Cebu Pacific announced (13-Jun-2013) it had received the first of four one-class, 436-seat A330-300s leased from CIT Aerospace. The carrier intends to operate the aircraft on medium-haul regional routes initially, before deploying it on services to Dubai in Oct-2013. Cebu Pacific president and CEO Lance Gokongwei said: "The delivery of our first widebody aircraft marks a milestone for Cebu Pacific. The addition of the highly efficient A330 to our fleet ultimately translates to unbeatable operating costs, enabling us to offer the lowest possible fares to our guests. In addition, we will be the only Filipino carrier flying nonstop between Manila and Dubai, eliminating multiple stops or connecting flights" [more - original PR]
Cebu Pacific takes delivery of first A330-300 from CIT Aerospace
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The deployment of new generation ultra-long-range widebody aircraft is prompting several airlines to plan new nonstop services between Southeast Asia and the continental US. New variants of the A350 have particularly emerged as a new, more efficient and popular option for Southeast Asia-US flights, with orders over the past year from three Southeast Asian flag carriers.
On 5-Sep-2016 Vietnam Airlines became the latest Southeast Asian airline to commit to new generation ultra-long-range aircraft capable of new nonstop routes – joining Philippine Airlines and Singapore Airlines. Garuda Indonesia and Thai Airways are likely to follow, resulting in four Southeast Asian airlines operating nonstop flights to the US by early next decade, compared with only one currently.
Delta Air Lines may also join United Airlines with nonstop Southeast Asia-US services. There are opportunities in the Southeast Asia-US market for nonstop routes, but competition with one-stop products will be intense. Profitability will be heavily challenged or non-existent. SIA started the trend due to strategic, not financial, imperatives. Under the charm of low fuel prices, Southeast Asian airlines risk falling into the spell of "me too" nonstop flights, just as they did with over-sized aircraft acquisitions.
Cebu Pacific Air to deploy additional A330s on regional routes, delaying long haul network expansion
Cebu Pacific Air has delayed plans to launch Honolulu and Melbourne or other new long haul routes. The Philippine LCC will instead use two recently acquired additional A330-300s on regional routes, enabling it to utilise slots better at its congested Manila hub.
Cebu Pacific is already using the equivalent of two of its six A330s on domestic and regional international routes. The decision to allocate another two widebody aircraft to short haul routes supplements a similar strategy to transition its narrowbody fleet to larger-gauge aircraft.
The group has 32 A321neos on order – to be delivered from 2017 and used to replace smaller A320s. Cebu Pacific is also now in the process of phasing out its A319 fleet and aims to shift some of its Manila-based ATR 72 turboprops to secondary bases.