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Cebu Pacific orders 31 new Airbus fleet worth $6.8 B

Cebu Pacific orders 31 new Airbus fleet worth $6.8 B

MANILA, Philippines — Budget carrier Cebu Pacific has placed a $6.8 billion order of new fuel-efficient and eco-friendly airplanes to replace its existing fleet.

Cebu Pacific said it has ordered a total of 31 next generation aircraft from Airbus comprised of 16 A330neo and 15 A320neo family aircraft.

The order was made during the 2019 Paris Air Show in France, the global aerospace industry’s biggest trade event.

“The airplane order is really a show of confidence of the Philippines’ growing economy. It accomplishes two things. With the larger aircraft, we will be able to use the slots more effectively and also more environmentally responsible manner,” Cebu Pacific president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said.

Cebu Pacific said the new aircraft are scheduled for delivery between 2021 and 2026.

The latest order is in addition to the 32 A321neo aircraft the company ordered in 2011, which are for delivery until 2022.

“The A330neo will give us the lowest cost per seat and allow us to continue offering the lowest fares. Moreover, the lower fuel burn matched with higher seat density will allow CEB to address growing demand for leisure and business travel, by upgrading aircraft and maximizing available airport slots in Manila and other megacities we serve,” Gokongwei said.

The new A330neo will replace the A330ceo, which Cebu Pacific will progressively retire. 

Using the new Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engine and a more aerodynamic wing design, Cebu Pacific said the A330neo is more efficient, providing a range of up to 7,200 nautical miles with as much as 12 percent less fuel burn per trip.

The A330neo also has a quieter cabin for an improved passenger experience on top of a reduced environmental footprint. As part of the transaction, Rolls Royce has also been selected for engine maintenance and support.

The Gokongwei-owned carrier also ordered 15 A320neo family aircraft, including 10 A321 XLR and five 194-seat A320neo.

The A321 XLRs, designed to have a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles and can potentially fly 220 passengers for up to 11 hours, are scheduled to start delivery in 2024.

Cebu Pacific said XLR’s “new and unique capability” provides the company with the opportunity to develop new markets from key cities other than Manila.

“The XLRs is a strategy. We do recognize we have to create opportunities for other airports outside of Manila to have direct flights, particularly to Australia and North Asia. The XLR, because of its longer capacity, 10 to 11 hours, we are in position to do Sydneys, Melbournes and North Asian cities like Beijing and the like, Incheon and fly directly to our large cities in Vis-Min bypassing NAIA,” Gokongwei said.

As the new A320neo enter into service, the older A320ceo aircraft will be subsequently retired.

“Our strategy is to replace our fleet with bigger and more fuel-efficient aircraft to fly more passengers utilizing our existing slots while reducing our environmental footprint per passenger. We will be operating an all Airbus NEO fleet by end-2024 and retiring our older generation jets,” Gokongwei said.

Cebu Pacific’s 72-aircraft fleet is currently comprised of two Airbus A321neo, seven A321ceo, one A320neo, 33 A320ceo, eight A330ceo, eight ATR 72-500s, and 13 ATR 72-600s.