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Cebu Pacific buys 7 Airbus A321 for $812-M

MANILA, Philippines - Budget carrier Cebu Pacific has placed an order for an additional seven A321CEO (Current Engine Option) aircraft with Airbus, as it decided to defer the delivery of the A321NEO aircraft.

In a statement, Cebu Pacific said the seven A321CEOs have a total value of $812 million and would be delivered in March of next year.

The new aircraft is expected to allow the airline to meet increased capacity requirements pending the start of delivery of 32 A321NEO aircraft, which will now begin in the fourth quarter of next year.

The 32 Airbus A321NEO aircraft were initially scheduled for delivery beginning September of this year until 2021.

Cebu Pacific decided to defer the A321NEO deliveries due to delays with the Pratt & Whitney engines to be used 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.

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For his part, Cebu Pacific president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said the new aircraft will enable the airline to increase capacity on popular routes, and at the same time benefit from low operating costs.

“This will mean more low fares for more customers flying across our domestic and regional network,” he said.

John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer - customers said the A321 would allow Cebu Pacific 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,” he said.

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.  – With Catherine Talavera

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