Philippine low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific has today firmed up an order for 16 A330-900neo widebody aircraft from Airbus. The carrier originally placed the order as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at this year’s Paris Air Show, along with an order for 15 additional narrowbody aircraft. The planes will be in a dense all-economy layout, and will begin delivering in 2021.
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer commented in a press release,
“Cebu Pacific is a pace-setter and surely one of the most respected and well managed airlines in the low-cost sector. This new order is another important endorsement for the value-based proposition that the A330neo brings to highly competitive markets. The increased capacity version of the aircraft developed for Cebu Pacific will help achieve even greater efficiencies for high density regional and long range routes.”
16 neos for Cebu Air
Philippine-based Cebu Pacific has firmed up an order with Airbus for some $4.8bn worth of neo widebody action. The deal, for 16 A330neos, was originally placed back at the Paris Air Show, but has now been converted from an MoU to a firm order.
Cebu Pacific will be receiving 16 of the larger A330-900neo, with deliveries earmarked to start in 2021. By 2024, the airline will have received all 16 of the aircraft. Cebu plans to deploy the aircraft on routes within Asia as well as to Australia and the Middle East. Each A330 will be fitted out with some 460 all-economy seats, giving the carrier a boost of 5% over the current A330ceos used on the routes.
Cebu Pacific’s President and CEO commented in a press release,
“The A330neo is integral to our fleet modernisation program. With this purchase, we aim to reduce our fuel emission and build a more sustainable operation. This will also give us the lowest cost per seat, at the same time enabling CEB to increase seat capacity and maximize valuable airport slots in Manila and other Asian megacities.”
What about the narrowbodies?
While the MoU signed back in Paris earlier this year included a number of narrowbody aircraft as well, this firming up of the order excludes those aircraft. At the time, there were ten A321XLR and five A320neos include in the MoU.
The lack of inclusion in this firm order of these aircraft does not mean the airline is no longer taking them, only that they are yet to migrate this order into a fully firm booking. The airline is still taking deliveries of the 32 A321neos it has on order, with three received and 29 to be delivered through to 2022. Perhaps it’s looking to receive a few more of these before converting to a firm order.
Cebu Pacific is an all-Airbus operator with one of the youngest fleets in the skies. The A330-300s that these aircraft will be replacing are all under seven years old, with the youngest just 2.6 years of age right now. While turning over these aircraft for the newer A330neo will keep the fleet age super low, it will also allow the airline to benefit from the improved economics of the neo variant.
What do you think of this order? Do you think the airline will press ahead with its narrowbody order as well? Let us know in the comments.