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Cebu Pacific defers A321NEO aircraft deliveries; orders 7 A321CEO planes

June 27, 2017 Aviation No Comments Email Email

Leading Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), which operates a direct service to Manila from Sydney, has placed an order with Airbus for an additional seven A321CEO (Current Engine Option) aircraft for delivery from March 2018.

The A321CEOs will meet the airline’s increased capacity requirements, whilst awaiting the arrival of the 32 A321NEO aircrafts, which will now begin in the fourth quarter of 2018. CEB has chosen to defer the A321NEO deliveries due to delays with the Pratt & Whitney engines, which are selected to power the aircraft.

Andrew Huang, Chief Finance Officer of CEB, said: “We have decided to take a conservative approach to introducing the A321NEO into our operations. We remain confident that Pratt & Whitney will address all issues on the GTF (Geared Turbo Fan) engine. However, there is the need to increase our current capacity to meet growing domestic and regional network demand, thus the A321CEO order.”

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 the beginning of September 2017 until 2021, but this has now been delayed until the fourth quarter of 2018 until 2022.

Lance Gokongwei, President and CEO of Cebu Pacific, commented: “We are very excited about adding the A321 to our fleet.  The aircraft will enable us to increase capacity on popular routes, whilst providing the advantage of the lowest operation costs in this size category. This will mean more low fares for more customers flying across our domestic and regional network.”

John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer – Customers echoed Gokongwei’s comments saying: “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 the 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.”

To meet the growing demand for Cebu Pacific’s services, the low cost carrier is also increasing the frequency and capacity of its flights to Cebu, Davao, and Hong Kong, which will be effective next month.

CEB will increase the frequency of its Manila-Hong Kong route by 50%, resulting in thrice-a-day flights, or a total of 21 flights a week, from the current twice-a-day service. In addition, the Davao hub will be boosted by two additional daily flights to and from Manila, bringing its frequency to four times daily, or 28 weekly flights.

CEB also recently took delivery of two brand-new aircraft: an Airbus A330; and an ATR 72-600, to bring its current fleet to 61. The CEB fleet is now comprised of four Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320, eight Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and five ATR 72-600 aircraft. CEB flies to 37 domestic and 26 international destinations, operating over 100 routes spanning across Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA.

Currently Australians are just an eight-hour flight to Manila, from there they can connect to a variety of onward destinations, such as Boracay and Palawan, which these deliveries will help support.

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