SYD and then making a connection to MEL is another option.