Sunday, June 23, 2019


This June, major aircraft manufacturers from all over the world gathered in the Le Bourget commune of Paris for the Paris Air Show, an international exhibition of the latest advances and products in the aerospace industry happening on odd-numbered. Of great significance in this 53rd Air Show for 2019, is the competition between Boeing and Airbus. The latter, European giant is exploiting the recent stumble in the former, American company with their apparently crash-prone 737 Max. A number of Filipino officials and representative of local airlines have attended the event. Among them is Cebu Pacific, which has taken the opportunity now to improve their fleet.

CNN Philippines reports that Cebu Pacific, the country’s top budget airline, announced in a disclosure last week that it has inked a deal with Airbus to acquire new passenger aircraft, following the last upgrading back in 2011. This time they are expecting a total of 31 new Airbus airliners to add to their fleet, following the attendance of the company’s leadership at the Paris Air Show. Cebu Pacific thus becomes another addition in the mass of airlines around the world that is gravitating to the European aircraft manufacturer over Boeing for their passenger transport needs.

In publicized details of their order, Cebu Pacific will be adding 16 Airbus A330neo and 15 A320neo jet airliners, with the total order amounting to around $6.8 billion. The budget air carrier is waiting on Airbus to deliver the new aircraft within a waiting period from the year 2021 to 2026. These upcoming Airbus jets for Cebu Pacific are of a “New Engine Option” (neo) configuration, serving to phase out the airline’s older Airbus units of the “Classic Engine Option” (ceo) line. They will follow the earlier order for 32 Airbus A321neo placed back in 2011. This batch will complete its delivery by about 2022.

These new A-neo Airbus craft are powered by a pair of Rolls Royce Trent 7000 engines, which are more fuel-efficient than their predecessors. Such a characteristic is important for a budget air carrier like Cebu Pacific, to offer the “lowest cost per seat” in terms of air travel. Added to that is the increased passenger capacity of the A330neo which has 5.5 more seats that its ceo version. As Cebu Pacific tells the Philippine Stock Exchange, their investment will see their evolving air fleet become even more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly.

The new acquisitions will also do one other thing. It could see the Cebu Pacific fleet become a 100% Airbus-using airline as early as 2024. This is but the latest development in the competition between Airbus and Boeing for new airline contracts around the globe.

Image courtesy of Airbus


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