Cebu Air Inc., the operator of Cebu Pacific, said Tuesday it is pushing through with the re-fleeting program despite the global pandemic that severely affected the airline industry.
The airline unit of the Gokongwei Group said it took delivery of a brand-new Airbus A321NEO (New Engine Option) aircraft on April 2, 2021.
It said the latest delivery was the eighth out of Cebu Pacific’s 47 narrow-body orders from Airbus in line with the carrier’s fleet expansion.
Cebu Pacific said it was also expecting delivery of seven more aircraft this year, including a mix of Airbus and ATR fleet.
Airbus A321NEO delivers 20-percent fuel cost savings while offering significant environmental benefits with nearly 50-percent reduction in carbon footprint compared to previous generation aircraft.
“Pre-pandemic, we have already started embarking on our long-term vision and fleet strategy, which includes an orderly exit of older aircraft,” said Cebu Pacific deputy chief finance officer Mark Cezar.
“We envision the total CEB fleet to be composed of new-generation aircraft in the next few years,” he said.
The newest aircraft is set to enter Cebu Pacific’s service on April 9 to serve various domestic routes the carrier flies direct to.
Cebu Pacific’s 74-strong fleet consists of eight A321NEO, 25 Airbus A320, seven Airbus A321CEO, five Airbus A320NEO, seven Airbus A330, six ATR 72-500 and 13 ATR 72-600 aircraft.
Its fleet also has two ATR freighters on top of one A330 freighter. The airline boasts of one of the youngest fleets in the world, with an average fleet age of about 5.7 years.
The airline recently raised P12.5 billion from shareholders and another P16 billion from local banks to strengthen its balance sheet and ensure it has sufficient runway to thrive in the new normal.
Cebu Pacific reported a net loss of P22.2 billion last year, a turnaround from the P9.12-billion net income in 2019.
Revenues amounted to P22.6 billion in 2020, or 73 percent lower than in 2019. The airline carried 5 million passengers last year, down by 78 percent from 2019.