Cebu Pacific shuffles fleet due to delivery delays

Cebu Pacific has ordered more aircraft but delayed the delivery of others, as it adjusts its fleet to match capacity requirements.

The Philippine low-cost carrier has placed an order with Airbus for seven A321 aircraft, which are scheduled to enter the airline’s fleet from March 2018. But the delivery of 32 new A321neo aircraft has been postponed, and will now start in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Cebu Pacific said this decision was taken due to delays with the Pratt & Whitney engines on the new A321neos, and the seven A321s will allow the airline to meet its capacity requirements in the short-term.

Cebu has ordered seven new aircraft
Cebu has ordered seven new 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… engine. There is however, the need to increase our current capacity to meet growing domestic and regional network demand, thus the [A321] order,” said Cebu Pacific’s chief finance officer, Andrew Huang.

The seven Airbus A321 aircraft are worth US$812 million at current list prices. They will become the largest single-aisle aircraft in the airline’s fleet; although the seat configuration has not yet been announced, it is likely that they will feature the maximum possible capacity of 236 seats in a single-class layout.

The 32 A321neos will be delivered over the course of four years from Q4 2018 to 2022, and are expected to offer 240 seats in an all-economy class configuration.

“We are very excited about adding the A321 to our fleet,” said Lance Gokongwei, president & CEO of Cebu Pacific. “The aircraft will enable us to increase capacity on popular routes, while at the same time benefiting from the lowest operating 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, said the A321 would help Cebu Pacific “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 commented.

Cebu Pacific recently took delivery of a new A330 and ATR 72-600 aircraft, taking its total fleet size to 61 aircraft.

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