Home » Aviation » Cebu Pacific earmarks $1B for expansion

BUDGET carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) is sinking in about $1 billion in the next four years to further prop up its fleet.

This year it will also inject about P300 million to finance international road shows to promote Philippine tourism.

CEB president and chief executive Lance Gokongwei said in the next four years the airline is keen on acquiring 19 brand-new Airbus aircraft as well as hiring 2,000 more employees.

"Cebu Pacific has already created over 4,300 jobs, 500 of them last year. We have also revived local tourism and have helped generate jobs and opportunities in the provinces," Gokongwei said.

"Cebu Pacific's main focus in the next few years will be in rapidly growing our international presence, particularly in creating better linkages between the fast-growing North Asian markets of Korea, Japan and Greater China, and the various resorts and tourist destinations here in the Philippines. This is especially true since the Philippines is the closest tropical destination to our North Asian neighbors," he added.

"We also look forward to working with the government in continuing to grow within and improving upon NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) T3 (Terminal 3), the only airport terminal that can accommodate CEB's rapid expansion."

Last year, CEB flew 10.5 million passengers. This year, it expects that figure to go up to 12 million, of whom 10 million will go through NAIA T3, nearing the terminal's rated capacity of 13 million.

At the current rate of growth, Gokongwei said CEB's next 50-millionth passenger is due in four years' time.

CEB took delivery of three Airbus 320s in the past three months. It will take delivery of five more this year and another 16 from 2012 to 2014.

By the end of 2011, CEB will be operating a fleet of 37 aircraft with an average age of less than two and a half years.

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