Cebu Pacific sells 4 Airbus planes to Allegiant Air
MANILA, Philippines – The operator of the country's biggest budget airline, Cebu Pacific Air, is selling 4 Airbus A319 planes to the parent company of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air.
Cebu Air, Incorporated said in a statement on Thursday, May 12, that it signed a forward sale agreement with a subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Company.
Delivery of the 4 Airbus aircraft to Allegiant is scheduled from 2017 to 2018, Cebu Pacific said.
"As we aim to expand our operations both in the Philippines and abroad, we remain invested in upgrading our fleet with fuel-efficient, versatile aircraft," Cebu Pacific president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said.
Allegiant chief operating officer Jude Bricker called the deal with Cebu Pacific an "important step" in their long-term transition to a single fleet type.
"By the end of 2016, Allegiant will be a majority Airbus carrier, as measured by available seat miles," Bricker said.
Allegiant had earlier agreed to buy 6 Airbus A319 aircraft from Cebu Pacific, with 3 remaining deliveries scheduled later this year.
The younger A320 family aircraft will help Allegiant increase operational efficiency in the coming years.
New A321neos, turboprops
Cebu Pacific operates one of the youngest fleet in the world, with an average age of 4.82 years. Its fleet is comprised of 7 Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320, 6 Airbus A330, and 8 ATR 72-500 aircraft.
Between 2016 and 2021, Gokongwei said the airline is anticipating the delivery of 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft for long-range capability, and 16 ATR 72-600 turboprop planes for better inter-island connectivity.
The new Airbus A321neo is the largest model in the A320neo series. It incorporates new engines and wing-tip devices called Sharklets, which could deliver fuel savings of 20% and additional payload or range capability. (READ: Cebu Pacific receives 32nd Airbus A320)
The Gokongwei-led airline said the plane has a flying radius of over 6 hours and can be configured to have up to 240 seats.
This will give Cebu Pacific access to new markets in the Indian subcontinent and Australia.
The ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft, meanwhile, will enable the airline to expand its operations in several smaller airports in the Philippines, boosting trade and tourism.
Cebu Pacific offers flights to 64 destinations on more than 90 routes, spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and the US. – Rappler.com