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Cebu Pacific buys 37 Airbus jets worth $3.8 bn

AFP  Manila, June 16, 2011
First Published: 11:48 IST(16/6/2011) | Last Updated: 11:50 IST(16/6/2011)

Philippine budget carrier Cebu Pacific announced on Thursday it had ordered 37 new Airbus jets worth $3.8 billion as part of its ambitious plans to expand operations across the Asia Pacific.


Cebu Pacific chief executive Lance Gokongwei told a news conference his company had ordered 30 Airbus A321neo jets and seven A320 aircraft, to be delivered between 2015 and 2021.

He said the airline also had another option for 10 more A321neo jets, which can carry more people and fly longer distances than the A320s that currently dominate Cebu Pacific's fleet.

"These 220-seater aircraft will be a game changer for Cebu Pacific," Gokongwei said.

"We will be able to serve cities in Australia, India and northern Japan, places the A320 cannot reach."

Cebu Pacific is already the number one airline in the Philippines in terms of passenger numbers, having expanded rapidly in recent years to overtake national carrier Philippine Airlines.

In October last year it raised 23.3 billion pesos ($540 million) in the country's biggest initial public offering in dollar terms to help fund its expansion plans.

Cebu Pacific currently flies to more than 30 destinations within the Philippines and 15 in Asia.

Gokongwei said Cebu Pacific was aiming to see passenger numbers in its domestic operations grow 10-15% a year, with an even more ambitious target of 25% annual growth for its international division.

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