In Pictures: Inside Cebu Pacific’s New 460 Seat Airbus A330-900neo

Cebu Pacific has been the proud owner of an A330-900 for about two weeks now. At the end of November, the first A330neo left Toulouse for Manila, to join the fleet of the Filipino low-cost. Registered RP-C3900, it’s the first of 16 A330neos bound for the carrier, to be delivered between now and 2024.

Cebu Pacific A330-900 A330neo cabin interior
The max-pax A330neo’s interior has been revealed. Photo: Lift Aero Design

While any new A330 is a good reason to pay attention, Cebu’s neo has its own means of grabbing attention. Inside, the airline has gone max-pax, with a total of 460 all-economy seats. This was a step up from the A330neo’s previous passenger ceiling of 440, and only achieved by Airbus rearranging the lavatories, in collaboration with the airline.

Cebu has said in the past that it is committed to operating on an ultra-low-cost basis, across trunk routes that often touch on slot-constrained airports. The A330ceo in its all-economy layout has performed well for the airline. Now, it’s densifying the similarly sized neo variant with 6% more seats.

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A surprising result

With such a dense seating layout and a mantra of ultra-low-cost everything, it would be fair to assume that the interior wouldn’t be anything to write home about. But what’s inside the airplane is a pleasant surprise indeed.

Cebu Pacific A330-900 A330neo cabin interior
Passengers are greeted with a fun and well-thought-out cabin. Photo: Lift Aero Design

The cabin has been thoughtfully designed by Lift Aero Design, the competent design house behind the aesthetics of Bamboo Airways, HK Express and Air Seychelles, as well as the creators of the Paradym concept. The interior of the Cebu A330neo is a triumph: bright and cheerful.

Cebu Pacific A330-900 A330neo cabin interior
The cabin is dense, but it feels much more up-market than the typical ULCC cabin. Photo: Lift Aero Design

There’s no getting away from the fact that this is an incredibly dense cabin. The seats are Recaro’s lightweight SL3710 – the slimline variant – but Lift has done a great job of steering away from dull and boring finishes. Picking out the colors of the airline’s logo, pops of yellow and blue jump out from the blue-grey leather of the seats, creating a fun, lively impression well aligned with the airline’s brand. Daniel Baron, LIFT’s managing director, said,

“This project was all about infusing into the cabin the DNA of the Cebu Pacific brand and their origin, the beautiful island of Cebu. We focused on translating the airline’s distinct yellow and blue palette into an environment that reflects their youthful and dynamic company.”

Cebu Pacific A330-900 A330neo cabin interior
Details like the color-coded stitching really elevate the finish. Photo: Lift Aero Design

The distinct pallet follows through to the stitching on the seat too, with seat color-coded to denote premium or standard placements. Carbon fiber on the armrests and other trim adds to a sense of sporty luxury.

Tiny mangoes

The A330neo has the Airspace cabin from Airbus, giving passengers a sense of more space and additional comfort. One of the features of the Airspace cabin, the lighting panel in the ceiling at the main entry door, has been customized by Lift into a fresh, inviting shade of teal.

Cebu Pacific A330-900 A330neo cabin interior
The Airspace cabin ceiling has been customized to be more Cebu. Photo: Lift Aero Design

Interestingly, the bulkhead walls of the cabin, while appearing to be a solid blue, are actually a blue-on-blue mango pattern. It’s a discreet touch that nods to the marvelous fruit – mango sticky rice anyone?

Cebu Pacific A330-900 A330neo cabin interior
The blue wall is actually blue-on-blue tiny mangoes! Photo: Lift Aero Design

That design touch is carried through to the lavatory, where passengers are greeted with a pop of bright yellow. On closer inspection, it becomes clear that the wall is actually also tiny mangoes!

Cebu Pacific A330-900 A330neo cabin interior
Even the bathroom gets a pop of color. Photo: Lift Aero Design
Cebu Pacific A330-900 A330neo cabin interior
See, we told you they were mangoes. Photo: Lift Aero Design

It’s a thoughtful addition to the basic LCC bathroom, projecting a sunny outlook at every stage of the passenger journey. Baron noted,

“With a single, carefully considered color, we achieved our goal of a lavatory environment that doesn’t shy away from bold statements while maintaining a clean, professional look.”

Cebu Pacific is set to fly the A330neo with a super low carbon footprint per passenger, thanks to its dense cabin layout. And with the expertise of Lift, it looks like the passenger experience won’t be all that bad. By 2027, Cebu Pacific will transition to an all-neo fleet of A330s, with a vision of becoming the greenest airline in Asia.