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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cebu Pacific aims to finalize $12-b aircraft deal in Q2

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Cebu Pacific said Tuesday it expects to close a $12-billion aircraft acquisition deal before the end of the first half of 2024, or three months behind its initial target.

“The process is ongoing. So, we expect to hopefully come to a decision by the first half. I think what we had initially said was maybe by the first quarter, but the first half was our latest guidance,” Cebu Pacific president Alexander Lao told reporters.

The airline was in talks with Airbus and Boeing for an order of 150 aircraft for about $12 billion.

“The process is really going back and forth with the key suppliers. It’s not just Airbus and Boeing, but it’s also the engine manufacturers. Because clearly, we have to make an engine selection with those aircraft,” Lao said.

“Filipinos are very price sensitive. So, we need to make sure we get a pretty good deal, so we can pass on those efficiencies and savings to our customers,” he said.

Lao said Cebu Pacific expects to grow its capacity by 5 percent to 8 percent this year.

“We’re pretty confident in reaching the higher end of that growth projection in terms of overall capacity. Normally, we would grow our passenger count by maybe 1 or 2 points higher than capacity,” he said.

Cebu Pacific carried 15.53 million passengers in the first nine months of 2023, up 49 percent from 10.43 million passengers in the same period in 2022.

The airline unit of the Gokongwei Group posted a net income of P5.02 billion in the first three quarters of 2023, a turnaround from the P12.04-billion loss a year earlier.

Revenues amounted to P66.89 billion, up 78 percent from P37.53 billion.

Cebu Pacific flies to 35 domestic and 25 international destinations across Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

The airline currently operates one of the youngest fleets in the world, with its diversified fleet mix of 74 aircraft enabling the widest network coverage in the Philippines. It has six Airbus 330, 33 Airbus 320, 19 Airbus 321, and 16 ATR turboprop aircraft.

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