Cebu Pacific stated (31-Jan-2012) it will commence long-haul services in 3Q2012. The airline will lease up to eight A330-300 aircraft to serve new markets beyond the range of the LCC’s current fleet of A320 aircraft. The carrier noted A330 equipment has a range of up to 11 hours which means the Philippine carrier could serve markets such as Australia, Middle East, parts of Europe (while the carrier noted that Philippine carriers have been banned since Apr-2010 from operating to Europe, Mr Gokongwei said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines was addressing the concerns which should result in a lifting of the ban soon) and the US. With the new long-haul services, the carrier plans to target services not currently served non-stop from the Philippines, with the more than 8.5 million overseas Filipinos as the key target market for these operations. The carrier stated fares will be 35% lower than competitor airlines. Cebu Pacific currently operates a fleet of 10 A319s, 19 A320s and eight ATR-72 500 aircraft, with its fleet of 37 aircraft having an average age of 3.6 years. Between 2012 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take an additional 23 A320 and 30 A321neo aircraft. The carrier, which operates the most extensive network in the Philippines, has a present network covering 34 domestic destinations and hubs in Manila, Cebu, Clark and Davao. It also offers 19 international destinations: Bangkok, Beijing, Brunei, Busan, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Incheon (Seoul), Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Osaka, Shanghai, Siem Reap, Singapore, Taipei and Xiamen. [more - original PR]
Cebu Pacific: “The A330-300 will give us the lowest cost per seat, allowing us to drive long-haul fares 35% lower than those currently offered by other airlines, and as much as 80% lower when CEB offers promo fares. This aircraft type is very well suited to the kind of network we want to build and the routes we want to launch. We are exploring serving cities where large Filipino communities reside – Europe, Middle East, Oceania and the USA. Data indicates that more than half of Filipinos deployed in these regions take multiple stops and connecting flights because no home carrier can fly them there non-stop,” Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO. Source: Company statement, 31-Jan-2012.