Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of the first ever ATR 72-600 High Capacity aircraft.
Handed over the low-cost carrier at a ceremony in France, the aircraft is the first of 16 ordered by Cebu Pacific at the 2015 Paris Airshow, with options for a further 10.
To be operated by Cebgo, the subsidiary formerly known as Tigerair Philippines, the new turboprop aircraft will feature 78 seats – six more than the airline’s older ATR 72-500s, which will gradually be replaced. Deliveries of the new ATR 72-600s will run until 2020.
Cebu Pacific said the new aircraft would help it satisfy the “growing demand for inter-island connectivity” in the Philippines, and ATR’s CEO, Patrick de Castelbajac, said he expected the new high capacity aircraft to be popular all across Southeast Asia.
“The ATR 72-600 is particularly successful in Southeast Asia as it offers the optimal answer for regional travel, in terms of both operating costs and passenger experience. The new high capacity option is particularly adapted to the operational needs of a successful low-cost carrier in this part of the world. We look forward to see our first 78-seater fly with one of the fastest-growing carriers, Cebu Pacific,” he commented.
In recent years, Asia Pacific has become the region with the largest number of ATR aircraft in operation, and the European planemaker estimates that 750 more turboprops will be required by the region’s carriers over the next two decades.