Cebu Pacific’s current Airbus A330-300s are already a squeeze, with 436 seats in an all-economy class configuration.
And from 2021, things will get even more cramped for thrifty passengers willing to trade comfort for cost savings when the budget airline takes delivery of its new A330-900neos. These aircraft are replacing the A330-300s and will have a whopping 460 economy class seats, increasing capacity by about five per cent.
The airline yesterday firmed up its order for 16 of the jets, previously made at the Paris Air Show in June 2019. The aircraft will deliver between 2021 and 2024.
“The order accelerates [our] plan to boost capacity while shifting to more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft,” Cebu said in a press release.
The airline said it plans to fly the planes on trunk routes within the Philippines and the rest of Asia, as well as on long-haul routes to Australia and the Middle East.
“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 maximise valuable airport slots in Manila and other Asian megacities,” said Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Pacific.
The A330neo has an extended range capability of up to 15,000 km, while reducing fuel consumption by as much as 25% versus older-generation competing aircraft.
This deal is part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Cebu Pacific with Airbus at the Paris Air Show for an order of 31 next generation aircraft, which also includes 15 A320neo family aircraft.
Cebu Pacific’s A330-900 aircraft
This year, Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of eight brand-new aircraft: three Airbus A321neos and four A320neos, as well as an ATR 72-600. The airline has 74 aircraft in its fleet, including 31 Airbus A320, eight A330s, seven ATR 72-500s, 13 ATR 72-600s, and an ATR cargo freighter. The ATR aircraft is used by subsidiary Cebgo to service inter-island flights in the Philippines where jet operations are not possible.
The carrier is expecting delivery of two more Airbus A321neo aircraft by the end of 2019.