Tue, Nov 05, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Cebu Air orders Airbus planes worth US$4.8bn

AFP, MANILA

The Philippines’ largest budget airline, Cebu Air Inc, has ordered 16 Airbus SE planes worth US$4.8 billion, the carrier said yesterday, as it aims to expand carrying capacity with larger, more fuel-efficient jets.

Cebu Air, commonly referred to as Cebu Pacific, said that it sees the long-range A330neo jetliner as key to lowering its per-seat costs and maximizing the airport slots it already has.

The company woud use the new planes for domestic routes and Asian destinations, as well as long-haul flights to Australia and the Middle East, where millions of Filipinos work overseas.

The new aircraft are to arrive between 2021 and 2024. Once fully delivered, the jets will replace the A330ceos in the airline’s roster.

“The A330neo aircraft is integral to our fleet modernization program,” Cebu Air president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said in a statement.

“With this purchase we aim to reduce our fuel emission and build a more sustainable operation,” he added.

The Philippine carrier has a fleet of 74 planes, most of which are from Airbus, and has received eight new aircraft this year, the majority also Airbus planes.

Airbus has taken orders for more than 350 planes in Asia since August, streaks ahead of rival Boeing Co as the US planemaker struggles to revive its grounded 737 MAX.

A big win for Airbus came last month, when Indian budget carrier IndiGo ordered 300 narrow-body aircraft in a deal worth more than US$33 billion at list prices.

Boeing received orders or commitments for only 16 jets in the past three months, according to the Chicago-based company’s Web site.

Airbus orders are for A320neo and wide-body A330neo aircraft, while Boeing’s are for twin-aisle 787s and 777 freighters.

Boeing is in the throes of crisis following two deadly crashes of its 737 MAX, including a Lion Air flight in October last year that plunged into the Java Sea, killing all 189 people on board.

Boeing has been upgrading software on the 737 MAX, but it remains unclear when it will be allowed to fly again.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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