Continues to expand across the Asian region
Cebu Pacific (CEB), Asia’s 3rd largest low-cost airline, has increased to 15 from ten the number of Airbus A320 aircraft it is buying and is studying whether it should order five more.
At 20 aircraft, the total investment required would reach $1.3 billion. Delivery of the 180-seat aircraft will be from October 2010 to November 2013.
CEB president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said the additional orders are needed because of the airline’s expanding domestic and international operations.
“The global economic downturn notwithstanding, we are experiencing a surge in the number of passengers flying Cebu Pacific mainly because of our low fares. We expect this growth to continue, hence our decision to further expand our fleet,” he said.
Cebu Pacific carried close to seven million passengers last year and expects to carry nine million this year. From 2010 onwards, the numbers should continue to grow as more aircraft are deployed to serve more destinations.
Altogether, CEB has now placed firm orders of 27 A320 Family aircraft with 12 already delivered. “We currently operate 21 aircraft from the A320 family, including nine leased aircraft, with an average age of just 1.9 years.” Lance Gokongwei emphasized.
The new A320s will be powered by CFM International’s CFM56-5B engines (worth US$140 million) which are very efficient and have better fuel consumption. The engine also meets the latest environmental protection standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization for its low carbon dioxide emission.
The airline had earlier signed a US$100-million OnPoint solution agreement with GE Aviation’s services business. The 12-year service contract includes general maintenance and repairs, parts procurement, technology upgrades, engine leasing, and overhaul of the CFM56-5B engines.
“This expansion will more than double passenger capacity and enable us to provide our trademark low fares for new domestic and international destinations. We expect to increase our passenger numbers from nine million this year to 15 million in 2013,” Gokongwei said.
CEB operates flights to 15 cities in Asia and 32 domestic destinations using 21 Airbus aircraft and eight ATR aircraft.