Cebu Pacific to buy new A321neo aircraft

Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific Air (CEB) has sold four Airbus A319 aircraft to a subsidiary of US-based Allegiant Travel Company and plans to buy new Airbus A321neo aircraft.

Allegiant is the parent company of Las Vegas-based low-cost airline, Allegiant Air. Delivery of the four aircraft to Allegiant is scheduled from 2017 to 2018.

Cebu Pacific Air president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said his company aims to expand its operations both in the Philippines and abroad.

“We continue to invest in upgrading our fleet with fuel efficient, versatile aircraft. Between 2016 and 2021, we are anticipating the delivery of 30 Airbus A321neos, for long-range capability, and 16 ATR 72-600 turboprop planes, for better inter-island connectivity,” says Gokongwei.

CEB currently operates one of the most modern fleets in the world, with an average age of 4.82 years. Its 57-strong fleet is comprised of 7 Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320, 6 Airbus A330, and 8 ATR 72-500 aircraft.

As part of its fleet renewal program, CEB will be taking delivery of 30 brand-new Airbus A321neo aircraft, the largest model in the A320neo series.

The A321neo incorporates new engines and wing-tip devices called Sharklets, which could deliver fuel savings of 20 percent and additional payload or range capability. The aircraft has a flying radius of over 6 hours and can be configured to have up to 240 seats, allowing CEB to access new markets in the Indian subcontinent and Australia.

CEB flew 4.8 million passengers in the first quarter of 2016, a system-wide growth of 13% compared to the same period last year. On average, CEB’s flights between January to March were 87% full.

In the month of March alone, CEB’s passenger volume soared to 1.6 million passengers, up by 7% from the 1.5 million passengers carried in March 2015.

Periodic seat sales, lowest year-round fares, and robust travel demand contributed to the surge in passengers. Some of CEB’s popular destinations for the first quarter include Tagbilaran, Dumaguete and Cagayan de Oro for domestic, and Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai for international.

The airline also took delivery of two brand-new Airbus A320 aircraft in January, and another one this April, as part of its conservative fleet expansion plan.

“CEB remains committed to stimulating travel and driving trade and tourism opportunities in communities we fly to. We are optimistic that the airline will continue to rise as a significant travel enabler in and out of its home country,” said Atty. JR Mantaring, CEB Vice President for Corporate Affairs.

To cater to the upward travel trend this summer, CEB mounted over 60 additional weekly flights from Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao to several domestic and international destinations. The airline offers flights to a network of more than 90 routes on 64 destinations, spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA.