LOW-COST carrier Cebu Pacific said Thursday it has placed an $812-million order with Airbus for an additional seven A321CEO (current engine option) aircraft for delivery in March 2018 due to the delayed delivery of 32 A321NEO aircraft earlier ordered.
“The additional aircraft will meet the airline’s increased capacity requirements pending the start of delivery of 32 A321NEO aircraft, which will now begin in the 4th quarter of 2018,” the airline said in a statement.
The delivery of the A321NEO aircraft was originally scheduled to begin in September 2017 until 2021, according to Cebu Pacific.
“We have decided to take a conservative approach to the introduction of the A321NEO into our operations. We remain confident that Pratt & Whitney will address all issues on the GTF (geared turbo fan) engine,” Cebu Pacific Chief Finance Officer Andrew Huang said.
“There is, however, the need to increase our current capacity to meet growing domestic and regional network demand, thus the A321CEO order,” according to Huang.
Cebu Pacific President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Gokongwei said that the new delivery will result in increased capacity of its low-cost flights to popular destinations.
The airline recently took delivery of two brand-new aircraft — an Airbus A330 and an ATR 72-600 — bringing its current fleet to 61. Its fleet now consists of four Airbus A319, 36 Airbus A320, eight Airbus A330, eight ATR 72-500, and five ATR 72-600 aircraft.