First look: Long-haul, budget flights of Cebu Pacific

Lala Rimando

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Budget carrier Cebu Pacific unveils its Airbus A330 aircraft meant to become the first low-cost, long-haul flight by a Philippine carrier

NEW PLANE. Airbus delivers Cebu Pacific's first widebody A330-300 aircraft. Photo courtesy of Airbus

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Budget carrier Cebu Pacific unveiled its Airbus A330-300 aircraft that will be used for the first low-cost, long-haul flight by a Philippine carrier.

In a ceremony at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport grounds on Thursday, September 12, Cebu Pacific president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said the aircraft will be used for their inaugural Manila-Dubai flight in October.

The aircraft is meant for the Dubai route, but it will fly the Manila-Hong Kong and Manila-Cebu routes in the meantime.

This is Cebu Pacific’s second Airbus A330. The first, which arrived in June, is flying to Singapore and Incheon.

The airline’s Dubai flights will be 35% cheaper than the ones offered by other carriers, according to Gokongwei. Alex Reyes, vice president for long haul operations, said fares are less than $300 one-way.

The new wide-bodied aircraft has 436 all-economy seats and 8 toilets.

The aircraft will serve long-haul destinations, which “we cannot reach with our narrow-bodied aircraft,” Gokongwei said. Long-haul flights involve travel of over 4 hours. 

Each flight will have 11 cabin crew who will sell food, merchandise items, and facilitate inflight games – a fixture in Cebu Pacific flights. 

Food offered for sale onboard are at rates similar to those in international short-haul flights, the company said.

Below are some pictures taken inside Cebu Pacific’s A330 aircraft:

ALL ECONOMY SEATS. There are no business or first class seats on Cebu Pacific's long-haul flights. Photo by Lala Rimando/Rappler

Passengers who want to be in seats with more legroom to make an 8-hour flight like Manila-Dubai more comfortable may opt to pay for more.

LEGROOM. Passengers can opt to pay for seats with more legroom.

Cebu Pacific’s seat selector option has these price points:

Choosing a standard or regular seats during online purchase of plane tickets will cost an extra P250.

The option for “Standard Plus,” or seats with 32-inch seat pitch located at the rear section of the aircraft, costs an additional P500.

Passengers who prefer “Premium seats,” or those located at exit rows, costs P1,500 more.

CABIN CREW. There are 11 cabin crew to accompany each A330 flight.

Internet connection is available for a fee. 

Prices for wifi services in A330 flights are as follows: $5 for 20MB; $10 for 50MB and $20 for 100MB.

FROM 3 TO 2. Two seats at the back

The seats are reduced to pairs of two at the back of the plane. 

COCKPIT. Pilots' instruments for long haul flight.

The cockpit has space for 4 pilots to fly long haul. –

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