CEB pursues refleeting

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    Cebu Pacific receives eighth A321neo this month.

    Cebu Pacific (CEB) expects the delivery of seven more aircraft in 2021 in line with its fleet expansion plan.

    In a statement, CEB said it took delivery of a brand-new Airbus A321NEO (New Engine Option) aircraft last April 2 which is the eighth out of the airline’s 47 narrow-body orders from Airbus.

    On top of this A321NEO, CEB is expecting delivery of seven more aircraft this year, a mix of Airbus and ATR fleet.

    The 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. We envision the total CEB fleet to be composed of new-generation aircraft in the next few years,” said Mark Cezar, CEB deputy chief finance officer.

    CEB’s newest aircraft is set to enter service on April 9 to serve various domestic routes the carrier flies direct to.

    At present, CEB has a 74-fleet comprised 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. CEB boasts of one of the youngest fleets in the world, with an average fleet age of about 5.7 years.

    Last year, CEB reported a net loss of P22.2 billion, a reversal from its net income of P9.1 billion in 2019, attributed to the severe impact of the pandemic as the health and safety concerns resulted in lower passenger confidence and heightened travel restrictions.

    With this, CEB’s air passenger volume declined by 78 percent to 5 million in 2020 as compared to 2019.

    Amid severe losses incurred in 2020, CEB said it has completed two significant fundraising initiatives amounting to P28.5 billion. The proceeds will be used to strengthen the airline’s balance sheet and as working capital for general corporate purposes.