Cebu Pacific Open To Receive A330neos Early If Market Conditions Allow

Cebu Pacific A330neo on tarmac
Cebu Pacific Airbus A330neo
Credit: Airbus

LCC Cebu Pacific is keen to bring forward deliveries of its new Airbus A330neos if the market recovery and conditions allows the Philippines-based airline to do so. 

The carrier has two A330neos in service and is expecting three more this year. 

“It will be a good problem to have, but the market is very volatile.” Cebu Pacific chief executive advisor Michael Szucs told ATW during the Singapore Airshow. “If the business is better than we anticipate, then we can have a conversation with Airbus.”

Szucs added, “You are seeing a lot of airlines out there now looking to get additional lift and the fact that we’ve got the potential to bring some of these forward, should we choose to, might be a good thing.” 

LCC AirAsia X cut its order for 78 A330neos to 15 following as part of its debt restructuring, raising the potential for additional delivery slots elsewhere.

Cebu A330neos are configured in a high density, single-class layout with 459 seats, although the airline is restricted to flying no more than 440 passengers until it has regulatory approval, which is expected within “a couple of months” 

Szucs says the A330neos are used predominantly on short-haul regional routes in Southeast Asia where the aircraft lowers unit seat costs. 

He said that domestic capacity was already at 100% of pre-pandemic levels since April 2021, although international routes are not expected to return to 1999 levels until 2023.

Szucs added that Cebu’s future fleet plans will focus on upgauging, transitioning narrowbodies from the A320s to the A321 as well as exploring new routes with A321XLR that is expected to be delivered in 2026. 

The airline is recruiting and recalling cabin crew and pilots in view with cabin crew strength standing at around 60%-70% of 2019 levels and pilots at 70-%75%.

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.