Asian carrier, Cebu Pacific Air, has place an order for 16 new ATR 72-600s to replace its existing turboprop equipment and to meet growing demand in the Philippines for inter-island services. The order, which includes options for ten additional ATR 72-600s, is valued at US$673 million and was announced at the Paris Air Show.
Subject to the execution of final purchase documentation, Cebu Pacific, the largest operator in the Philippines, will take delivery of the new aircraft from the third quarter of 2016. They will initially be used to replace its current fleet of eight ATR 72-500 aircraft, which will be retired as the new aircraft enter service, as well as opening up market growth opportunities.
ATR aircraft enjoy a high reputation not only for versatility but also for their ability to operate on short runways. This will allow Cebu Pacific to expand its operations not only on main airports but also to several other airports around the country, enabling Cebu Pacific to continue to play a leading role in the development of regional transport, tourism, and local economy in the Philippines.
“We have been operating ATR aircraft since 2008, and they have enabled us to bring safe, reliable, and affordable air transport to smaller cities and islands throughout the Philippines,” said Lance Y. Gokongwei, president and chief executive officer, Cebu Pacific Air. “This order is an affirmation of our commitment to extend the convenience of affordable air travel to even more communities.”
The ATR 72-600 ordered by Cebu Pacific will be equipped, for the first time, with the high density Armonia cabin, the widest cabin in the turboprop market. It will be equipped with 78 slim-line seats and wider overhead bins with 30 per cent more stowage space. These new technological innovations further enhance space and comfort for passengers.
“We are very pleased to be the launch customer of this new configuration of the ATR 72-600, as this will allow us to offer our customers more seats at even lower fares," added Gokongwei.
Alongside its turboprop fleet, Cebu Pacific currently operates a jet fleet of 47 aircraft comprised of 10 Airbus A319s, 31 A320s and 6 larger A330s. Between 2015 and 2021, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of seven more brand-new Airbus A320 and 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft. These are used on a mix of domestic and international services across the Philippines.
Our analysis of data from OAG Schedules Analyser shows that capacity in the Philippines domestic market grew by 153.1 per cent between 2005 and 2014, an average annual rise of 17.0 per cent. It is forecasted to grow a further 5.5 per cent in 2015, based on published schedules.
Over the same ten year period Cebu Pacific Air has more than quadrupled its share of domestic seats (up 324.5 per cent), increasing its offering to over 14 million seats last year and boosting its share of the market from 29.2 per cent in 2005 to 49.0 per cent in 2014.