Cebu Pac eyes delivery of 1st neo aircraft next month

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Cebu Pacific, the country’s biggest budget airline, is set to receive its first Airbus neo (new engine option) aircraft by next month, which it hopes to put into service before the year ends.

“The upcoming neo deliveries, it’s going to be exciting for us. We expect our first neo to be delivered around November. Entry into service hopefully by December,” Cebu Pacific vice president for commercial planning Alexander Lao said.

“We hope to use it on international routes. What we’re looking at is a combination of somewhere in Indonesia or somewhere in Japan. We have not yet decided,” he added.

Lao said the neos are more suitable for the longer sectors and would be a great addition to the company’s existing fleet of 67 aircraft.

Last July, the Gokongwei-owned carrier announced it would acquire five Airbus A320neo through an operating lease agreement signed with Avolon Aerospace Leasing Ltd., one of the largest aircraft leasing companies in the world.

The five additional aircraft is on top of its existing order of two more A321neo, 32 Airbus A321neo and six ATR 72-600 aircraft, which are scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2022.

Lao said the introduction of the new generation and fuel-efficient neo aircraft to the Philippine market would help Cebu Pacific strengthen its position in the country, allowing it to further pursue expansion of its international route network.

Cebu Pacific currently has one of the youngest fleets in the world with a total of 67 aircraft with an average age of 4.8 years.

Its fleet is comprised of 36 Airbus A320, five Airbus A321neo and eight Airbus A330, as well as eight ATR 72-500 and 10 ATR 72-600 aircraft operated by wholly-owned subsidiary Cebgo.

Cebu Pacific and Cebgo operate direct flights to 21 domestic and five international destinations.

The airline’s extensive network covers over 100 routes across 26 international and 37 domestic destinations, spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and US.

Lao said the company is studying expansion to other long haul destinations, but it does not have the aircraft for it at the moment.



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