By Emmie V. Abadilla
Cebu Pacific (CEB) has finalized its order of 16 A330 long-range aircraft worth US$4.8 billion from Airbus to expand its fleet capacity while shifting to more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly planes.
CEB signed a Purchase Agreement with Airbus for the aircraft, which are scheduled for delivery between 2021 and 2024. In half a decade, the airline expects to have an all-next generation fleet of Airbus jets.
The Purchase Agreement is part of the Memorandum of Understanding which Cebu Pacific signed with Airbus in June 2019 during the Paris Air Show for an order of 31 next generation aircraft, which also includes 15 A320 neo family aircraft.
The 16 A330neo aircraft will be fitted with up to 460 seats, five percent more capacity than the current A330ceo (current engine option) aircraft in the CEB fleet. Cebu Pacific plans to use the aircraft on trunk routes within the Philippines and the rest of Asia, as well as on long-haul routes to Australia and the Middle East.
“The A330neo is integral to our fleet modernization program,” Lance Gokongwei, President and CEO of Cebu Pacific, yesterday announced in a statement.
“With this purchase, we aim to reduce our fuel emission and build a more sustainable operation. This will also give us the lowest cost per seat, at the same time, enabling CEB to increase seat capacity and maximize valuable airport slots in Manila and other Asian megacities.”
The A330neos (new engine option) will replace CEB’s current A330ceos, which will be retired as the new aircraft is delivered.
The A330neo has as extended range capability of up to 15,000 kilometers, while reducing fuel consumption by as much as 25 percent, versus older-generation competing aircraft.
Year-to-date, Cebu Pacific has accepted delivery of eight brand-new aircraft—three Airbus A321neos, four A320neos and an ATR 72-600.
The CEB fleet is comprised of a total of 74 aircraft, including 31 Airbus A320, eight A330s, seven ATR 72-500s, thirteen ATR 72-600s, and an ATR Cargo Freighter. Subsidiary Cebgo used the ATR aircraft to service inter-island flights in the Philippines where jet operations are not possible.
The carrier is expecting delivery of two more Airbus A321neo aircraft by the end of this year.
Overall, CEB has of one of the youngest fleets in the world, with an average fleet age of five years.
Cebu Air, Inc. (CEB) is the largest carrier in the Philippine air transportation industry, offering its low-cost services to more destinations and routes with higher flight frequency within the archipelago.
CEB and subsidiary Cebgo fly to 37 domestic and 26 international destinations, with over 108 routes. The CEB network operates flights out of seven strategically placed hubs in the Philippines: Clark, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Kalibo, Cebu, Iloilo and Manila.
A member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Cebu Pacific has achieved full compliance with IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) —considered as the benchmark of the highest standards for safety in the airline industry, joining a roster of 429 airlines worldwide that have strictly complied with the most stringent of international standards governing aviation safety.