The aircraft will meet the airline’s increased capacity requirements pending the start of delivery of 32 A321NEO aircraft, and will now begin in the 4th quarter of 2018. Cebu Pacific has chosen to defer the A321NEO deliveries due to delays with the Pratt & Whitney engines selected to power the aircraft.
“We have decided to take a conservative approach to the introduction of the A321NEO into our operations. We remain confident that Pratt & Whitney will address all issues on the GTF (Geared Turbo Fan) engine. There is, however, the need to increase our current capacity to meet growing domestic and regional network demand, thus the A321CEO order,” Cebu Pacific Chief Finance Officer Andrew Huang said in a statement.
The seven Airbus A321CEO planes have a total value of US$812 million, based on current list prices and will be on top of the existing order of the 32 Airbus A321NEO aircraft. The latter had originally been scheduled for delivery beginning September 2017 until 2021, but these have been pushed back for delivery in the 4th quarter of 2018 until 2022.
“We are very excited about adding the A321 to our fleet,” Cebu Pacific president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said.
“The aircraft will enable us to increase capacity on popular routes, while at the same time benefiting from the lowest operating costs in this size category. This will mean more low fares for more customers flying across our domestic and regional network,” he added.
Airbus chief operating officer-Customers John Leahy, for his part, said “We are pleased to sign this additional order with one of the most successful airlines in the Asian region. With the A321, Cebu Pacific will be able to respond to growing demand with the highest levels of efficiency. Carrying more passengers further, and at lower cost, the A321 is the perfect solution to meet the requirements of airlines worldwide in the middle of the market segment.”
Cebu Pacific recently took delivery of two brand-new aircraft: an Airbus A330; and an ATR 72-600, to bring its current fleet to 61. The airline’s fleet is comprised of four Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320, eight Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and five ATR 72-600 aircraft.