Home » Aviation, Press Releases » Cebu Pacific to modernize fleet with order of 31 Airbus aircraft in 2021-26

Cebu Pacific’s memorandum of understanding for 31 Airbus jetliners includes 10 A321XLR versions. Photo from www.airbus.com.

Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific (CEB) has ordered a total of 31 next-generation aircraft from Airbus as part of its plan to introduce more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft to replace its current fleet.

The order is comprised of 16 A330neo and 15 A320neo family aircraft, scheduled for delivery between 2021 and 2026, the airline said in a statement.

Based on the list price, the deal is worth an estimated US$6.8 billion. The agreement was made during the 2019 Paris Air Show—the global aerospace industry’s biggest trade event—held in Le Bourget, France. The latest order is in addition to the 32 A321neo aircraft ordered in 2011, for delivery until 2022.

The 16 A330neo will be fitted with 460 seats, having 5.5% more capacity than Cebu Pacific’s current fleet of A330ceo aircraft. The additional seats were made possible through a more efficient layout of cabin interiors and new-generation seats.

The new A330neo will replace the A330ceo, which will be progressively retired. The airline noted that the A330neo, by using the new Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engine and a more aerodynamic wing design, is more efficient, providing a range of up to 7,200 nautical miles with up to 12% less fuel burn per trip.

On top of a reduced environmental footprint, the A330neo also has a quieter cabin for an improved passenger experience. As part of the transaction, Rolls Royce has also been selected for engine maintenance and support.

“The A330neo will give us the lowest cost per seat and allow us to continue offering the lowest fares. Moreover, the lower fuel burn matched with higher seat density will allow CEB to address growing demand for leisure and business travel, by upgrading aircraft and maximizing available airport slots in Manila and other megacities we serve,” Cebu Pacific president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said.

The airline also ordered 15 A320neo family aircraft, which includes 10 A321 XLR (Xtra Long Range) and five 194-seat A320neo. The increased capacity of the A320neo will result in a 7% reduction in cost per seat; and a reduction of fuel burn and emissions of as much as 15%.

Scheduled for delivery starting 2024, the A321 XLR is designed to have a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles and can potentially fly 220 passengers for up to 11 hours. This new and unique capability gives Cebu Pacific the opportunity to develop new markets from key cities other than Manila, the airline said.

As the new A320neo enter into service, the older A320ceo aircraft will be subsequently retired.

“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,” Gokongwei said.

Currently, Cebu Pacific has a 72-aircraft fleet comprised of two Airbus A321neo, seven A321ceo, one A320neo, 33 A320ceo, eight A330ceo, eight ATR 72-500s and 13 ATR 72-600s.

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