Mar 122013

MANILA, Philippines – Publicly-held budget carrier Cebu Air Inc. (Cebu Pacific) now has more aircraft that rival national flag carrier Philippines Airlines (PAL).

Cebu Pacific accepted the delivery of its 43rd aircraft last March 7 from the Airbus facility in Hamburg, Germany. The airline’s new Airbus A320 is the second of its kind in the Philippines equipped with Sharklets, a new fuel-saving wing tip device.

 “Cebu Pacific now operates the largest Airbus fleet in the Philippines,” the company said in a statement. The airline’s fleet now includes 25 Airbus A320, 10 A319 aircraft and eight ATR 72-500 aircraft.

Cebu Pacific is scheduled to take the delivery of 51 more aircraft consisting of 17 A320, 30 Airbus A321neo, and four more A330-300 between 2013 and 2021

With this fleet, the low cost carrier is set to add flights during the Holy Week period to accommodate demand, and provide more opportunities for travel.

It will mount an additional daily flight from Manila to Hong Kong from March 20 to 30, 2013. There will also be an additional flight from Manila to Legazpi on March 27 to 28, as well as an additional flight from Manila to Naga on March 28 and 30.

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Travelers bound for Puerto Princesa from Manila may also book seats on the airline’s additional flight on March 29.

Cebu Pacific operates the most extensive network in the Philippines with 34 domestic and 21 international destinations and hubs in Manila, Cebu, Clark, Iloilo, Kalibo and Davao.

It booked a double-digit 11 percent growth in volume of passengers to 13.26 million last year from 11.93 million in 2011 on the back of robust domestic and international operations brought about by aggressive sales promotions last year.

On the other hand, PAL maintains and operates 42 aircraft comprising of five Boeing B747-400s and four B777-300ERs as well as four Airbus A340-300s, eight A330-300s, 17 A320-200s, and four A319-100s.

The national flag carrier is in the midst of acquiring 100 new aircraft since SMC bought into the company last year. It has entered into a $10 billion contract to acquire 64 new Airbus aircraft.

The new fleet consisting of 44 A321 and 20 A330 would be delivered over the next three years. This year about 16 aircraft consisting of eight A321 and eight A330 would be delivered starting September.

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