Cebu Pacific has accelerated plans to use more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft with an order of 31 brand-new Airbus NEO aircraft. The order comprises 16 A330neo and 15 A320neo planes, which are scheduled to be delivered between 2021 and 2026. This upgrade is worth US$6.8 billion.
The 16 A330neo in particular, will each be fitted with 460 seats, offering 5.5% more capacity than CEB’s current A330ceo aircraft. The additional seats are made possible with a more efficient layout of cabin interiors and new-generation seats. The new planes also use the new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine and a more aerodynamic wing design—they’re more efficient, providing a range of up to 7,200 nautical miles, with as much as 12% less fuel burn per trip. On top of a reduced environmental footprint, the A330neo also offers quieter cabins, which help to improve passenger experiences.
“The A330neo will give us the lowest cost per seat and allow us to continue offering the lowest fares. Moreover, the lower fuel burn matched with higher seat density will allow CEB to address the growing demand for leisure and business travel—we can upgrade aircraft and maximize available airport slots in Manila and in other cities that we serve,” says Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Pacific.
With the 15 A320neo aircraft ordered, the batch is made up of 10 A321 XLR (xtra long range) and five 194-seater A320neo planes. The increased capacity of the A320neo aircraft will result in a 7% reduction in cost per seat, as well as a reduction of as much as 15% in fuel burn and emissions. Scheduled for delivery in 2024, the A321 XLR is designed to have a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles and can potentially fly 220 passengers for up to 11 hours.
“Our strategy is to replace our fleet with bigger, more fuel-efficient aircraft, so that we can fly more passengers with our existing slots, while we work to reduce the environmental footprint of each passenger. We look to operate an all-Airbus NEO fleet by end-2024,” says Gokongwei.
This article first appeared in the August 2019 issue of Smile magazine.