During the second day of the 2019 Paris Airshow, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus secured a commitment from Philippine low cost carrier Cebu Pacific for 31 new planes in a deal worth around USD $6 Billion.
The Philippine-based carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for an order of the 31 jets which will include 16 Airbus A330neo, 10 Airbus A321XLR, and 5 A320neo. During the press event, Cebu Air Chief Financial Officer Andrew Huang stated the Airbus A330neos will have up to 460 seats while the A320neos will have 194 seats both in a single-class configuration.
With the order, Cebu Pacific will be one of the launch customers for the Airbus A321XLR that the aircraft manufacturer introduced to its product lineup during the Paris Airshow. Billed as Airbus’s “long-range” narrow body aircraft, the A321XLR will have a range of 4,700 nautical miles with a fuel burn rate 30% lower than the previous generation competitor aircraft. With the A321XLRs, Cebu Pacific could operate the jets on flights from Manila to cities in India and Australia. The first A321XLRs are expected to begin deliveries starting in 2023.
Cebu Pacific will join Lebanon-based Middle East Airlines as the launch customers of the Airbus A321XLR. The airline is expecting to receive its A320neo and A330neo jets starting 2021 while the A321XLR will begin arriving in 2024.
The order is a big win for Airbus and a continuation of their relationship with Cebu Pacific – the largest domestic airline in the Philippines in terms of passenger traffic. Cebu Pacific currently operates Airbus A320, A321, and A330 jets for its domestic and international services.