Budget carrier Cebu Pacific is expanding further its fleet by adding 11 new aircraft as the company banks on the further recovery of air travel next year.
At a press briefing in Quezon City on Tuesday, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing and customer experience Candice Iyog said the airline is “close to fully recovering our network to pre-pandemic [level].”
Iyog reported that to date Cebu Pacific restored 92% of its pre-pandemic system-wide capacity.
She said the company currently flies an average of 355 flights a day, covering 34 domestic and 19 international destinations —equivalent to 64,000 seats offered in a day.
From January to November, Cebu Pacific has flown 13.3 million passengers, up 493% year-on-year amid the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
For next year, Cebu Pacific chief commercial officer Xander Lao said, “We we might be more than 100% of our pre-pandemic capacity.”
“If China reopens, recovery will be faster, seats will certainly be higher... I would say I think second to third quarter it will be 100%,” Lao said.
To meet the expected increase in travel demand, Cebu Pacific chief strategy officer Alex Reyes said the carrier will be acquiring 11 brand new aircraft next year.
“We are expecting the delivery of about 11 new aircraft next year. They have delivery schedules associated with them and we are pretty much expecting delivery every month in 2023,” Reyes said.
Cebu Pacific plans to take delivery of three A320neo (new engine option), four A321neo, and four A330neo.
The airline earlier announced plan to modernize its fleet by transitioning to more fuel-efficient neo aircraft by 2028 as part of its sustainability initiatives.
Cebu Pacific’s new aircraft deliveries will also use blended Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
“Our system-wide capacity is now approaching pre-pandemic levels. We've basically grown, in fact, much more than what we were doing pre-COVID on the domestic level. We are seeing green shoots of recovery. It is very encouraging to see more people confidently flying again, not just within the Philippines but even abroad,” Lao said.—AOL, GMA Integrated News