Expect low fares to continue even as Cebu Pacific (CEB) announces its acquisition of new fleets. “What we are doing is, we are buying higher density aircraft so that we can optimize the slots that we have. The more passengers carried for the same number of slots which means operating cost spread over more seats, which means lower fares, Candice Iyog, CEB Vice President for Marketing and Distribution said yesterday in a press briefing in the sidelines of the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation- Low Cost Carriers (CAPA-LCC’s) North Asia Summit in Radisson Blu here.
Iyog said Cebu Pacific will spend US$6.8B for the acquisition of 31 new aircraft from Airbus. It will be comprised of 16 A330neo and 15 A320neo family aircraft, the schedule of delivery of which would be from 2021 to 2024, Charo Logarta-Lagamon, CEB Director for Corporate Communications said.
According to Iyog by 2024, CEB will have NEO’s (new engine option) from Airbus as the aircraft are environmentally friendly and fuel efficient. Their current aircraft will be retired. Once delivered, Iyog revealed that it will serve the routes that are even outside of Manila, their main hub, where there will be demand.
“We grow where there is demand and where we can stimulate travel further. We believe that there is an opportunity for us to grow outside of Manila,” Iyog said. Outside of Manila, the Clark hub, considered a secondary hub by aviation stakeholders, has been very promising.
“We added flights in Clark and so we are actually seeing very good load factors out of our Clark hub so it’s very promising. We plan to add more flights in Clark actually,” Iyog said. CEB served at least 20 million passengers last year and it is projected to increase especially if the newly acquired aircraft will start flying.
Apart from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, the Mactan Cebu International Airport is the other hub of CEB./AAJ