Cebu Pacific orders 31 Airbus planes at Paris Air Show

Aika Rey
Cebu Pacific orders 31 Airbus planes at Paris Air Show
The planes that Cebu Pacific ordered, worth $6.8 billion, will allow the airline to 'continue offering the lowest fares' due to improved passenger capacity

MANILA, Philippines – Local low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific sealed a $6.8-billion deal with European planemaker Airbus for 31 new engine option (neo) aircraft at the 2019 Paris Air Show.

In a bid to complete its refleeting program, Cebu Pacific orderd 16 A330neo and 15 A320neo family aircraft, scheduled to be delivered between 2021 and 2026.

The next generation planes are fuel-efficient and are designed with a more efficient layout of cabin interiors with new seats.

The A330neo will have 460 seats or 5.5% more capacity than the A330 current engine option fleet. With the new Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engine, it could fly up to 7,200 nautical miles, having as much as 12% less fuel burn per trip.

The improved passenger capacity would allow the budget carrier to maintain low fares, said Cebu Pacific chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei.

“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,” he added.

Meanwhile, the A320neo family aircraft order comprises of 10 A321 extra long range (XLR) and 5 194-seat A320neo.

Cebu Pacific said the increase in capacity of the A320neo will result in “7% reduction in cost per seat” as well as fuel burn and emission reduction of about 15%.

The A321 XLR is designed to have a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles, with a passenger capacity of 220 for flights up to 11 hours. These will be delivered starting 2024.

This is on top of the 32 planes ordered from Airbus in 2011. The first A321neo delivery was made last January, while 5 more A321neo, 5 A320neo, and one ATR 72-600 are expected to arrive in the Philippines in 2019.

Currently, Cebu Pacific has 2 A321neo, 1 A320neo, 7 A321ceo, 33 A320ceo, 8 A330ceo, 8 ATR 72-500, and 13 ATR 72-600. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.