With this latest purchase agreement, fast-growing Cebu Pacific (which operates as Cebu Pacific Air) has increased its total firm orders for the A320 family...

Cebu Pacific of the Philippines has finalized a firm order with Airbus for the purchase of 30 A321neo aircraft, firming a previously announced memorandum of understanding signed on June 16.

With this latest purchase agreement, fast-growing Cebu Pacific (which operates as Cebu Pacific Air) has increased its total firm orders for the A320 family to 71 aircraft, of which 16 have already been delivered. The airline currently operates 25 A320-family aircraft, including the 16 purchased from Airbus along with nine leased aircraft.

Cebu Pacific plans to configure its A321neo fleet with 220 seats in a single-class layout and will fly the aircraft across its expanding pan-Asian network. Cebu Pacific Air’s network currently includes 34 domestic and 16 international destinations, including Osaka, Seoul Incheon, Beijing, Jakarta, Bangkok and Singapore.

The airline says it will make a decision on its engine selection for the aircraft at a later date. The choice lies between the CFM International LEAP-X and the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1100G geared turbofan, both engines having achieved strong sales on the Airbus A320neo family. The PW1100G is the launch engine for the A320neo family, because of its earlier availability, and it will power the first A320neo – which is scheduled to enter service in late 2015.

On June 16, 2011, Philippines-based low cost carrier Cebu Pacific signed a memorandum of understanding for 30 A321neos and exercised options on seven standard A320s. Cebu Pacific then firmed the MOU for 30 A321neos into an order on August 8, 2011

“The A321neo will enable us to increase capacity on our key routes while benefiting from the lowest operating costs of any aircraft in this size category,” says Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific’s president and CEO. “With these aircraft we will continue to build upon our reputation for offering high quality low fares service with one of the most modern and youngest fleets in Asia.”

“Cebu Pacific has proven itself to be one of the most efficient and successful low-cost carriers in the Asian region,” says John Leahy, chief operating officer, customers for Airbus. “With the step-change in fuel savings offered by the A321neo, the airline will be able to strengthen its position further, flying more people at even lower cost than before.”

The A321neo is the largest model in the recently launched A320neo series, which incorporates new engines and large wingtip devices called sharklets. Airbus says the advances will deliver fuel savings of more than 15 per cent compared with current A320-family jets, and will also offer additional payload or range capability.

Airbus estimates the fuel savings offered by each member of the A320neo family will translate into some 3,600 tonnes less CO2 per aircraft per year. In addition, the aircraft will provide a double-digit-percentage reduction in emissions of oxides of nitrogen and reduced engine noise.

Nearly 7,700 Airbus A320-family aircraft have already been ordered and more than 4,700 delivered to more than 330 customers and operators worldwide. The A320neo series will have airframe commonality of more than 95 per cent with the existing models, according to Airbus, enabling A320neo jets to fit seamlessly into existing A320-family fleets.